Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving Causes Many Car Accidents

When drivers get sleepy behind the wheel, they are more likely to cause a bad accident because drowsy drivers lack the necessary concentration and awareness to drive safely. Moreover, a tired driver risks falling asleep at the wheel, losing complete control over their vehicle, and causing a serious and sometimes fatal accident.

You have legal options if you suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver. First, you can file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not compensate you fairly for your injuries, you can file a lawsuit in court.

In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment after your car accident, speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your accident and develop a plan of action for moving forward. In addition to investigating your accident circumstances, your lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement offer or litigate your case in court.

Ways to Avoid Sleepiness on the Road

Many drivers experience fatigue at some point, especially on long road trips.

To avoid drowsiness and accidents, drivers should take regular breaks, especially on long road trips. When a driver travels a long distance, they should stop and exit their vehicle at least once every couple of hours to clear out the cobwebs and stretch.

In addition, if a driver becomes sleepy on the road, they should consider pulling off at a rest area and taking a nap. Drivers can also avoid drowsiness by letting fresh air into their vehicles while driving.

Drowsy Truck Drivers

Sometimes truck drivers operate their tractor-trailers and big rigs while fatigued. The trucking companies that employ them often offer incentives for driving long hours. When a driver can get their cargo to its final destination ahead of schedule, the driver might receive a financial bonus from their employer.

Therefore, many drivers will try and stay awake for long hours. They may even resort to drugs to keep them awake. However, these substances often have the opposite effect and make the truck driver drowsy. If a driver cannot focus or falls asleep at the wheel, they can cause a severe accident with another vehicle or a pedestrian in the vicinity.

If a fatigued truck driver caused the accident in which you suffered injuries, you might have a valid legal claim against the negligent driver and the trucking company that employs them.

Accidents that Result from Fatigued Driving

Drowsy Driving Causes Many Car Accidents

If a tired driver loses control of their vehicle, they may negligently cause an accident that leaves others seriously injured. Some of the most common accidents that result from fatigued driving include:

Rear-end accidents

A rear-end accident happens when the front of one vehicle collides with the rear of another vehicle. The responsible driver might be falling asleep or ignoring the road, negligently causing the accident. The force of a rear-end impact might cause the accident victim’s body to strike something in the vehicle, such as the headrest, steering wheel, door frame, window, or dashboard, or jerk the accident victim’s body forward and backward abruptly, leading to a whiplash injury.

T-bone accident

A T-bone accident, or broadside collision, happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle moving in an adjacent direction. These accidents are common at traffic intersections but can also occur when drivers negligently merge onto a highway. When a driver is tired, they may inadvertently violate traffic laws and regulations, including stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights. Fatigued drivers often experience an inability to concentrate and impaired judgment. A broadside collision may cause a vehicle on the receiving end to overturn or spin around, depending upon the impact force.

Sideswipe accidents

A sleepy driver might negligently cause their vehicle to drift into another travel lane. When that happens on a multilane highway, a sideswipe accident can occur. These accidents may lead to severe property damage and personal injuries for the vehicle occupants.

Head-on collisions

A head-on collision happens when the fronts of two vehicles moving in opposite directions strike one another. These accidents are more widespread on dual-lane highways, with one travel lane in each direction. A tired driver who falls asleep at the wheel might negligently cause their vehicle to cross over a median strip or double yellow line, causing a head-on collision. Fatalities can occur when a head-on accident occurs at high speed.

If you or someone you love suffered injuries in one of these accidents, you should immediately speak with a car accident lawyer. Your lawyer can prepare a personal injury claim on your behalf and send it to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company adjuster accepts fault for the accident, your lawyer can begin settlement discussions and work to obtain favorable monetary compensation for your injuries.

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What Types of Injuries Occur in Fatigued Driving Accidents?

Victims of car accidents that result from fatigued driving can suffer numerous injuries. If you believe you suffered injuries in a car accident, obtain same-day medical treatment at a local urgent care center or hospital emergency room. Many injury symptoms do not manifest until days, and sometimes weeks, after the accident. Therefore, you want to undergo a physical examination, MRI, CAT scan, or x-ray, if necessary, so that a healthcare provider can accurately diagnose your medical condition.

Some of the most common injuries that fatigued driving accident victims suffer include traumatic head injuries, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, internal injuries, cuts, bruises, paralysis injuries, spinal cord injuries, and death.

