Benefits Of Hiring Lawyers For Workers Compensation Cases

Did The Truck Driver Who Hit You Suffer From Sleep Apnea?

by Marilyn Olson

Sleep apnea is a medical condition that involves pauses in breathing during sleep. This is a condition that many individuals don't realize they have and it can impact their ability to perform activities such as operating a commercial truck. Because truck drivers have crashed due to sleep apnea in the past, regulators have discussed adding a requirement that drivers be screened for sleep apnea before they are allowed to operate a commercial truck. While these regulations have not been put in place, sleep apnea might lead to you ending up in a car accident.

Sleep Apnea and Commercial Vehicle Wrecks

Commercial truck drivers are not required to undergo sleep apnea testing to be able to drive their vehicles. However, a truck driver does need to undergo a medical evaluation to determine if the driver is physically capable of safely driving a commercial truck. 

However, even if the driver has sleep apnea and doesn't have to be tested for it, the driver would still be considered liable for the accident if they were not able to safely operate the commercial truck and lost control of it and crashed into you.

Vicarious Liability

Even if the trucking company did not test the driver for sleep apnea, they are liable for the accident if the driver is classified as an employee. This can be beneficial to you if you pursue legal action because the company will likely have more assets than the truck driver.

The truck should be insured by a commercial vehicle insurance provider, but there is a limit to how much an insurance provider will cover a vehicle. If your damages are so high that they won't be covered by the insurance provider, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver's company and their assets would then be used to pay for your damages.

How to Prove That the Driver Was Drowsy

In some cases, it's obvious that the driver fell asleep while driving. However, in other cases, you may need help from an experienced truck wreck attorney to reconstruct the accident and prove that the driver was negligent. Truck drivers are expected to keep logs to make sure that they are not driving above the regulated number of hours they are able to drive.

However, even if the driver was following the regulations, your attorney may be able to prove, with evidence found at the scene of the accident, that the driver crashed the truck due to their drowsiness and should be therefore held responsible for the accident.

For more information, reach out to a truck wreck attorney.