Imagine you are driving down Interstate 85 late one afternoon when seemingly out of nowhere, a huge truck in the opposite lane comes barreling over the median and smashes into your vehicle. You, your car and your future can be completely destroyed in a matter of seconds.
Sadly, this type of accident happens all too often despite the fact that it can typically be prevented. This is because collisions like this can be linked to medical conditions suffered by a trucker that were concealed from the Department of Transportation.
A recent report by CBS News examined this troubling trend of truckers hiding or lying about treatment for medical conditions that would disqualify them from operating a commercial vehicle.
A person who suffers from conditions that cause fatigue, vision impairment, seizures, blackouts and loss of consciousness can be prohibited from operating commercial vehicles because of the demands the position has on a person. Long hours, complex operating procedures and the requirement to comply with strict state and federal regulations can present difficulties for people with certain limitations, so there are people lie about these medical conditions in favor of getting a job.
According to CBS News, prospective commercial operators can fail to properly disclose information about their conditions by leaving it out altogether or claiming they are undergoing treatment even if they are not. Unfortunately, these failures are often not revealed until after an unfit driver has caused a tragic accident.
The report also found that there is very little data on crashes involving medical conditions, making it quite likely that the problem is even worse than people realize. According to the data that is available, in one year alone, roughly 400 accidents involved a commercial driver impaired by a medical condition.
With all this in mind, victims of commercial vehicle accidents should take very seriously their right to seek legal support in the aftermath of these crashes. Should it be uncovered that a trucker was medically unfit to be driving or otherwise negligent, victims and their families can be eligible to receive compensation for damages.