In addition to seeking same-day medical treatment, you should obtain any medical treatment that the emergency room doctor recommends. For example, you may need to follow up with your primary care doctor or a medical specialist to continue treatment.

Gaps in medical treatment and failing to seek same-day medical treatment often cause insurance company adjusters to become skeptical. Suppose an adjuster notices these gaps in your medical records. In that case, they will likely believe that your injuries were not all that serious or that you did not make your medical treatment a priority following your accident. Therefore, they will unlikely make a favorable offer to settle your case. Treating early and often for your injuries is typically the best way to increase your chances of recovering the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries.

While you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer can start handling the legal components of your personal injury claim. First, your lawyer can prepare a settlement demand letter to forward to the insurance company adjuster. In addition, your lawyer can gather up your lost wage documents, medical reports, photographs of injuries, pictures of property damage, and victim impact statements and forward those documents to the adjuster after you complete your treatment. At that point, settlement negotiations may begin, and your lawyer can aggressively advocate for favorable compensation on your behalf.

Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit against a Fatigued Driver

When a tired car or truck driver causes an accident in which you suffer injuries, your lawyer can help you pursue a personal injury claim for damages. When your lawyer files a claim on your behalf, the insurance company adjuster will review all of the claim paperwork including your medical records, police report, photos, and lost wage documents, and determine whether to accept fault for the accident. If the adjuster admits to liability, your lawyer will aggressively fight for your right to recover the monetary compensation you need.

Although monetary damages are a poor substitute for the loss of enjoyment of life or loss of the ability to use a body part, they are the only means of compensating accident victims for their personal injuries. If the adjuster refuses to pay you fairly after several rounds of settlement negotiations, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and pursue the damages you deserve through litigation.

Most car accident claims settle at some point during litigation. However, if the case still does not resolve when litigation ends, the parties may take their case to a jury trial where the jury members will decide all disputed issues. The parties may also consider alternative dispute resolution options, like mediation and binding arbitration, as a fair means of resolving the claim.

What Damages Can I Recover in my Fatigued Driving Accident Case?

To recover monetary damages for your accident-related injuries, you must satisfy the legal elements of your claim. First, you must demonstrate that another driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, the driver might have fallen asleep at the wheel or violated some traffic law or regulation that led to your car accident. In addition, you must show that you suffered at least one injury in the accident and that your injury directly resulted from the crash.

Proving the legal elements of a car accident claim is sometimes an uphill battle. Therefore, an accident victim’s lawyer may need to retain one or more experts who can help. Suppose the insurance company disputes fault or liability in your car accident case.

In that case, your lawyer may need to retain an accident reconstructionist who can review the police report, speak with eyewitnesses, and understand precisely how the crash occurred. Eyewitnesses can also offer favorable testimony in fatigued driving accident cases at deposition and trial. For instance, they allege that a driver swerved or veered off the road while driving, suggesting they were either intoxicated or fatigued.

In addition, your lawyer may need to retain a medical expert to testify in court on your behalf. A medical expert is typically a treating doctor or a provider who performs a permanency evaluation on the accident victim following the crash. Car accident lawyers use medical experts to causally connect an accident victim’s claimed injuries to the accident.

They also use medical experts to establish that an accident victim suffered a permanent injury in their crash. A permanent injury is not likely to improve with time. Permanent injuries may also cause the accident victim to experience pain, suffering, and other symptoms for the rest of their life.

The damages that car accident victims suffer vary significantly from case to case. Moreover, the types and amounts of damages available to an accident victim will depend upon the severity of their injuries, the extent of their injuries, and the amount of pain, suffering, and inconvenience they previously endured or will likely persist.

Potential damages in car accident claims and lawsuits include compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, past and future pain and suffering, inconvenience, humiliation, loss of life enjoyment, loss of the ability to use a body part, permanent disability, and loss of spousal companionship and support. Your lawyer will do everything possible to help you maximize the compensation you recover in your case through settlement or litigation.

Michael Hoosein - Attorney for Car Accidents near Edmonton, AB area
Car Accident Lawyer, Michael Hoosein

Time is of the essence if you suffered injuries in a car accident resulting from fatigued driving. Accident victims only have two years after their car crash to file a claim or lawsuit seeking damages. Therefore, talk to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Drowsy driving accidents are more common than you think. Accident victims almost always get larger settlements when a lawyer represents them. Your lawyer can file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf within the statutory deadline, safeguarding your right to monetary recovery.

Your lawyer can then aggressively fight for your interests and pursue the damages you deserve.

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