Can You Sue in Florida After an Accident if a Truck Driver is Sleep Deprived?
Sleep deprivation and tired driving are some of the most serious causes of accidents. Truck drivers often work long hours behind the wheel, and their tired driving can cause an accident involving serious injuries. If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident in Florida that involved tired driving, contact our Miami truck accident attorney about your case. You may be entitled to file a lawsuit and seek substantial compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation on your potential case, contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today.
Suing for a Drowsy Driving Truck Accident in Florida
Truck accidents and other car accidents often have multiple contributing causes. When examining your case, your attorney will look to pinpoint the cause and build a case theory around the at-fault driver’s physical state, mental state, and poor decisions leading up to the crash. If the driver was too tired to drive safely or was driving beyond federal time limits, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Any time you are involved in a car accident in Florida, you must take Florida’s “no-fault” car accident rules into account. You may be barred from filing a lawsuit under certain circumstances, so it is always vital to talk to an attorney to see if you qualify. Typically, if your injuries are sufficiently serious or permanent, or if they are worth more than $10,000, you automatically qualify to file a lawsuit for your injuries.
When proving the cause of the accident, you must prove that the driver performed some negligent act that led to your accident. Drowsy driving is a clear example of negligence that makes it impossible to safely control a vehicle. If the driver that hit you was sleep deprived, too tired to concentrate on the road, or asleep at the wheel, it is unacceptable for them to operate a vehicle, and a court may hold them liable for any injuries and damage they caused.
Federal Trucking Laws on Tired Driving
To be able to prove your injury case, you must be able to prove that the at-fault driver’s actions were negligent. There are federal trucking regulations that restrict a truck driver’s hours behind the wheel. If a semi-truck driver or trucking company violates these rules, there is an increased risk that their driver is too tired to do their job safely, and these rules can help prove that the accident was caused by negligence.
Under rules written by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it is illegal for a truck driver to drive beyond certain daily and weekly limits without taking a break. First, it is illegal for a truck driver to drive for more than 8 hours without taking a half-hour break. It is also illegal for a driver to stay on duty for more than 14 hours straight (including breaks) and to drive for more than 10 hours in a single day. The weekly limit is a 60-hour limit for a 7-day work week and a 70-hour limit for an 8-day work week, after which they must stay off duty for 34 hours.
If the driver violates these limitations or their trucking company pushes them to drive beyond these limits, you may be able to point to these regulations to help you prove they were at fault for the crash.
Who to Sue for Sleep Deprived Truck Accidents
If you were involved in a commercial vehicle accident, you can always sue the driver, personally. However, a truck driver may not have sufficient funds to cover your injuries and lost wages, even with their insurance policy. Instead, you may also be able to sue the trucking company that hired them.
If the truck driver has a history of dangerous or illegal driving incidents, you may be able to sue the trucking company directly for negligent hiring. This can help you get compensation from the trucking company to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
The trucking company may also be liable for problems they caused directly. For example, if they forced the trucker to keep driving despite the violations, they could share direct liability in causing the accident. Trucking companies sometimes pressure their drivers by withholding pay to enforce long hours.
You may also be able to sue the trucking company simply because the dangerous driver was working for them at the time of the accident. Talk to a lawyer about which approach is best in your case.
Call Our Miami Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a member of your family was injured in a truck accident, or if a loved one suffered wrongful death in a truck crash, call The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today. Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked may be able to help you file a claim for compensation to get the coverage you need for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at (305) 690-0244.