Commercial truck drivers spend many hours behind the wheels of large trucks. Driver fatigue and drowsiness contribute to many truck accidents each year. To prevent drowsy driving, commercial truck drivers are required to take scheduled rest breaks and are only allowed to drive a certain number of hours each day and each week before taking required rest periods. Unfortunately, many truckers disregard the hours of service requirements and drive while dangerously fatigued and struggling to stay awake. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by a drowsy truck driver, you may have a legal right to seek compensation for your losses.
The experienced and aggressive Milwaukee truck accident attorneys at Gruber Law Offices, LLC represent people who have been harmed by fatigued truck drivers. Our attorneys understand the drowsy driving laws and the hours of service rules that apply to commercial truck drivers. We are ready to review the details of your fatigued truck driver accident and explain your legal options.
Attorney David Gruber and the team at Gruber Law Offices, LLC have been standing up for accident victims in Milwaukee for more than three decades. While our law firm has expanded over the years as satisfied former clients have referred new clients to us, Gruber Law Offices remains a family-owned business focused on client service.
Attorney David Gruber works with his wife, attorney Nancy Gruber, who serves as managing partner. Our drowsy driving accident attorneys offer a no-obligation case review and represent clients on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm only charges a legal fee if we obtain an insurance settlement or a jury award for you.
Gruber Law Offices has represented truck accident victims in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin for more than three decades. Let us put our experience to work for you. Our motto is simple, “One call… that’s all!” Just call Gruber Law Offices, and our dedicated staff will take care of all aspects of your drowsy truck driver accident case.
Drowsiness affects truck drivers in several ways. It makes truck drivers less able to focus on the road and recognize changes in traffic conditions.
Drowsiness affects a driver’s judgment and ability to make good decisions quickly.
Drowsiness slows driver reactions and increases the time it takes a driver to brake or makes a quick steering maneuver to avoid a traffic hazard. Because of their weight, large trucks need more distance to slow down. If a driver is slow to recognize and respond to a hazardous situation, a drowsy driving accident may occur.
Drowsy driving is one of the most significant factors in truck crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is a serious issue for the trucking industry in Wisconsin and across the nation.
Because of the danger posed by drowsy truck drivers, the federal agency that oversees the trucking industry passed rules to restrict the number of hours that commercial drivers can operate a tractor-trailer without taking a rest break.
The hours of service rules are intended to eliminate the kind of drowsiness that can cause truck accidents and bus accidents and keep fatigued drivers off the highways. Different limits apply to commercial bus drivers and truck drivers.
Commercial drivers who drive tractor-trailer trucks, tow trucks and buses are more likely to drive drowsy because of the schedules assigned by their employers and the number of hours they spend driving.
Many commercial drivers work erratic schedules, driving during the day and during times when they would normally be sleeping at night. They may spend many hours driving to meet a tight delivery deadline.
The risk of causing a truck crash due to drowsiness increases at night and with the increased duration of driving.
Commercial truck drivers who have untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are susceptible to getting drowsy and nodding off while driving.
Some over-the-counter allergy medications also cause drowsiness as a side effect.
It is not always easy for police to determine that a driver was nodding off before an accident. A driver may seem alert after the rush of adrenaline caused by the crash. Drivers are required to record their driving activity and periods of rest in driver logs. However, truck drivers sometimes falsify driver logs to make it appear they took the required rest breaks.
Our skilled drowsy driver accident attorneys can determine whether driver fatigue was a contributing factor in your accident and injuries. Gruber Law Offices can help you seek full compensation for your losses including your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and damage to your vehicle.
The trucking company that employs the commercial driver may be held liable for the actions of its employee if the driver caused an accident while acting in the scope of his or her employment.
As part of our investigation to determine liability, our attorneys will determine whether the truck driver was an employee of the trucking company or an independent contractor. If the driver owns the truck, sets his schedule and pays for fuel and insurance, the driver is more likely to be an independent contractor.
The trucking company also may be liable if the company encouraged the driver to ignore hours of service rules and pressure the driver to continue driving while dangerously fatigued.
Part of our investigation of a drowsy driver truck accident focuses on identifying all the potentially liable parties. The truck driver and trucking company may have separate liability insurance. Filing claims against all of the available insurance policies can increase the amount of compensation you may recover after a serious accident.
Truck accidents are complex. Multiple parties may be potentially liable. Proving driver fatigue caused a crash may be challenging. In most cases, the truck driver will not admit to driving while drowsy or skipping required rest breaks. You need an experienced Milwaukee truck accident lawyer representing you to have the best chance of recovering a fair settlement after a serious truck accident.
It’s best to start investigating a truck accident as soon as possible before evidence is discarded or lost. An experienced attorney can investigate the accident and identify signs that a driver’s drowsiness contributed to or caused a crash.
From having investigated numerous truck accident claims, our seasoned truck accident attorneys at Gruber Law Offices know the kinds of records to seek and evidence needed to build a strong case. For example, a lack of skid marks before the crash may indicate the driver had fallen asleep and did not attempt to brake. It also may be possible in some cases to find security camera footage that captured the accident.
Trucking companies will move quickly to protect themselves and their driver after a serious crash. An insurer will fight to minimize the amount of money the company pays to settle an accident claim. You will need a strong, experienced injury lawyer to push back against attempts by the trucking company to deny your claim.
An insurer may offer a quick settlement to try to resolve the claim and limit its liability. These offers are typically a low-ball offer that will not cover your full losses. You should not accept an unsolicited offer or sign anything without having an experienced truck accident lawyer review the offer and provide guidance about whether it is a reasonable amount when considering your medical bills and other losses.
You will need an experienced attorney to stand up for your interests and help you determine the fair value of your claim. You will be at a disadvantage in dealing with a trucking company and its insurer if you do not have an attorney fighting for you.
If a drowsy truck driver or an unsafe tractor-trailer presents a safety emergency, you should call 911 immediately and report the truck and your location.
If you have experienced a safety issue with a truck or trucking company, you may submit a complaint through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s National Consumer Complaint website.
You also may call 1-888-DOT-SAFT between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver or a driver who fell asleep in the Milwaukee area, contact Gruber Law Offices for assistance. Our truck accident attorneys will review the details of your accident and discuss the legal options you have available. The initial consultation to review your claim is free. Let us review your case by calling (414) 436-2496 or contact us online to schedule a no-obligation consultation. One call, that’s all! Gruber Law Offices will do the rest.