Virginia Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents

Virginia truck driver fatigue accidents are one of the most frequent and leading cause of collisions. The leading cause of driver fatigue is simply trying to put in too many hours. Drivers are humans and even though they may consume caffeine, eat sugar, listen to the radio, or do other things to try and combat ordinary driver fatigue, they are sometimes driving when they are fatigued.

It can be a crime when a truck driver chooses to drive while too tired. The person is in violation of federal regulations if they decide to drive over those legal limits. Contact a distinguished truck accident attorney about how to seek damages for the injuries a driver may have caused you.

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Assigning Liability

There are cases in which a truck driver may be liable but not necessarily responsible in the sense of having personal responsibility. Truck drivers need to be as responsible as all drivers are for operating their motor vehicle or truck safely. However, if the truck failed to perform mechanically as a result of mechanical failure, causing an accident, that is perhaps a situation where the driver’s coverage does not apply.

Driver fatigue may contribute to decision that it was the driver who was negligent in the truck accident case and not the injured party. In addition, if the driver fatigue was due to a systematic disregard for the safety of others, such as a company policy or bonus that credit risky behavior, then punitive damages could be on the table.

Consequences of Driver Fatigue 

Driver fatigue can lead to a number of different types of accidents. Most commonly, Virginia truck driver fatigue accidents occur because of lack of attentiveness or lack of control when someone is involved in a driver fatigue-related accident. It is not uncommon that the driver falls asleep and is not able to stop their truck in time and they rear-end someone at a place where it is quite illogical for them to rear-end.

It is the same with drifting accidents when the truck crosses over its lane into another vehicle’s lane of travel. These are often seen with driver fatigue accidents. The driver is micro-sleeping or dozing off and is unable to keep their vehicle straight on the roadway and they swerve into someone else’s lane and cause a terrible accident.

Some accidents occur when a truck runs off the side of the road or fails to obey traffic signals or traffic devices because the driver is not paying attention. This may include things like tolls, exits, and other things that an attentive driver can easily negotiate, where someone who fatigued may be sleeping or not paying attention and is not able to react in an appropriate manner.

Is The Driver Responsible for any Part of the Accident?

Individuals involved in auto accidents such as private motor vehicles, motorcycles, or trucks, often have liability insurance. Liability insurance indemnifies them for accidents caused by their negligence. Many times, there is no personal liability to the driver because they have insurance to cover them.

When there is a driver fatigue situation in which a driver either has a history of doing this or is flagrantly in violation of the law, additional damages against the driver personally are available. However, it is more common that the injured parties recover from the driver’s insurance coverage and may also include the trucking company’s insurance coverage as well.

Likelihood of a Truck Driver being Absolved of Responsibility

Initially, the driver was not negligent; but if the trucking company failed to properly maintain their vehicle, that policy may be in play. In addition, Virginia is a contributory negligence state. Someone may be barred from recovery if they have contributed to the cause of Virginia truck driver fatigue accidents. This often leads to tragic results where a driver is clearly the worst of the wrongdoers but the injured party is legally barred from making an economic recovery.