There is a steadily growing problem with truck driver fatigue in this country. Too many drivers are hauling loads long distances without taking time to stop and rest. Granted, the deadlines given to the truck drivers are a contributing problem, with most drivers being forced to drive on little sleep just to make it to their destinations on time. Falling asleep at the wheel is no excuse for fatally wounding other drivers on the road. If a loved one has died because a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, you can (and should) sue. Here is how.
Hire a Truck Accident Attorney
You cannot pursue a lawsuit for a deceased family member on your own. Only a lawyer can do that. Ergo, you will need to hire a truck accident lawyer to file the correct paperwork to pursue the lawsuit, with you as the representative of the deceased's interests in the case.
Getting the Dash-Cam Evidence
Most trucking companies now require that drivers have dash cameras when the drivers are working. It prevents theft and holds drivers accountable for actions taken on the job that should not have been taken. It also catches evidence of less-than-professional behavior and drivers who fall asleep on the job.
If the driver in question had a dash-cam in his/her truck, your lawyer can access that footage via the "discovery process." This is a legally binding court process whereby lawyers are required to share the documentation they have that shows who did what and who is responsible. Even if the truck driver's lawyer refuses, your lawyer can force the issue through other court processes.
Filing the Lawsuit and Serving the Truck Driver
Your lawyer will file the lawsuit for you and arrange a court date. Then the driver has to be served with court papers. Even if the driver is not a resident of your state, he/she has to appear, or the judge will find in your favor for most everything you have requested.
In addition to suing the driver, you may want to include the company for which the driver works. The company is the one party responsible for placing the deadlines on the driver that caused him/her to drive without rest and fall asleep at the wheel. As your lawyer may see it (and as the court may see it as well), the imposition of an impossible delivery deadline is the company's fault, and the company owes your family some compensation, too.
For more information, contact your local truck accident attorney.