Drowsy Driving Crashes – What Evidence Could Help Prove Your Case
Getting behind the wheel and driving while tired is a bad idea. Yet many people do it regardless of the significant risk of causing an accident. The NHTSA reports over 100,000 drowsy driving crashes every year, and approximately 1,550 deaths. Tragically, most of these collisions could likely have been prevented.
PKSD discusses car accidents caused by drowsy drivers below, including the key evidence needed to prove the other driver’s negligence.
If you or a loved one were injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver, you may greatly benefit from seeking legal help. Our experienced auto accident lawyers in Milwaukee have been helping injured victims recover compensation for decades. We have the staff and resources to seek full and fair compensation for your medical costs, lost wages and other damages.
Call 24/7 to request a FREE case review. 877-877-2228
What Makes Drowsy Driving Dangerous?
When a driver feels tired, he or she is more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. More than that, though, drowsy drivers have significantly slowed reaction times and impaired judgment. Being tired to the point of yawning, rubbing your eyes and nodding off also affects your vision. The road may look blurry or skewed, and it is much easier to miss potential hazards, other vehicles and even road signs.
All of these are serious issues that together lead to an increased risk of drivers:
- Being unable to stop in time to avoid a road hazard
- Drifting out of their lanes of traffic
- Turning into oncoming traffic
- Micro-sleeping or nodding off
- Falling asleep at the wheel
Even though people who drive while fatigued may not intend to hurt anyone, it is an act of negligence. Drivers owe others a duty of care to take reasonable steps to avoid causing an accident. Driving while drowsy has been compared to driving while drunk.
Drowsy driving does not just put tired drivers at risk. It also risks the well-being of passengers, occupants in other vehicles, pedestrians, and others sharing the road.
Drowsy driving currently ranks among the leading causes of collisions on our roads today.
What If I Get Injured After Being Hit By a Drowsy Driver?
If you were involved in a crash and suffered injuries due to another person’s drowsy driving, you should seek legal help right away. As a crash victim, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
It is important to note that the burden of proof in any injury claim falls on the crash victim. Being successful in proving a drowsy driving crash case is difficult. To have a case, you must be able to establish these key elements:
- Proving the drowsy driver owed you a duty of care while on the road.
- Establishing that the driver was drowsy at the time the collision occurred.
- Proving how the drowsy driving directly contributed to the crash, led to your injuries and resulted in damages.
How Can I Prove a Drowsy Driving Crash?
Proving this type of crash is not something we recommend doing alone. We strongly recommend seeking legal help to represent you and protect your legal interests.
A knowledgeable attorney knows what evidence you need to build a robust case, and more importantly, how to get it. This evidence could include:
If you hire an attorney, one of the first steps he or she may take is to interview credible eyewitnesses who may have seen the accident as it occurred. Eyewitness testimonies can help to provide valuable insights into the circumstances of the crash. The testimony of a credible witness carries a lot of weight because it is considered non-biased. Witness accounts may also provide critical details not provided by those involved in the accident.
Surveillance or Dash Cam Footage
Attorneys have access to legal resources that crash victims do not have. They also know how to request surveillance or dashcam footage from businesses or individuals where the accident occurred. This footage may capture the accident’s entire sequence of events. If so, it can help to provide compelling evidence to establish the drowsy driver’s negligence. However, attorneys need to act quickly to get this evidence before it is destroyed (written over) or lost.
First responding officers will investigate the scene and document key details, such as the position of the vehicles, extent of damage and general visibility. Attorneys will thoroughly examine these reports, looking for vital information that might help your case. For example, a police report that notes the absence of skid marks may indicate the driver did not try to brake. This lack of evidence is often an indication of a drowsy driver.
In personal injury cases, medical records provide critical evidence. Your attorney can help you to gather medical records that are relevant and provide documentation about your crash and subsequent injuries. These records help to establish a direct link between the accident and your injuries, which in turn, further reinforces your claim for compensation.
Social Media and Smartphone Records
Sometimes, it may be possible to find evidence of drowsy driving or sleep deprivation in the at-fault driver’s social media or smartphone activity. Your attorney will know how to collect and present this digital evidence effectively. For instance, a driver’s social media posts or smartphone records might reveal that he or she had been awake for an extended period without adequate rest.
Call PKSD To Discuss the Drowsy Driver That Caused Your Crash
In the aftermath of a drowsy driving accident, dealing with the legal process while trying to recover from your injuries can be daunting. However, there is no need to handle everything alone.
At PKSD, our legal team has extensive experience, and we are prepared to fully investigate your crash and determine if you have legal options for recovering compensation.
Seeking medical attention and legal help are the two most important steps forward in a crash victim’s physical and financial recovery.
If you have a case and choose our firm to represent you, there are no costs or fees to pay up front. We do not get paid unless we are successful with your case and you get paid.
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