Tired truck drivers are responsible for numerous wrecks on the highways of Virginia and beyond. Often they cause horrendous injuries to other motorists.
Recently, Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported on a trucking wreck that left another driver with life-threatening injuries. All cases are different and we cannot guarantee the result in a similar case, but the injured man was awarded $6.5 million.
While on his way to Northern Virginia using I-95, the plaintiff’s vehicle had a flat tire forcing him to stop on the side of the road to fix it.
After replacing the tire, he merged into the right lane and was hit by the defendant’s truck from behind. The plaintiff sustained life-threatening injuries and was immediately sent to VCU medical center.
The truck driver claimed contributory negligence, stating that the plaintiff didn’t have his lights on when merging into the right lane. Later, the Virginia State Police concluded that the lights were not on when the collision occurred. However, the plaintiff’s legal team discovered that the defendant had been working for 37 hours straight, and had driven his tractor-trailer for 27 consecutive hours. The plaintiff’s experts then furthered their findings, and through a pulmonologist found that the defendant was operating a vehicle with almost no sleep, which is the equivalent of operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.8% or higher.
The defendant disputed the life care plan and the future medical costs outlined within the plan for the next 17 years, claiming that the life expectancy of the plaintiff was only 2-5 years. The case was settled a few weeks before trial. Congratulations to the plaintiff’s attorneys, David E. Durett, Jay Tronfield, and Kelly Martin, of the Tronfeld West & Durrett firm, for the $6,500,000 settlement.
This case highlights again the dangers of truckers driving while fatigued. Although stringent rules are in place to give truck drivers rest periods, the spate of serious wrecks continues. Having enough sleep before you get behind the wheel is extremely important to your safety.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, more than 100,000 motor vehicle crashes each year are a result of sleep deprivation. Driving when tired is as dangerous as driving when drunk. This should be a good indicator as to how dangerous driver fatigue really is. Make sure to be safe and rest up before the next time you drive. Here’s some more information from the Department of Transportation.
Call us today at (757) 455-0077 for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been hurt in any sort of vehicle accident. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers care about your health and will do what they can to help you if injured. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is the author of The Best Book about Virginia Trucking Accidents. You can order the book for free on our website.