According to statistics from the state Department of Transportation, drowsy driving accounted for 2,652 traffic crashes and 18 deaths in Alabama in a recent year. Nationwide, nearly 700 traffic deaths in the U.S. were attributed to fatigued drivers. Clearly, U.S. motorists tend to remain behind the wheel much longer than they should.
Drowsy driving is preventable. But when motorists ignore the signs of fatigue or push their body’s sleep limits, the chances of an accident increase dramatically.
If you’ve been hurt in a crash because of fatigued driver in Alabama, the law allows you to hold the responsible driver liable for their recklessness through a personal injury claim. A successful claim can provide compensation for your accident-related losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, and more.
However, proving that someone was driving while tired in Alabama is not simple. Usually, the crash wakes them up. By the time an investigating officer gets to the scene, it may be difficult to tell that the driver was fatigued unless they admit to it. That’s why it’s smart to get help from a Phenix City drowsy driving lawyer.
Contact Bence Law Firm, LLC today. Our team of dedicated car accident attorneys can perform a detailed investigation of the case and gather evidence to prove that a fatigued driver caused your accident. With in-depth knowledge of the latest discoveries in sleep science and accident reconstruction, we can build a solid case for maximum compensation for you. Call or contact us online today for a free consultation.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Traffic safety and public-health experts agree that drowsy driving statistics underestimate the true scope of the problem. Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provide the most reliable estimates. According to NHTSA, around 3,662 fatal crashes could be attributed to drowsy driving during a recent five-year period. In a single year alone, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved fatigued drivers. Of those collisions, 50,000 people suffered injuries and 800 died.
Drowsy driving puts everyone in harm’s way. Excessive sleepiness may result in:
- Impaired concentration and judgment
- Falling asleep while driving
- Delayed reaction time
- Irritability and driver aggression
- Distracted driving
- Nodding off and micro-sleep
What to Do After a Drowsy Driving Accident
The aftermath of any car accident involving a drowsy driver can be confusing and traumatizing. Knowing what to do can give you some peace of mind while coping with such an unexpected and stressful situation.
- Seek medical attention: Call 911 and get evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Insurance companies typically require you to be seen within a reasonable amount of time to make a valid claim.
- Document the scene: Take photos and videos of the crash site, your injuries, damage to the vehicles, and any other evidence that seems relevant. Visual evidence can provide highly compelling evidence, especially if video footage shows the driver asleep while driving.
- Talk to witnesses: If bystanders or other motorists witnessed the accident, get their contact information if you can. Witness testimony can help strengthen your case later.
- Consult with a drowsy driving lawyer: An knowledgeable drowsy driving lawyer in Phenix City will conduct a full investigation of the accident to determine what happened.
- File a claim: Once the investigation is complete, your attorney will file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This is the first step towards settlement negotiations. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can file a drowsy driving lawsuit and take your case to court.
Tips to Avoid Driving While Fatigued in Alabama
Consider following these tips to prevent fatigued driving:
- Get plenty of rest: Get a good night’s sleep before driving. Sleep experts recommend that most adults get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. The better rested you are, the less likely you are to suffer from drowsiness on the road.
- Avoid alcohol: Not only does alcohol impair your judgment and limit your ability to concentrate, but it also can make you sleepy. A combination of drunk and drowsy driving is a recipe for disaster.
- Avoid night driving: Peak sleepiness typically occurs between midnight and 6 a.m.
- Know your limits: You know yourself better than anyone else. If you haven’t gotten enough sleep, don’t drive. If you get sleepy, stop.
When to Contact a Lawyer After a Fatigued Driver Car Accident
Reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible after a drowsy driving accident. In Alabama, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the at-fault driver. However, strong evidence is necessary to prove your case. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can begin collecting the proof you need to support your claim.
If the two-year statute of limitations runs out, you likely forfeit your ability to seek compensation through a lawsuit. Put a drowsy driving accident lawyer on the case right away to get the process started immediately.
Once you hire a lawyer, you can sit back and focus on recovering from your injuries. A Phenix City drowsy driving attorney can manage all negotiations with the insurance company, collect and organize the evidence to build a cohesive claim, and defend you if the insurer tries to pin the blame for the accident on you.
A Phenix City Drowsy Driving Attorney Can Help
You shouldn’t have to suffer financially because of a fatigued driver’s negligence. If you were hurt in a collision with a tired driver, get a Phenix City drowsy driving lawyer from Bence Law Firm, LLC on your side. You can count on us to fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
We serve clients in Phenix City, Smiths Station, Salem, Auburn, Opelika, Pittsview, Eufaula, Valley, Tuskegee, Troy, and the surrounding communities. Contact us today for a free consultation.