Truck drivers cause tragic truck accidents for many reasons. One important reason that is sometimes overlooked is the trucker’s medical conditions, which can significantly increase the risk of a serious crash. If you or a family member were injured in a truck collision, you need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney who can conduct a thorough investigation into the trucker’s health and why the wreck happened.
Medical Conditions That Can Affect a Trucker’s Driving Abilities
Trucking companies have a duty to ensure that their truck drivers do not have serious health conditions that put other motorists and their passengers in danger of being injured or killed in an accident. This duty includes requiring the trucker to undergo a physical and obtain a medical certification that they are fit to drive a truck before hiring them. Unfortunately, some trucking companies in need of drivers let these rules slide or overlook their employees’ medical conditions even when they know they pose a danger.
Trucking is a sedentary job, and the long hours of driving and living on the road while making deliveries can increase a truck driver’s risks of developing health problems that can make them an unsafe driver. In addition, truckers tend to eat poorly and not exercise as much as they should. Here are three common health problems that can cause or contribute to a truck accident:
- Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can cause a trucker to become drowsy or fall asleep at the wheel. The problem can be even worse for a trucker while on the road because their sleep schedule is irregular and they are sleeping in their truck.
- Epilepsy. Epilepsy is a medical condition that causes seizures, and many people who suffer from it do not respond to treatments. If a trucker has a sudden seizure while driving, the results can be catastrophic for victims of the crash.
- Heart attacks. While a heart attack can come on suddenly, some truckers are at higher risk of causing a collision if they have had more than one heart attack.
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure is another medical condition that can impact a trucker’s driving abilities. Drivers who suffer from it are supposed to get physicals every three to six months under federal regulations, but trucking companies do not always follow this rule.
Other health problems that can lead to a truck accident include:
- Addiction to drugs
How an Attorney Can Help
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the truck driver and trucking company will admit that the trucker’s medical conditions caused your crash. An experienced truck accident attorney can send the trucking company a spoliation letter advising them not to destroy evidence and requesting the driver’s employment and medical records. Your lawyer can also fight so that you receive all the compensation you deserve in your settlement. To find out how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.