St. Louis Driver Fatigue Truck Accident Lawyers

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Driver Fatigue Lawyers in St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois

Driver Fatigue Lawyers in St Louis. The physical, emotional and financial consequences of being injured in a truck accident are immediate and devastating. If a fatigued truck driver injured you, you need a talented and driven truck accident lawyer to fight on your behalf for a full financial recovery. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation.

If you were injured by a negligent truck driver or trucking company in St. Louis, or anywhere in Missouri or Illinois, see how much your claim may be worth by using or free personal injury calculator.

When trucking companies overextend their employees by having them work long hours to travel far distances, their actions can cause truck drivers to suffer from sleeping issues including fatigue. Truck driver fatigue is highly dangerous and can result in extremely severe and even deathly accidents. Truck drivers and companies must follow the rules set in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in order to prevent unsafe driving conditions for truck drivers and those around them. If a truck driver is found negligent by driving under fatigue, they will, along with their company, be held accountable for the injuries and damages they've caused. If you or a loved one has been injured due to driver fatigue in St Louis or the surrounding areas, get in touch with Burger Law today.

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“Gary and his team provided us with effective, efficient and highly professional service. Gary provides sound advice and is a trustworthy and ethical attorney. I highly recommend the team!”

David and Fran Schneider

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St. Louis, Missouri Driver Fatigue Trucking Accidents: What to Know

Drowsy driving is not unique to truckers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2020, 633 people were killed in crashes involving driver fatigue. In 2017, the administration reported that drowsy driving was responsible for roughly 91,000 accidents, resulting in 50,000 injuries and almost 800 fatalities. Most crashes occur between midnight and 6AM or late on the afternoon, and most commonly occur on rural roads and highways.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 25 adult drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel in the last 30 days.

Because of the sheer size of trucks, fatigued truck drivers are even more dangerous behind the wheel. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver fatigue is one of the top 10 "associated factors" in truck accidents, and as many as 13 percent of truck drivers were fatigued at the time of the crash.

What Makes Fatigued Driving so Dangerous?

Obviously, if someone falls asleep at the wheel, they no longer have control of their vehicle and will run off the road or hit another car if they do not wake up. But just being tired can make someone an unsafe driver as well. Like drunk driving, driving while fatigued greatly affects a person's reaction time, decision-making, ability to judge distances, their overall coordination and attention to the road. Also like drunk driving, the more tired you are the more your driving ability is affected. Being awake 18 straight hours is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol content of .05 percent. After 20 hours of being awake, your driving ability is reduced the same as having a blood alcohol content of .08 percent, the legal limit across the nation.

A fatigued driver may:

  • Drift into another lane
  • Sway between lanes
  • Drift off the road
  • Accidentally put too much pressure on the gas pedal

What Regulations Are There to Combat Driver Fatigue in St. Louis and Missouri?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets regulations for commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers. Because fatigued driving is so dangerous, the administration has placed strict hours-of-service-regulations on how often and for how long truck drivers must rest when on the road:

  • A max of 11 hours of driving after 10 consecutive off-duty hours
  • A max of 14 hours on-duty, meaning that the trucker may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty after 10 consecutive off-duty hours
  • No more than 60 hours on duty over seven consecutive days
  • No more than 70 hours on duty over eight consecutive days
  • Any driver using a sleeper berth must take eight consecutive hours in it, plus a separate two hours in the sleeper berth or off duty, or any combination of the two.

Truck drivers are required to keep a log of their driving hours so that there is a record of how many hours they drove and how long they rested. Additionally, truck drivers should pull over when they are experiencing driver fatigue, even if they have not exceeded the hours-of-service limits.

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How Our St. Louis Driver Fatigue Lawyers Can Help

Your Burger Law truck accident lawyer will be your advocate and fight by your side to get you a full financial recovery. Because of the devastating nature of truck accidents, the resulting injuries, investigation into what caused them and the fight for compensation can be more complex than a standard auto accident. We will handle all of that so you can focus on healing. Part of what our attorneys will do for you is:

  • Identify the liable parties — In driver fatigue accidents, the liable party will be the driver and/or the insurance company. If a driver did not follow the hours-of-service regulations or did not pull over when they were sleepy, they are liable. But, according to the groundbreaking, Large Truck Crash Causation Study, pressure from work was the number one reason truck drivers drove fatigued. In those cases, the trucking company may be liable or share fault. Either way, your claim will be made against the same insurance company.
  • Prove negligence — There are many things that could indicate that the driver was fatigued and, therefore, negligent. If there were no brake marks at the accident site, it may indicate they did not try to brake, and were therefore asleep. We'll also look at their driving logs. Some trucks have built-in systems that show how long a driver drove for.
  • Identify your damages — You are eligible for a range of damages, including:
  • Prove your damages — By using your medical records, W2s and pay stubs and receipts, we will be able to precisely calculate your economic damages. If your injuries result in permanent disability or require ongoing medical treatment or assistive devices, we will calculate, accounting for inflation, how much future economic damages your injuries cost you. You can keep a journal detailing how your injuries affect your daily life to show non-economic damages. We can also have friends and family take depositions to show how your life has changed.
  • Insist on nothing but full compensation — We always try to get a fair settlement in negotiations, but we file a lawsuit at the fist hint of a low offer. Large corporations like trucking companies throw a lot of money at insurance defense lawyers, but we know how to show them the true value of your damages and get you a truly fair financial recovery.

It is difficult for the average person to go up against large, powerful corporations. But Burger Law's St. Louis truck accident lawyers fight back against them every day, and have been for over 30 years. We work on a contingency fee basis. That means we only charge our attorneys fees after you get the full compensation you deserve. Money should never be an obstacle for someone who needs expert legal representation to get the justice and financial security they are owed.

Causes of Driver Fatigue in St. Louis, Missouri

As mentioned, many truck drivers have said that they drove while fatigued because of pressure from their employers. But there are other reasons a truck driver driving through St. Louis may become fatigued:

  • You drive during hours when your body is naturally sleepy — The FMCSA reported that a driver's fatigue level was more related to "time of day" than "time on task." Our bodies are naturally drowsy between midnight and 6AM, and 2PM to 4PM. It is important for drivers to get enough sleep beforehand if they are going to drive during those hours.
  • Certain medications — Drowsiness can also be a side-effect of certain medications. That is why many prescription and over-the-counter drugs warn against operating heavy machinery after ingesting it.
  • Sleep disorders — A truck driver may have an undiagnosed condition that causes them to fall asleep or become drowsy behind the wheel.

Whatever the reason a driver became fatigued in St. Louis, no one has a right to jeopardize your safety and drive when they know they should not.

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Speak to a St. Louis Driver Fatigue Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Our team consists of serious, dedicated, and aggressive truck accident lawyers in St. Louis. We will never accept less than the full amount that you need to recover, and we never charge our truck accident clients any fees unless we win their claims. We will put you and your needs first, always. If you're ready for your health and your financial recovery to be protected, call our team of driver fatigue lawyers in St. Louis, Missouri now at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.