Itâ€™s common for tractor-trailers to be driven by a pair of drivers, with one person at the wheel while the other rests after hours of driving.
Accidents involving tractor-trailers can be complicated enough with one driver. When you add a co-driver to the mix, the accident can become more difficult to sort out.Â
If there is a truck accident involving a truck-driving team, the driver who is in the sleeper berth is often hurt more badly than the driver behind the wheel. A co-driver resting in the sleeper berth is practically never liable in a truck accident.
In most cases, the drivers are independent contractors hired by a trucking company. This means the co-driver who was injured and not at fault can sue the driver and the trucking company if they are negligent. Itâ€™s just as though you were driving another car and had been struck by the truck.
If you are a truck driver and you were injured in an accident while you werenâ€™t behind the wheel, we may be the attorneys for you. The Georgia truck accident lawyers at Fried Rogers Goldberg have secured large settlements and favorable verdicts on behalf of people in your situation. You should give us a call today at (404) 591-1800.
There is never any cost or obligation to speak with an attorney at Fried Rogers Goldberg.
Sleeper Berth Drivers at Risk
Though itâ€™s supposed to be a place of rest, a sleeper berth can be a dangerous place for truck drivers. As detailed in an article at FleetOwner.com, a recent study by the University of Kentuckyâ€™s College of Public Health detailed what are some of the biggest risks for co-drivers in sleeper berths. They include:
- Drivers failing to use proper restraints. This was the main cause of serious injury and death to drivers in sleeper berths.
- The very location of the sleeper berth in the cab. A driver is at higher risk of injury or death when he or she is in the sleeper berth rather than the driverâ€™s seat, the study said.
The study went on to say that restraints in sleeper berths are not used nearly as much as they should be. This study shows that itâ€™s clear more needs to be done to keep drivers in sleeper berths safe, and sheds light on how dangerous this job can be.
Challenges In Determining Fault For a Trucking Accident
After an accident, a lengthy investigation will start. Investigators will look at what happened: why, how and, most importantly, who was responsible. The cause of the crash is often not obvious.
If you were a co-driver was injured because of the negligence of the driver behind the wheel, you need to get an attorney. Your lawyer will conduct a separate investigation of the accident to get the facts needed to build a strong case.
We vigorously investigate accidents that hurt our clients. One of our attorneys, Joe Fried, is a former police officer who has been on the scene of accidents more times than he can remember. We document evidence. We consult with experts. We review police reports and medical records. We read witness statements and interview other witnesses.
Truck accident cases can be lengthy and hard to prove because they also involve layers upon layers of federal rules and regulations. At Fried Rogers Goldberg, we know these regulations. Roughly 75% of our caseload involves truck accidents. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™re referred to as the Truck Accident Attorneys.
Whether you were a truck driver who was hurt or another driver on the road who was struck by a truck, you are more than likely going through a lot of physical and emotional pain. The last thing you want to do with your time is worry about the nuances of co-driver trucking regulations. Thatâ€™s why you need lawyers who know truck accident law.Â
Co-Driver Liability in a Crash
When can a co-driver resting in the sleeper berth be held legally accountable during a crash? The short answer: only if somehow the co-driver who was not driving caused or contributed to the accident. This is not likely.
A co-driver could be held responsible if it can be proven that he or she distracted the driver behind the wheel, causing the crash. A co-driver might also be legally liable if he or she knowingly allowed the other driver to get behind the wheel intoxicated and an accident results.
The co-driver cases our attorneys see most often involve a co-driver injured in a crash caused by the other truck driver.
Establishing Liability and Moving Forward With Your Case
Truck accident cases involving co-drivers can be among the most difficult to prove. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot to know about truck accident law. These accidents require in-depth investigations. A lot can be at stake financially.
Experienced attorneys can help collect what evidence is necessary, demonstrate liability and secure the best result. At Fried Rogers Goldberg, we have handled many scenarios involving trucks with co-driving teams. Weâ€™ve secured millions of dollars for our clients in cases involving co-drivers.
We are one of the countryâ€™s preeminent truck accident law firms. We have a proven reputation and record of success that is unparalleled in truck accident law. Our attorneys are nationally recognized for their dedication and results.
If you would like to discuss your accident with us, call us at (404) 591-1800 or fill out the form on this page. There is no cost or obligation. We will listen to your story and discuss your options with you. We may be able to help.