Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer
Drowsy driving is dangerous and can lead to devastating consequences for everyone involved. Drivers can easily underestimate their ability to fight drowsy feelings and convince themselves that they can be safe behind the wheel of a car. However, that is not always the case, and many factors could affect a tired person’s ability to remain alert and safe on the road. If you sustained an injury in a car accident in Buffalo, New York, because someone chose to drive while fatigued, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other expenses related to your injury.
What Makes Driving While Drowsy Dangerous?
Drowsy driving is dangerous for many reasons. Excessive fatigue can be as mentally impairing as alcohol. Sleep deprivation and over-exhaustion make it difficult for a person to remain alert or make decisions on the road fast enough to avoid a collision. It can also impair judgment. For example, a drowsy driver may ride too closely to another driver or fail to notice road signs. Driving requires multi-tasking and attentiveness on a level that a sleepy person may struggle to maintain.
How Much Can You Receive in a Settlement From a Drowsy Driving Accident Lawsuit?
The value of any car accident settlement or award from the court depends on the damages incurred due to the accident. The more severe the accident, the more damages you may recover. These recoverable damages are compensatory, including economic and non-economic losses. An economic loss can include:
- The cost of medical expenses: hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, medical devices, rehabilitation, and future medical treatments
- Lost salary or wages: income lost from missed work, future missed work, and loss of earning ability caused by permanent or temporary disability
- Cost of property damage: the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any other property you own damaged during the accident
- Other out-of-pocket expenses: cost of transportation until your car is available, cost of childcare if you were the caregiver in the home, cost of modifications in the house to accommodate your injuries, or cost of in-home help to assist you during recovery
You can use pay stubs, recent tax information, medical bills, and other relevant receipts and estimations to prove losses. However, non-economic damages can be more challenging to prove without the help of an experienced attorney. Non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and any other mental health conditions
- Emotional distress
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of companionship if you lost a loved one
- Loss of consortium if you lost a family member
- Loss of fetus if you or a passenger was pregnant at the time
Proving non-economic damages usually requires written statements from yourself and people in your life who are close to you. You may need an attorney’s help to understand these damages’ value.
What Should You Do if You Experience an Accident With a Drowsy Driver?
The nature of a car accident is abrupt and startling. It can be challenging to gather your composure and focus. However, you can take specific steps in the immediate aftermath of a collision to collect evidence that will support your case and protect your right to compensation. The steps you take following an accident with a suspected drowsy driver include:
- Remain calm and check yourself for injuries before you make any sudden movements. Your adrenaline will begin pumping excessively immediately, which can mask pain. Therefore, the first thing you should do is assess your body for injuries.
- Contact the necessary authorities. Call 911 to get emergency responders on the scene if you suffer a severe injury. The police, emergency medical technicians, and the fire department should appear.
- Call the non-emergency police line in your area of Buffalo. If you do not need emergency medical attention, call the non-emergency line and ask to have an officer dispatched to the scene. When the officers get there, they will conduct an investigation and file an accident report. You can for a copy.
- Assess the other driver’s behavior. Pay attention to how the other driver behaves and look for signs of fatigue or drowsiness. For example, a tired person will constantly blink or rub their eyes and have bags underneath. They may appear overly irritable and struggle to remember what happened leading up to the collision. Do they have trouble paying attention or continue to doze off as you wait for the police?
- Document the scene. Take photos of the position of the vehicles and the damage to both. Include pictures of the area, especially the road. No signs of tire marks could indicate that the driver was asleep at the time of the crash. Include photos of your visible injuries as well.
- See your doctor. You may feel fine immediately after the accident, but you could still have internal injuries or soft tissue damage not yet showing symptoms. Seeing your doctor as soon as possible will help you get ahead of any invisible injuries and provide you with tangible evidence of your bodily injuries in the form of medical records.
The final step in the aftermath of a car accident is to contact a drowsy driving accident lawyer. Proving liability can be complicated, and an attorney will have access to resources that you do not. In addition, with legal representation, you may have a better chance of receiving a fair settlement.
How Can a Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer in Buffalo, New York Help You?
You can choose to represent yourself in negotiations and court for a car accident lawsuit. However, you could also hire legal representation at no upfront cost. Personal injury attorneys in Buffalo handle drowsy driving cases often and understand the financial burden you face when you need medical care for injuries and miss work during your recovery. In an effort to offer support without contributing to the financial obligations, personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means they will take your case with the confidence that they can secure a fair settlement for your outside of court. They opt only to get paid if you get paid.
Additionally, a personal injury attorney specializing in drowsy or fatigued driving will protect your rights as you navigate the complex legal process. They will also collect the necessary evidence to prove the driver that caused your accident was drowsy at the time using relevant subpoenas and opinions from experts, such as car accident reconstructionists. They have access to resources and an understanding of the laws in New York that apply to your case, making legal representation an invaluable asset to your lawsuit. Additionally, they handle all this work for you, so you can spend this time focusing on your physical and mental recovery rather than fighting with insurance companies.
If you suffered an injury in a car accident because someone chose to get behind the wheel while drowsy, the team of legal experts at Cellino Law could help you get the compensation you deserve. We have team members available anytime you have questions or concerns about your case, and we take our jobs as legal representatives seriously. Contact Cellino Law today for a free case evaluation. We are ready to hear the details of your case and get to work immediately.