Trucking companies are not required to pay their drivers overtime, yet often demand that drivers work 60 or more hours a week. Additionally, most interstate drivers are not paid by the hour. Rather, they are compensated by the load or mile, and therefore are not paid for waiting time or any time needed to load or unload the truck. Because of these kinds of working conditions, truck drivers must work quickly throughout many long hours in order to make a profit. Such working conditions can lead to errors by truck drivers that result in accidents.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers of large trucks are ten times more likely to be the cause of a crash than other factors (weather, road conditions, vehicle maintenance, etc.). Driver fatigue and sleep deprivation are common causes of trucking accidents. Fatigue can result in a truck driver falling asleep at the wheel, misjudge gaps and generally be inattentive while driving.
Due to these types of working conditions, the FMCSA set forth regulations governing:
- Minimum uniform commercial driver's license requirements – in order to obtain a commercial driver's license, a person must undergo drug testing, knowledge and skills testing, employer responsibilities and federal disqualification
- Minimum levels of insurance coverage – trucks must carry $500,000 per carrier operating in interstate commerce and $1million per carrier if transporting hazardous cargo in interstate commerce.
- Driver's hours of operation – the FMCSA sets the hours a trucker can be on-duty, off-duty and sleeping.
- Physical qualifications of drivers
Under current federal laws and regulations, any company owning a trucking permit is responsible for all accidents involving a truck that has its placard or name displayed on the vehicle,regardless of whether a lease says or whether the driver is an employee of the company or an independent contractor.
We offer a free consultation to evaluate your truck driver fatigue accident claim. It will cost you nothing to consult with a lawyer to see if you have a case. In trucker fatigue accident claims, the truck driver or the trucking company may be held responsible for damages. It is essential that action be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident and/or conduct in question and to file a lawsuit, when necessary prior to a deadline imposed by the statute of limitations.
Chicago Trucking Accident Lawyers
We give all our personal injury, workers' compensation, wrongful death and medical malpractice clients a promise that if we do not recover monetary damages in your case, we will not charge you an attorney fee. If we take your case, we only get paid if we win your case.
Contact us immediately at 312–629–8800 or complete our online contact form.