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FMCSA exempts some truckers with epilepsy

Trucking is a dangerous industry, not only for truckers, but also for other motorists. A negligent trucker in Lafayette can make a mistake that puts his or her safety in danger, as well as that of drivers nearby. For example, a fatigued driver may nod off behind the wheel causing his or her truck to drift into another lane or oncoming traffic.

Another way that serious truck accidents can occur is when untreated medical conditions affect a trucker's ability to safely drive his or her truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has laid out regulations to prevent truckers from driving while their medical condition is untreated, but sometimes they make exceptions. For example, the FMCSA recently exempted over 100 truckers from regulations regarding epilepsy and seizure disorders.

Some may find this concerning, and rightly so. After all, an epilepsy sufferer may succumb to a seizure while behind the wheel and cause a devastating truck accident. However, the FMCSA's exemption requires that these truckers must remain seizure-free, provide yearly documentation of their condition from their medical provider which speaks to the condition's stability and they must undergo examination by a FMCSA-approved medical examiner.

So what happens if one of these exempted drivers causes an injurious or fatal accident? Well, if negligence played any part, then a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be justified. If the accident was caused by the trucker's medical condition, then it may well be worth looking into his or her medical records to determine if he or she was acting in compliance with any FMCSA exemptions. This can be a legally challenging project, so those who find themselves in this situation may want to seek out legal assistance.

Source: FMCSA, "Federal Register, Vol. 82, No. 8," Jan. 12, 2017

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