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Untreated sleep apnea may cause truck accidents

Even those who are attentive 99.9 percent of the time they are behind the wheel can make a serious mistake, sometimes due to a physical limitation, that results in a tragic car accident. In this respect, there are some individuals, on the other hand, that suffer from major medical conditions but are able to effectively treat it and maintain safety while driving. For yet others who suffer from an illness, they fail to address their condition and thereby increase their chances of causing an injury or even a fatal accident.

One medical condition that can put motorists in harm's way is sleep apnea. This condition disrupts a sufferer's breathing while he or she sleeps, causing him or her to wake up. The number of disruptions per night can vary from case to case, but some sleep apnea sufferers can be awoken as many as 400 times in a given night. This can lead to extreme tiredness and fatigue, which can turn an otherwise safe driver into a dangerous one.

This may be especially problematic for truckers who have to put in long hours behind the wheel. Fortunately, the FMCSA has implemented regulations to stop those who try to drive with an untreated medical condition, but this is not a sure way to prevent truck accidents related to sleep apnea from occurring. Thus, when victims suffer harm in one of these wrecks, they may need to take legal actions if they want to recoup their damages.

When seeking compensation for losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, victims may want to consider obtaining pertinent medical records from the defendant's employer or, if possible, medical provider. A qualified attorney may be able to help victims figure out how to do so and utilize that evidence to their benefit.

Source: FMCSA, "Driving When You Have Sleep Apnea," accessed on Jan. 9, 2017

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