It is a latent problem in the professional driving industry. When a professional driver has sleep apnea, they build up a sleep debt. This debt grows and is exacerbated by their typical work schedules and work requirements.
Houston, TX (PRWEB) May 23, 2017
The Texas Trial Lawyers Association has invited Kevin Haynes, a personal injury lawyer at Zehl & Associates, to speak on sleep apnea and driver fatigue at its Midyear Conference in Austin on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Having successfully handled and obtained record-setting verdicts and settlements in numerous truck and bus accident cases involving fatigue and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Mr. Haynes hopes to educate and encourage plaintiff’s attorneys to look more closely at sleep apnea and driver fatigue as causal factors in commercial driver cases
“It is a latent problem in the professional driving industry. When a professional driver has sleep apnea, they build up a sleep debt. This debt grows and is exacerbated by their typical work schedules and work requirements. Eventually, the commercial driver falls into a perpetual state of fatigue and becomes a risk, not just to themselves, but to everyone else on the road.” Haynes said.
Just last year, Ryan Zehl and Mr. Haynes won a $6 million settlement on behalf of five passengers injured in a 2013 rollover crash of a greyhound bus (Cause No. CC-13-05789-C, County Court at Law No. 3 - Dallas County, Texas). By obtaining the first court ordered sleep study of a commercial driver in the state, Mr. Zehl and Mr. Haynes were able to prove that the bus driver had been suffering from moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, leading him to fall asleep at the wheel.
Sleep deprivation, fatigue, and sleep apnea contribute to far more commercial motor vehicle accidents than realized. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, OSA affects at least 25 million adults in the United States, including more than 20 percent of commercial truck and bus drivers.
“Given the prevalence of fatigue, OSA and other sleep disorders, it’s critical that we encourage more analysis and scrutiny of the commercial driver’s medical conditions at the time of any collision where fatigue is a potential contributing cause.”
TTLA has been instrumental in educating both attorneys, as well as legislatures and voters, on issues that regularly affect our rights and safety. It’s an honor to help contribute to the organization’s and plaintiff bar’s efforts to further improve safety for the motoring public.” Haynes said.
About Zehl & Associates:
Zehl & Associates is a personal injury law firm that represents clients across the country who were seriously injured or killed in offshore accidents, bus and truck accidents, refinery and plant explosions, and other catastrophic accidents. In the past five years alone, the firm has won over $750 million for its clients, including the largest accident verdicts and settlements in Texas and in their opponent’s corporate histories.