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When Drowsy Driving Turns Deadly: Fatal Truck Accidents Caused by Fatigued Driving

 Posted on July 08, 2022 in Auto Accidents

IL accident lawyerWithout a doubt, driving a large commercial truck is a challenging job. Drivers must deal with long, lonely hours on the road, tight deadlines, and irregular schedules. These factors can make it difficult for commercial truck drivers to get the sleep they need. While federal regulations limit the number of hours drivers can drive without a rest break, fatigued driving is still a major contributor to severe and fatal truck crashes.

Sleepiness Behind the Wheel of a Big Rig

Everyone has experienced the sensation of sleepiness. Usually, fatigue is little more than an annoyance. However, research shows that fatigue can dramatically affect driving ability. Drivers who are sleepy have longer reaction times, slower information processing, and are less vigilant. Fatigue affects driving similarly to alcohol intoxication. Some sleep-deprived drivers even fall asleep at the wheel.

Because fatigued driving is so dangerous, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration restricts the number of hours a commercial truck driver can drive at a time. However, not every driver abides by these Hours of Service rules. Some drivers are even pressured by their employer to drive longer than federal law allows and falsify their logbooks to hide the evidence.

Legal Options in the Aftermath of a Fatal Crash

If a fatigued truck driver causes an accident in which someone is killed, the victim’s family may be able to take legal action. A wrongful death claim cannot undo the devastation caused by a fatal truck crash. However, a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party may allow the family to pursue justice as well as financial compensation for damages.

Financial compensation may be available for:

  • The victim’s lost income and employment benefits – Losing a loved one can have a massive financial impact on a family. Compensation may be available for the financial support the decedent would have provided to his or her family if he or she had lived.
  • Loss of the victim’s services – Family may be compensated for the value of lost services such as childcare and home maintenance.
  • Medical expenses – The surviving family may be compensated for medical bills incurred between the fatal accident and the victim’s death.
  • Funeral expenses – The family may be compensated for the cost of the funeral, burial, cremation, and related expenses.
  • Loss of companionship and consortium suffered by a spouse – When someone loses their husband or wife, they lose the companionship, love, support, and sexual relationship they would have otherwise enjoyed with their spouse.
  • Loss of instruction and support suffered by a child – When a parent dies, his or her children lose parental guidance, training, and instruction.
  • Grief and mental suffering – The surviving loved ones’ grief and mental suffering may also be compensable.

Call an Illinois Drowsy Driving Truck Accident Lawyer

If a commercial truck crash killed your loved one, you may be able to take legal action on your deceased loved one’s behalf. To learn more, contact the knowledgeable Elk Grove Village truck accident injury attorneys at Kaiser Hafezi Law. Call 630-233-9946 for a free case assessment.




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