Car Driver Fatigue

Car Driver Fatigue

Driving is an activity that requires a high level of alertness, concentration, and physical coordination. When fatigue sets in, however, these vital capabilities quickly diminish, making the roads a perilous place not just for weary drivers but for everyone else traveling around them. Car driver fatigue is a serious issue and a factor in thousands of road accidents in the United States each year.

Many individuals might not realize that when a fatigued driver causes an accident, victims have the right to seek legal recourse for the injuries and damages they have suffered. If you are seeking justice for car accident victims suffering from driver fatigue. Our experienced car accident lawyers fight for your rights and fair compensation. Contact us today.

Understanding Driver Fatigue

Man and Woman in a car, struggling to stay awake and yawn while holding the wheel, illustrating driver fatigue and drowsy driving.

According to a report from Bankrate, drowsy driving results in around 100,000 motor vehicle accidents each year, causing around 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. Driver fatigue is a contributory factor in nearly 10 percent of motor vehicle accidents and nearly 11 percent of all accidents that cause airbag deployment, injuries, and significant property damage.

Driver fatigue is more than feeling drowsy or tired while behind the wheel. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that it encompasses a state of mental and physical exhaustion that reduces a driver's alertness, impairs their ability to drive safely, and heightens the risk of accidents. Factors contributing to driver fatigue include lack of adequate sleep, driving for prolonged periods without breaks, health problems, and certain types of medication.

Fatigued drivers pose a risk both to themselves and also to other road users, including drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians. With delayed reaction times, impaired judgment, and a reduced ability to control their vehicles, fatigued drivers significantly increase the chances of a road accident.

The Sleep Foundation reports that, after 20 hours of being awake, drowsy drivers experience similar effects on their ability to operate a motor vehicle as those with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood experience. This represents the legal impairment limit for most adults.

Lawyer and client discuss lawsuit and plan legal strategy.

When a fatigue-related accident occurs, victims can sustain severe injuries that affect their quality of life and lead to substantial financial burdens due to medical bills, loss of income, and other associated costs.

The law provides a course of action for these individuals by allowing them to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party—in this case, the fatigued driver. This is where your personal injury lawyer comes into play, providing necessary legal assistance and guidance to navigate this complex process.

Seeking Compensation for the Consequences You Incurred Because of the Accident

The consequences of an accident due to driver fatigue can be devastating, leaving victims with serious injuries that can alter their lives significantly. Along with the physical pain and suffering, victims may also confront a variety of emotional and financial strains, making the aftermath of such accidents a highly distressing period.

The recovery process can be long and arduous, often involving multiple medical treatments, physical therapy, and psychological counseling on top of the potential long-term or even permanent physical consequences. The financial toll of medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost earnings, and other related expenses can add further strain, affecting the victims and their families.

The Services a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Provide

An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide several services to assist their client in obtaining the maximum compensation for the financial and psychological costs of the accident. 

The success of a personal injury case heavily relies on the evidence. A personal injury lawyer and their legal team will gather comprehensive evidence to establish the other driver's fatigue and negligence. This can include police reports and photos from the accident scene, witness statements, and medical records.

Establishing a Value for Your Claim

Your lawyer will also establish a value for your claim, taking into consideration not only the financial costs of treatment, loss of income, and property damage, but also the severity of your injury, the presence of permanent injuries that will result in expenses and lost earning capacity throughout your life, and the availability of insurance to compensate you for these impacts.

Filing the Claim and Negotiating a Settlement

Once they have valued your claim and gathered supporting documentation and evidence, your attorney will file the claim with the at-fault party's auto insurance provider.

The insurance company will assign the claim to a claims adjuster, who will evaluate the claim through the lens of saving the insurance company money by reducing or eliminating the claim's value. While they can accept or deny the claim, they often offer to settle the claim for less than its stated value. 

Settlements are generally the preferred resolution for personal injury claims, as they help all parties avoid the expense of litigation.

Litigation if Necessary

Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance provider to create a settlement agreement that fairly compensates you for the financial and psychological consequences of your injury.

If the insurer fails to produce a fair settlement offer, however, you have another option to seek compensation by filing your claim as a legal complaint—a lawsuit—so that a judge or jury can hear the case and decide on liability and compensation.

Affording an Attorney After a Car Accident Involving a Fatigued Driver

Walter H. Emroch - Virginia Car Accident Attorney & Partner
Walter H. Emroch (Retired), Car Accident Attorney

The personal injury claims process is incredibly complex and requires extensive legal knowledge.

While many people understand that having an attorney can help them get the compensation they need through the process, many hesitate to hire an attorney because they don't think they can afford one; however, lawyers who handle personal injury claims for those who have suffered injuries due to car driver fatigue keep their services affordable to everyone by using a contingent fee billing method.

Through this method, the lawyer's pay is contingent upon a successful outcome to your claim. Instead of charging a retainer or hourly fee while your case is active, Our team of skilled personal injury attorneys is dedicated to maximizing your compensation. We only get paid when you win – a percentage of your award upon successful resolution. Your victory is our priority. Contact us today for experienced legal advocacy.

Walter Emroch

Partner, Retired

Author's Bio

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If you have been injured because of someone elses negligence, contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. For your convenience, Emroch & Kilduff has two office locations in Virginia: Richmond and Tappahannock.

Contact our offices today online or by calling (804) 358-1568 to schedule a free consultation, discuss the details of your injury, and determine the best path forward given your individual circumstances.

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