Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer
Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Therefore, choosing to drive when tired is negligent behavior. When that behavior results in an accident, the victims have a right to seek compensation for any losses incurred, whether it is property damage, bodily injury, or the loss of a loved one. If you recently suffered because someone else chose to operate a vehicle while drowsy, you may benefit from speaking to a car accident attorney specializing in drowsy driving today.
What Are the Dangers of Driving While Drowsy?
Drowsiness can come from many factors, including sleep deprivation, certain medications, sleep disorders, drinking alcohol, or the time of day. Each of those things has in common that a person is aware of their condition before deciding to operate a vehicle, making them liable for an accident should one occur. The dangers of drowsy driving include:
- The person can experience microsleeps in which they fall asleep for a few seconds at a time. In those few seconds, a dangerous collision can occur.
- The person may be physically awake but mentally impaired from sleep deprivation, making it difficult to make snap judgments or properly assess risks on the road.
- Drowsiness can make someone more susceptible to distractions while driving. For example, a drowsy driver may struggle to avoid staring too long at physical distractions or cognitively dissociating while driving.
One can easily assume they are okay to drive when drowsy, especially when they only need to go a short distance, but an accident can occur at any time. Furthermore, drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road, and violating that duty of care should result in holding them responsible.
How Can You Prove Someone Drove While Drowsy?
Finding supporting evidence that someone chose to drive while drowsy can be challenging but not impossible. However, it requires a level of astuteness. Some signs you can look for in a fatigued driver include:
- Seeing the driver slumping over or bobbing their head inside the vehicle before the crash
- Appearing irritable
- Having difficulty paying attention when you talk
- Yawning constantly
- Having red eyes with bags underneath them
- Rubbing or blinking their eyes constantly
- Moving very slowing
If you suspect the driver that caused your accident was drowsy, ask them to explain what happened leading up to the crash. A drowsy driver will struggle to remember the moments before the collision if they fell asleep right before it happened.
Other Evidence an Attorney Would Use
An experienced drowsy driving accident lawyer knows what to look for to identify a drowsy driver. For example, they may subpoena medical records to look for any evidence of a sleep disorder, such as insomnia, narcolepsy, or sleep apnea, or medications that can cause drowsiness. Other forms of evidence include:
- Proof of changing shifts at work that could disrupt sleep patterns
- Proof that the driver has a history of getting pulled over by police for suspected drowsy driving
- Proof the driver attends a nighttime education program, which is typical for adults who return to higher education later in life
- Proof that the defendant was not alert at the time of the collision could surface during a car accident reconstruction specialist’s investigation
Social media is an excellent source of evidence. People post about their lives regularly, and posts are time-stamped. Your attorney can correlate pictures from a night out with phone records and spending history to show that the defendant was awake for a long time before the accident. A benefit of hiring a car accident attorney is they have access to more resources to help you collect evidence to support your claim.
What Are the Potential Damages in a Drowsy Driving Accident Case?
The compensatory damages in a personal injury lawsuit are the losses you can recover from the at-fault party. They refer to the specific and general damages characterized by the tangibility of evidence. For example, specific damages can include:
- The cost of medical care for your injuries, including emergency medical expenses, hospital visits and stays, follow-up doctor visits, prescription medications, and rehabilitative treatment
- The lost income resulting from hours missed at work and future missed work
- The lost income from a disability that damaged your capacity to perform the job you had before the accident
- The repair of your vehicle or replacement should it be irreparable
- All other expenses you incurred to accommodate your injuries, such as remodeling your home to make it more accessible or hiring staff to help you handle work at home that you can no longer do on your own
The general damages, also known as non-economic damages, cover your accident’s mental and emotional effects. For example, you can seek compensation for the physical pain and suffering caused by your injury. Additionally, you can recover damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of your ability to enjoy your life the same as you did before, and disfigurement.
Evidence To Support Damages
The evidence needed to support specific and general damages includes:
- Medical bills and estimates for future treatments
- Pay stubs and tax returns to prove lost income
- Estimations or statements from a mechanic
- Written statements from you and your friends and family to prove a change in your mental state following the accident
As the party filing a claim, you must provide the supporting evidence. This part of the legal process can be tedious. However, if you hire an attorney, they will handle most of the evidence collection for you.
Should You Consider Hiring a Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer in Rochester, New York?
New York law states that you have the right to represent yourself in a car accident case, but you may find it beneficial to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. They will handle all communications for you and advise you of your rights throughout the legal process. In New York, you have three years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in a car accident case. If you miss that deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case without review. With the help of an attorney, you can ensure you have all the paperwork properly filed with the court so you have a fair chance to receive a settlement or award.
Some other ways a car accident lawyer specializing in drowsy driving can help you include:
- They begin negotiating for a settlement right away. As a result, most car accident cases settle before going to court.
- They prepare your case for court should the insurance company fail to offer a fair settlement.
- They collect evidence of your claim and damages for you.
- They function as friendly support while you physically and mentally recover from your injuries.
- They work on a contingency basis, meaning their pay comes from your settlement because the last thing you need is to add to your financial burden.
As you navigate this difficult time in your life, the team of experienced drowsy driving accident lawyers at Cellino Law are here to offer legal expertise and kind support. We prioritize your client’s needs above all else and are available to answer your questions or ease your concerns at any time. You do not need to face this struggle alone. Contact Cellino Law today for a free case evaluation. Let us help you get to a fast settlement that reasonably represents the losses you endured.
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