Every trucking company has training and maintenance rules they are legally required to follow to ensure the safety of other motorists on the road. However, even if those regular procedures are followed, they don’t account for unexpected problems like a sudden medical emergency. An extremely dangerous situation can occur if a truck driver loses control of his truck while barreling down a highway at top speed. Here’s what you need to know if you suspect a trucker’s medical condition directly led to your injury.
Medical Conditions That Can Cause a Missouri Truck Accident
There are certain medical conditions that can’t be foreseen—no one can prevent a driver from having a heart attack, seizure, or stroke, especially if they have no medical history indicating that particular condition was likely to occur.
However, there are times when doctors, employers, or truckers are aware of a potential medical problem but don’t take precautions to prevent a disaster. Hypertension, obesity, narcolepsy, untreated sleep apnea, and other health issues make it more likely a driver will have a medical emergency on the road.
Additionally, driving while drunk or high is likely to cause an accident. But even driving under the influence of legal drugs prescribed by a doctor can also make a driver liable for damages after a collision. If a medication has side effects that impair driving ability, such as drowsiness or reduced reaction time, that person shouldn’t be driving a cargo truck while taking that medicine.
Health conditions that interfere with driving tractor-trailers can become an even bigger problem if other unethical or illegal actions are taking place. For instance, drowsy driving is a major problem in the trucking industry, with some truckers violating the maximum driving hours allowed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This behavior, combined with an adverse medical condition, can significantly raise the chances of a deadly accident.
Of course, actions from the trucking company itself can also lead to catastrophic injuries for other people on the road, such as lack of vehicle maintenance or lack of adequate personnel training.
Speak With an Attorney After a Missouri Truck Crash
After suffering an injury in a truck accident, it’s critical to contact an experienced attorney who knows the rules of the FMCSA. You need a legal professional to investigate the accident to determine liability. That may require going through the trucking company’s hiring and employment logs, the driver’s medical records, video footage, and other evidence to find out if a health problem led to the wreck.
Potential at-Fault Parties
- Driver of the big rig truck
- Employer of the truck driver
- Manufacturer of the vehicle itself or a single faulty part that caused the accident
- Negligent loading crew who didn’t perform their job appropriately
- Someone else who made the situation unsafe and ultimately caused the accident
A lawyer can help determine the at-fault party who represents your best chance of a full financial recovery. After that, your truck accident attorney will place a value on your damages.
- Emergency room visit, hospital, medication, and surgery costs
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage, which is likely to be expensive if your vehicle was totaled by the truck
- Wages you would have earned if you hadn’t been recovering from a truck accident
- Wrongful death if someone died due to a truck accident injury