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Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck Driver Fatigue Causes Big Rig Collisions

Contact Our Austin Truck Accident Attorneys Today to Learn More

One of the most common causes of truck accidents is truck driver fatigue. While state and federal laws regulate how many hours a truck driver can consecutively operate a vehicle, as well as how many breaks he or she must take and for how long, truck drivers continue to violate these hours-of-service laws. Sometimes, this occurs as a result of unrealistic quotas or schedules set by the truck driver’s employer. Sometimes, a truck driver simply disregards the law. Either way, when truck drivers operate massive big rigs, 18-wheelers, and even smaller delivery trucks and similar vehicles while fatigued, innocent bystanders can be severely injured or killed.

If you were injured or your loved one was wrongfully killed as a result of a truck accident, truck driver fatigue may have played a role. Our Austin truck accident lawyers at Briggle & Polan, PLLC can help you understand your legal rights, including your right to fair compensation. We offer compassionate, personalized counsel and aggressive advocacy in the courtroom.

Get in touch with us today at (512) 400-3278 or contact us online for a free consultation. We have secured millions for our clients; let our team fight for you.

Hours-of-Service Rules for Truck Drivers in Texas

Hours-of-service rules are put in place in order to ensure that truck drivers take proper breaks and are fully rested before operating their vehicles. The point of these regulations is to ensure the safety of both truck drivers and others who share the road with them on a daily basis.

According to the Texas Highway Patrol Division, Texas has the following hours-of-service laws for property-carrying truck drivers in the state and interstate drivers:

  • Drivers are only allowed to operate their vehicles for 11 hours after having 10 consecutive hours off duty. This is known as the 11-Hour Rule.
  • If more than 8 hours have passed since the conclusion of a driver’s last 30-minute off-duty/sleeper berth rest period, he or she may not drive.
  • Trucking companies are not allowed to require/let drivers operate a vehicle after 14 consecutive hours on duty (with some exceptions). This is known as the 14-Hour Rule.
  • A driver cannot be on duty for a total of 60 hours or more in a 1-week period (7 consecutive days) unless the trucking company operates every day of the week.
  • A driver cannot be on duty for a total of 70 hours in a period of 8 consecutive days unless the trucking company operates every day of the week.
  • Drivers are not allowed to restart either a 7- or 8-consecutive day period unless he or she has had at least 34 consecutive hours off duty.

Additional regulations require truck drivers to record time spent off duty/in sleeper berths in the Record of Duty Status log. They must also record which 34-hour period is being used to restart the 7- or 8-day period if he or she has taken more than one 34-hour period off duty in 168 consecutive hours.

The laws regarding truck drivers’ hours of service are very complex, and drivers and trucking companies alike must adhere to these strict regulations. Failure to do so, or unlawfully forging Record of Duty Status remarks, is considered negligence.

What Happens when Truck Drivers Operate Vehicles while Fatigued?

Some studies have shown that operating a vehicle while fatigued is nearly as dangerous or as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. As such, the accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers can be just as devastating as drunk driving collisions.

Because big rigs and 18-wheelers are so large and heavy, people in passenger vehicles, smaller trucks, and on motorcycles often suffer catastrophic injuries when they are hit by trucks.

Common injuries include:

All too often, those hit by fatigued truck drivers are killed in the collision. For families and surviving loved ones, the impact is immense.

The Law Firm Other Attorneys Trust with Complex Litigation

At Briggle & Polan, PLLC, we are well-versed in complex truck accident litigation. Proving that a truck driver was fatigued or fell asleep at the wheel at the time of an accident is no easy task, but we understand what it takes and have the experience required to do just that. Our Austin truck accident lawyers work with accident reconstruction experts and other specialists, review truck driver’s logs to look for discrepancies, and examine whether hours-of-service regulations were violated. In fact, we are so skilled at these types of complex cases, other attorneys frequently refer us complicated truck accident cases.

Let our team fight for you. We have a proven track record of success and are dedicated to pursuing the maximum compensation you are owed for your injuries, medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering, and other losses. We never charge any upfront fees and you will never pay us a dime until we have successfully recovered compensation on your behalf.

Contact us today to learn more; call (512) 400-3278 for a no-cost consultation.

Hear From Our Clients

  • I very much appreciate all their hard work and will be happy to refer to them should the need come up for friends.

    “This is the one company that would take on my case after being rejected by two other law firms. After pursuing the insurance company, they were able to get the full amount.”

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    “They were very patient and thorough when explaining the process of settling my car accident claim, and worked with all the medical providers and insurance companies involved to ensure I got the care that I deserved.”

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    “I was privileged to have Hayden Briggle and Parker Polan as representation. They took the time to get to know me and cared about more than just my dollars.”

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  • They got me the help I? needed within a few days of hiring them.

    “My settlement was awesome and I got everything I needed to get back on my feet”

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    “They took care of it all and let me worry about recovering and getting back on my feet. Grateful for their hard work!”

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We've Recovered Millions

  • $1.5 Million Work Accident Caused Brain Injury

    Our client was thrown off the back of a work truck, which fractured his skull and caused him to suffer a traumatic brain injury. *Net proceeds to the client were $900,052.11.

  • $1.3 Million Hit By Drunk Driver

    Our client was run over by a drunk driver operating a company truck late at night which required multiple surgeries and months of rehabilitation. *Net proceeds to our client were $571,000.00.

  • $1 Million Rear-End Collision Resolved

    Our client was rear-ended by an insurance adjuster in a commercial vehicle causing severe back and neck injuries. *Net to the client was $346,766.03.

  • $450 Thousand DWI Wreck Resolved

    Our client was rear-ended by a drunk driver, which injured his back and neck. *Net proceeds to the client were $229,040.12.

  • $450 Thousand 18 Wheeler Rollover Resolved

    Our client was an employee working for a company in Montana when he was injured in a rollover collision with an 18-wheeler. *Net to the client was $214,573.81.

  • $400 Thousand Defective Tire Case With Co-Counsel

    A man driving a cement truck was injured when his tire blew out and the cement truck rolled over. *Net to the client was $123,916.22.

  • $350 Thousand Distracted Driver Accident

    Our client suffered a ruptured abdomen after being violently rear-ended by a distracted driver. *Net proceeds to the client was $134,418.06.

  • $295 Thousand 18-Wheeler Accident

    Our client was sideswiped by the driver of an 18-wheeler, causing his vehicle to fly off the road and strike a telephone pole. *The net proceeds to the client were $127,018.03.

  • $285 Thousand 18-Wheeler Accident

    Our client was hit by an 18-wheeler when it made an unsafe lane change, suffering a low-back injury. *Attorney fees & expenses were $126,436.47

  • $283.7 Thousand T-Boned in Intersection

    Our client was involved in a car accident in Las Cruces, New Mexico and severely injured her arm in the crash. *Net proceeds to our client were $123,133.07.

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