The US trucking industry is responsible for moving around 70% of all goods around the country and across the Mexcian and Canadian borders. The market’s highly competitive nature and the ever-growing demand for products and essential commodities have made trucking an incredibly challenging line of work.
So much so that it’s common for stressed and tired drivers to fall asleep behind the wheel and cause devastating accidents. A study by Robson Forensic claims that sleep deprivation is responsible for nearly 40% of all commercial trucking accidents.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Nevada caused by a drowsy driver behind the wheel, you should hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to file a lawsuit and pursue the money you need to pay your medical bills and cover other damages.
This post will provide a quick guide to proving liability in a drowsy-driving truck accident in Nevada.
The Most Common Reasons Truck Drivers Fall Asleep While Hauling Cargo
1. Intense Competition
Most US carriers incentivize truck drivers to optimize their productivity and complete as many pickups and deliveries as possible. As a result, many truck drivers looking to maximize their income try to log as many hours as possible. To do this, they often consume high amounts of caffeine and other drugs to keep themselves awake. However, these aids become ineffective in the long run, prompting even the most experienced drivers to fall asleep behind the wheel.
2. HOS Violations
Every state, including Nevada, has certain time limits for every trucker hauling cargo. However, many drivers break HOS violations and operate their trucks longer, resulting in more drowsiness and fatigue. This increases the risk of collisions significantly. As a result, the FMCSA fines drivers violating HOS rules heavily.
3. Overnight Driving
The majority of drowsy truck driving accidents occur between midnight and 6 am. When there’s less light, the human brain triggers the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for making us fall asleep. Therefore, truck drivers who operate at night are likelier to fall asleep behind the wheel.
Proving Liability for Drowsy Driving Truck Accident in Nevada
Proving that a truck driver was asleep behind the wheel isn’t as straightforward as you might think. You need solid evidence to support your claim that they operated carelessly or recklessly. When suing a truck driver for a collision, you’ll need to prove four elements of liability:
1. Duty of Care
First, you’ll need to show the court that the driver had a duty of care to uphold while hauling cargo in Nevada.
2. Breach of Duty
Next, you must prove that the driver breached the duty of care by falling asleep while operating the truck.
After proving a breach of duty, you must prove that their actions after falling asleep caused the collision. Common reasons include involuntary lane change, speeding, head-on collision, etc.
Finally, to seek compensation, you must prove that the drowsy truck driver caused any financial, physical, or emotional damage.
As you can see, proving negligence is not easy. Therefore, you should hire a competent Nevada truck accident lawyer to gather the necessary evidence to prove each element, including (but not limited to):
- Witness statements
- Dash camera footage
- Traffic camera footage
- Lack of skid marks on the road since the driver didn’t stop to prevent the collision
- Drug prescriptions of the truck driver (if any)
- Hours of Service record, etc.
Contact a Nevada Truck Accident Lawyer Right Away!
If you’ve been in a truck accident and you suspect the truck driver was asleep behind the wheel, contact the Bourassa Law Group immediately. We have the expertise and resources to thoroughly assess your case and gather the evidence you need to get full compensation for your injuries and damage.
Feel free to contact us for a consultation at 800-870-8910 and let us discuss your case in detail, along with the available legal options.
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