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An untreated medical condition can cause a truck accident

Every day, hundreds of semi-trucks move in and out of Tennessee. While these massive vehicles provide a significant public service by moving goods across the state and the country, they can also be extraordinarily dangerous. A truckers who is fatigued, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent behind the wheel can cause a devastating truck accident that leaves victims with damages that can affect them for the rest of their lives. In an attempt to prevent these wrecks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented a number of safety regulations with regard to trucking.

One of these regulations is designed to prevent truckers from operating their vehicles when they have untreated medical conditions. One serious medical condition that can affect a trucker's ability to drive is sleep apnea. This condition causes sleep disruption by interfering with a sufferer's breathing. In a given night, a sleep apnea sufferer may be awoken as many as 400 times when they are unable to breathe. These disruptions can cause a trucker to become fatigued and operate his or her vehicle when they are drowsy.

The FMCSA allows truckers to continue operating their trucks if the condition is successfully treated, though. In order to be cleared, truckers must provide medical documentation of their treatment and a medical report that they have been medically cleared to drive.

Tennessee residents who are hurt in truck accidents caused by untreated medical conditions may be able to recover compensation for their losses via a personal injury lawsuit. If there is evidence a medical condition was a factor in the accident, the attorney can seek information about the trucker's medical history in pretrial discovery.

Source: FMCSA, "Driving When You Have Sleep Apnea," accessed on Jan. 13, 2017

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