After an accident with an 18-wheeler, your truck accident lawyer helps you get the compensation you deserve. One common cause of accidents with commercial trucks is dangerous, untreated medical conditions that can affect a truck driver’s judgment or even incapacitate them while driving. Unfortunately, many lives have been lost due to this form of negligence, and often trucking companies know about these issues and do nothing. Let’s talk more about what to do if you think the truck driver’s medical history may be behind your accident.
Why Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer After an Accident?
Any time you’re involved in a truck accident, it’s important to talk to a truck accident lawyer to understand your options. Remember, trucking companies are often large and have huge teams of lawyers and insurance agents on their side to help them avoid large costs after an accident. Most trucking companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying you a fair settlement amount because it eats into their profits. However, having an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side can help you get the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer is there to get you a fair settlement and uses legal expertise and keen negotiating skills to go up against even large trucking companies.
Medical Conditions are a Common Cause of Truck Accidents
Untreated medical issues are a common reason for many truck accidents. Many drivers have medical conditions that actually make them dangerous behind the wheel. What’s worse, many trucking companies know and look the other way. This is a recipe for disaster and has led to many injuries and deaths over the years. There are many reasons why medical conditions are a leading cause of truck accidents. This is such a problem that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has taken action by putting laws into place about truckers and dangerous medical issues.
Truck Drivers are More Likely to Suffer from Health Conditions that Make them Dangerous to Drive
One thing to note is that truck drivers seem to have a higher risk for health issues that can make it dangerous for them to drive. The CDC states that truck drivers may have a high risk for health issues like obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, and diabetes. All these come with risks that can lead to dangerous driving conditions. For instance, high blood pressure can increase the risk of a heart attack, which can easily cause an accident if it were to happen while a driver is behind the wheel.
Laws Against Driving with Certain Medical Conditions
Because of the dangers to the public, the FMCSA has even instituted laws that disqualify truck drivers from driving if they have certain medical conditions. Truck drivers must pass a physical exam every one to two years to look for disqualifying medical conditions like:
- Sleep disorders
- Seizure disorders
- High blood pressure
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Neurological disorders
- Drug/alcohol use
Generally, truckers can receive an exemption to be able to drive with these conditions as long as they’re treated and well controlled. The idea behind the laws is to prevent truck drivers from getting behind the wheel when their health could cause a serious accident. For instance, if someone with uncontrolled diabetes were to experience a low blood sugar attack while driving, or if someone with sleep apnea falls asleep while driving.
Nevertheless, many trucking companies ignore medical issues or don’t enforce mitigation plans, leading to accidents. In these cases, it takes an experienced truck accident lawyer to find evidence of this negligence so you can get the compensation you deserve and hold the trucking company responsible for your damages and injuries.
Cana Truck Accident Lawyer Help if a Trucker’s Medical Condition Caused Your Accident?
So, what do you do if you suspect the truck driver’s medical history caused the accident? The first thing is to tell your Houston car accident lawyer. They can help you with your case in many ways, including finding evidence and advocating for fair compensation after a negligent driver or trucking company ignored medical issues that led to your accident.
Here are some of the many ways that your truck accident lawyer can help you fight your case:
Your Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help Determine the Cause of the Accident
Getting your truck accident lawyer involved straight away can help them investigate and gather evidence for your claim. In many cases, they can find evidence that can point to an untreated medical issue causing your accident. For instance, looking at black box information from the 18-wheeler can be particularly handy. In most accidents, both parties try to avoid the accident by braking or swerving. However, someone who was incapacitated or unable to think clearly wouldn’t do these things. Things like lack of skid marks, lack of braking or maneuvering data immediately before the crash, and even witness testimony or camera footage can all be helpful for your lawyer when investigating your claim. From there, they can dig even further to find even stronger evidence for your case.
Truck Accident Lawyers Can Subpoena Records of Medical Issues
If you were to call up the trucking company and ask for employment and medical records for the truck driver, they would likely claim privacy issues and not provide you with them. However, your truck accident lawyer can subpoena these records to look for evidence of issues that led up to the accident. This can help your lawyer determine whether there was any evidence or history of medical issues or driving issues likely caused by health problems. For instance, falling asleep at the wheel in the past could point to an untreated sleep disorder.
Medical records from department of transportation required physical exams are usually kept by trucking companies as part of the employee files. However, if you act too late, then they may try to cover their tracks by destroying the records. For instance, they may ask the driver to leave and then destroy their employee file to avoid liability for any medical issues they knew about. Therefore, it’s important to act quickly with your truck accident lawyer.
Your Auto Accident Lawyer Advocates for Fair Compensation from the Trucking Company
Even with all this evidence, the trucking company may still try to avoid paying you or try to pay you a small amount. They’re usually hoping you’ll accept that and go away so they can keep their profits quite hefty. However, your truck accident lawyer is here to negotiate on your behalf and fight for fair compensation. This involves negotiating out of court with insurance adjusters and truck company representatives as well as sometimes in court through a lawsuit against the at-fault company. Whatever it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
Maida Law Firm is Here to Help you Get Maximum Compensation After an Accident
Our team at Maida Law Firm is dedicated to helping you after an accident. We help victims of car accidents, truck accidents, and other personal injury accidents get the compensation they need to recover. When you choose our team for your case, our seasoned legal professionals work endlessly to get you a fair settlement. Get in touch today for a free, confidential case evaluation.