Co-Driver Injury Truck Accidents: What to Know

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It’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. Truck 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.

If you are a truck driver and you were injured in an accident while you weren’t behind the wheel, we may be the attorneys for you. The Georgia truck accident lawyers at Fried Goldberg LLC have secured large settlements and favorable verdicts on behalf of people in your situation. We are dedicated to helping you get the best possible outcome.

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 many 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. It’s just as though you were driving another car and had been struck by the truck.

Semi truck driving down highway at dusk

Sleeper berth drivers are at risk

Though it’s supposed to be a place of rest, a sleeper berth can be a dangerous place for truck drivers. Some of the biggest risks for co-drivers in sleeper berths include:

  • Drivers failing to use proper restraints. This is a 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 driver’s seat.
Rollover truck accident in Atlanta, GA

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 who was injured because of the negligence of the driver behind the wheel, you need an experienced attorney who can fight for you. 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 Goldberg, we know these regulations. The vast majority of our caseload involves truck accidents. That’s why we’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. That’s why you need lawyers who know truck accident law. 

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 there’s an accident.

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 Goldberg LLC, we have handled many scenarios involving trucks with co-driving teams. We’ve secured millions of dollars for our clients in cases involving co-drivers.

We are one of the country’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, contact us to schedule a free consultation. There is no cost or obligation. We will listen to your story and discuss your options with you. We may be able to help.

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