The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that truck drivers take regular breaks to avoid fatigue. In most cases, drivers spend 14 hours working, but can only drive for 11 hours within that 14-hour shift. Then, they must take 10 hours off duty.
However, the sleeper berth provision is a complicated exception that allows drivers to essentially freeze their clock while they are on duty but not actively driving. This provision often comes in handy when a driver has arrived at a loading dock but must wait, sometimes for hours, to get their load and continue driving.
When truck drivers fail to get adequate rest, serious truck crashes and injuries can happen. If you have been in a truck accident, an attorney from Blackburn Romey can determine whether a violation of the sleep berth provision—or another form of negligence—caused the collision.
Even truck drivers may struggle to fully grasp the details of the sleeper berth provision. As the FMCSA explains, drivers can combine time spent in their cab’s sleeper berth with other off-duty time in order to reset their on-duty clock.
In other words, drivers do not have to be off duty for 10 consecutive hours. So long as they can spend at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and then spend another three hours off-duty during the qualifying time frame, the sleeper berth provision applies.
As truck accident victims, you do not need to be intimately familiar with the details of the sleeper berth provision. However, your lawyer may need to be.
When a truck driver must simply work 14 hours on and ten hours off, the formula is simple enough. However, when a truck driver begins trying to navigate the complexities of the sleep berth provision, they may:
In any of these cases, a driver may increase the risk that they will cause an accident. The FMCSA enforces hours of service regulations for a reason, and that is to reduce the risk of tired or overworked drivers causing accidents.
If a truck driver misused the sleeper berth provision, they might have knowingly or unknowingly increased the odds of an accident. If such an accident caused harm to you or a loved one, Blackburn Romey can work to get money to cover your damages.
Hours of service regulations are just one of the many rules that truckers and their employers must abide by. In order to remain compliant with federal regulations and the basic demands of the duty of care, truck drivers must:
Trucking companies also have a great responsibility. Some general duties of trucking companies include:
Truckers and their employers know the stakes of negligence. When truckers or their employers cause accidents, lives are at risk. Therefore, there is no excuse for flouting regulations or otherwise putting others in harm’s way.
Motorists are the leading cause of traffic accidents. Though vehicle defects, weather conditions beyond a driver’s control, and other hazards sometimes cause truck collisions, drivers far and away pose the greatest risk of a truck accident.
Truck drivers may increase the likelihood of causing an accident by:
Truck drivers must exercise the utmost caution at all times, as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explains that passenger vehicle occupants are far more likely to suffer serious injuries in a truck accident.
When a truck driver causes a truck accident, their employer is typically liable as well. Each truck accident warrants a careful examination by an experienced truck accident attorney. A lawyer from Blackburn Romey will gather all relevant facts and determine who owes you compensation for your damages.
Regardless of the details of your truck accident, it is worth speaking with a lawyer. An attorney may advise you to pursue an insurance claim or a lawsuit, and our firm can assist you in either process.
Our firm will take essential (but potentially difficult) processes off of your hands, including:
There are many other tasks that we will handle in order to complete your case. From making phone calls to drafting paperwork and protecting you from insurers, we will handle the duties that your case requires.
Recoverable damages are unique to each motor vehicle accident victim, but common damages among truck accident victims include:
Tragically, truck accidents also cause a disproportionate number of wrongful deaths. Those who lose a loved one in a truck accident may deserve compensation for funeral expenses, grief counseling, lost companionship and guidance, lost financial support, and other damages.
Our firm ensures that nobody misses out on legal representation because of their financial circumstances. Blackburn Romey:
There is no out-of-pocket financial risk when you hire a lawyer from Blackburn Romey. We take the financial risk, and we receive a percentage of any money that we secure for you. This way, all parties can win benefit from our partnerships.
You may have a brief time to file your case. Indiana imposes a statute of limitations for truck accident cases, so we need to work quickly to get you compensation. Reach out to Blackburn Romey as soon as possible to complete your free consultation.