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Deadly Accident Shows Trucker Drove More Hours than Legally Mandated

Fatigued big rig drivers kill a lot of people on the roads. It is downright criminal what happens in the name of interstate commerce.

This case was shocking, as it was pivotal to pending regulations to change the hours of service a trucker may put in on the road. A woman who was driving home from a family reunion was killed instantly when she and her son were hit by a triple-trailer truck. The driver drifted off to sleep behind the wheel. The consequences? The needless death of the woman and her 12-year-old son was left permanently disabled.

The trucker was sentenced to five years in prison, a fact that brings no joy to those who were left behind after her sudden, untimely death. He pled guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicle assault and one count of aggravated vehicular homicide. The story spread around the country, acting as a wakeup call for those campaigning to lower service hours on the road in the trucking industry. The group wanted 10 hours. The hours remained the same, set at 11, but they did not go up as most trucking outfits would have preferred.

Trucking for 11 hours a day is causing horrific accidents in every state, and yet, the driving force behind the industry is not to make the truckers or those on the roads with them safer, but to make more money by campaigning for even more hours. Along with going to sleep at the wheel, texting, using a cell phone or other mobile device while driving, watching a laptop movie or picking up something from the floor of the cab, all these reasons and more, are the cause of 18-wheeler accidents that maim and kill.

Big rig accidents are highly complex due to the nature of the industry and who is insured. The industry will fight tooth and nail to keep any settlements low, as that is what is best for the bottom line. Do not let an insurance company guide you in making any decisions if you have been seriously hurt in an accident. Consult with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer and get the real facts about what happens in a case like this. You will come to understand that part of the case strategy is focusing on the number of hours a trucker is behind the wheel.

It is not unheard of for truckers and their companies to falsify their service records. They do that by keeping two sets of books. More time on the road is what drives the trucking companies, as the loads are money when they are delivered on time and in good shape. If that means driving more hours in a day, then the almighty dollar dictates a trucker to keep on trucking.

This is negligence. It’s just that simple, and this is a discussion you will have with your Atlanta personal injury lawyer about what way the case will roll, why, and what arguments will be used to make a point for more compensation for injuries. While lawyers cannot restore your complete health, they can make sure you have sufficient compensation to care for yourself for the rest of your life.

Tim Anderson writes for Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert, visit Ozcomert.com.