Driver fatigue is widespread, but it can be hard to prove after a car accident. The truth is, fatigued driving is as dangerous as other types of impaired driving, such as drunk or distracted driving. If a drowsy driver caused your accident, you might have severe injuries and costs.
There isn’t a driver’s test for drowsiness or fatigue. So, you will probably need help from a car accident lawyer. They can investigate your accident and start building a personal injury claim to recover your damages. Before you talk to the other driver’s insurance about the accident, consult with a lawyer.
You shouldn’t have to pay for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact John Foy & Associates today to learn your options. For a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
The Hazards of Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue happens due to lack of sleep, long work hours, or other lifestyle factors. No matter the reason, a drowsy driver is not a safe one. Fatigue can have effects similar to drunk or distracted driving.
Driver fatigue typically leads to:
- Poor reaction time
- Reduced alertness
- Clouded judgment
- Low critical thinking
- Blurred vision
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Drifting out of lanes or off the road
All of the above contribute to a hazardous situation. The driver can run off the road, merge into other lanes, fail to avoid a road hazard, run a red light, or worse. A severe crash may happen as a result.
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Risk Factors for Fatigued Driving
The following factors also make driver fatigue more likely:
- Sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea
- Overnight or long work schedules
- Commercial drivers, such as truckers
- Males between the ages of 17 and 23
- Getting too-little sleep over several days
- Monotonous tasks
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a survey showed that 37% of U.S. workers got less than seven hours of sleep. That’s a lot of people potentially on the road while sleep-deprived.
If you noticed the other driver in your accident seemed tired, talk to a lawyer. You might be able to gather evidence of the driver’s fatigue. This can help show that the other driver is responsible for your accident damages.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Fatigue is especially likely with truck drivers. Trucking companies set strict (and often unrealistic) deadlines for their workers. Truck drivers may feel encouraged to work longer and take fewer breaks.
Even when a driver follows a “normal” trucking schedule, fatigue is common. Long periods of driving can cause anyone to nog off if they aren’t careful. Tragically, truck accidents have some of the deadliest effects.
Trucks often carry hazardous materials or large merchandise. If items spill out during an accident, it can cause even worse damage. If you or a loved one were victims of a truck accident, don’t wait to discuss the details with a lawyer.
Determining Responsibility in Driver Fatigue-Related Car Accidents
All motorists must act in a way that doesn’t risk causing harm. That includes not driving while feeling drowsy or fatigued. When someone drives even though they’re tired, they have been too careless.
You have the legal right to hold a driver accountable if they cause your accident. The challenge with driver fatigue accidents is that it can be hard to prove the cause. You will need to gather evidence that the driver:
- Was fatigued or negligent in some other ways
- Caused your accident because of their fatigue
- Left you with injuries and damages from the accident.
Even if a driver didn’t mean harm, they are still liable if they cause a crash. You can seek compensation for your damages as listed under Georgia Code § 51-12-2.
You can usually file a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance company. Your claim should prove that the driver is responsible for your damages. Then, the insurance company should respond to your claim.
To get help with your claim, contact an experienced car accident lawyer. Learn more during a free consultation with John Foy & Associates. Call (404) 400-4000 to get started today.
Handling the Insurance Company
Sadly, insurance companies often take advantage of accident victims. They will offer a lowball settlement, hoping that you’ll accept it. The first offer is never enough to cover your costs, but you’ll end your case if you take it.
Never take the first settlement offer after your accident. Instead, contact a car accident lawyer to know what you deserve. Your lawyer will help by:
- Investigating and possibly reconstructing the accident
- Gathering evidence of the other driver’s actions
- Calculating your total medical costs and other damages
- Interviewing witnesses to get statements
- Communicating and negotiating with the insurance company
Our car accident lawyers know how to handle insurance companies. We are not afraid to stand up for your rights and what you deserve. While you focus on healing, we’ll handle the legal and insurance side of things.
We’re also not afraid to take your case to court. If the insurance company doesn’t offer you a fair settlement, you might file a lawsuit. If so, we’ll help you prepare for court and work to get a fair settlement along the way.
Building a driver fatigue accident case takes time and expertise. Don’t wait to get started. Reach out to a lawyer so that you can know your legal option and what you deserve.
You Have Two Years to File Your Case
In Georgia, you usually must file a personal injury case within two years of the accident. In some cases, you have even less time. At the very least, contact a lawyer today to know what you need to do to get started.
Get Help from a Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a family member suffered injuries in an accident caused by driver fatigue, you have rights.
John Foy & Associates can protect your rights and fight for the best compensation possible. We also do not charge a fee unless we win your case—so there is no risk of getting started.
Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your free consultation today.