In America, a significant number of accidents are taken place at the highways due to drivers who fell asleep while driving.
It is a very common cause of major accidents. According to “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration” around 72000 accidents were taken place due to drowsy driving in which about 41000 injuries happened along with 800 deaths in one year.
According to some experts, the number of accidents due to drowsy driving is under-reported. According to some over 6000 deaths are resulted due to this each year.
The case of driving with fatigue is the same as someone driving under influence. Even the law says that a person driving for 20 hours straight without sleep is equivalent to someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% which is the limit of intoxication in law.
According to the AAA Foundation for traffic safety, around 328000 accidents are taken place each year due to drowsy drivers and about one-third of this number are severely injured or died.
Thousands of people get injured due to the accidents caused by the driver who fell asleep while driving. These car accident victims have the right to claim for the maximum compensation for their loss with the help of a California personal injury lawyer.
Risk of Drowsiness while Driving
According to some safety surveys, a huge number of drivers admitted that they dozed off while driving. Even if the driver is not sleeping he can be affected by drowsiness in the following ways:
• He can’t pay attention to the road
• Can’t make quick decisions
• Can’t react quickly to avoid an accident
Anyone who is driving may fall asleep but mostly the drivers get to sleep while driving who:
• Don’t get enough time regularly to sleep
• Night shift drivers
• Commercial vehicle drivers like truck drivers, vans or buses, etc
• Have sleeping disorders
• Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
The sleepiness while driving can result in catastrophic accidents which can be devastating for victims.
For example, San Diego California has one of the strictest laws for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The drivers who are under the influence of drowsiness can cause their vehicle to drift out into another lane which can result in a head-on collision with the oncoming vehicle causing the deadliest type of accident. You will need a need a San Diego personal injury lawyer to help you file a lawsuit from a drunk driving related injury.
Another type of severe car accident is a T bone the accident which can be occurred when drivers don’t stop at red signal due to being under the influence of sleep and incur injuries to own self as well as others. It is important to hire a the best car accident lawyer in California to help to file a lawsuit for compensation.
Claim for Compensation:
The victim of any type of accident in which the fault is of the other driver has a right to claim for the compensation of his/her injuries, property loss or any other type of damage.
Mostly the compensation process starts with the insurance company of the driver. If you are living in some no-fault insurance city, you must ask your own insurance company for the payment of personal injuries. Med pay and Personal Injury Protection involve the payment required to cover all the expenses due to medical injuries, wages lost and out of pocket expense but the compensation for suffering and pain is not included. Whenyou are seriously injured in an auto accident, do not delay in retaining the best car San Diego car accident lawyer, to go up against the insurance company’s lawyers.
In no-fault cities, you are permitted to claim for the compensation to the other driver if you are severely injured or your PIP limit has been exceeded your expenses.
When the accident is caused by the driver of some commercial vehicle, seek the consultation of personal injury attorney instead of going directly after the compensation. Millions of dollars can be obtained from company insurance policies as compensation.
Here are some of the important terminologies used in the claim processing by the insurance company as well as the attorney:
• Negligence: Negligence means doing any wrongful and irresponsible action while driving and fail to act responsibly while being on the road. An example of negligence could be driving on the opposite direction of a one-way route/road.
• Liability: Liability means the responsibility for something. In this context, the liability implies that the driver is responsible for any kind of loss or damage incurred to the victim in the accident.
• Proximate Cause: Proximate cause means doing some action that can result in some kind of accident which could have avoided by not doing that action.
• Damage: Any kind of personal or property loss of the victim in the accident is termed as damage. It includes expenses on the medical and therapy due to injuries, any type of property loss, expenses due to services for replacement, any out of pocket expense, suffering and pain incurred to the victim due to accident.
• Duty of Care: It means you should be obliged to avoid to cause any damage to others.
Even though you saw the driver fell asleep due to which accident occurred, it is not easy to convince the insurance company and adjuster to pay you the claimed amount of compensation. You have to prove that:
• The other driver had a duty of care is on the road
• The driver broke the law by not caring about drowsiness and continue driving
• The accident happened due to the other driver’s negligence
• The injuries incurred to you are exclusively due to the accident.
How to claim injury compensation strongly:
It is not enough to just prove that accident is caused due to negligence of the other driver rather you also have to prove that your injuries are due to the accident. So, you have to gather pieces of evidence for both of these claims. Most of the evidences are obtained from the accident scene.
Gathering Evidence for the Accident Site:
Often, vehicle accidents are involving a car and a motorcycle. The motorcycle accidents resulted by the drivers under influence of drowsiness are severe and it is possible that you are not in a condition of gathering evidence but if you are able or someone else with you in better condition, you must try to collect as much evidence as possible. The best motorcycle accident lawyer can help you collect all the evidence for your lawsuit.
Unless it is necessary due to some safety concerns, try to prevent the movement of cars from the accident place because of the position of cars in themselves evidence that can tell the story of the accident.
Call 911: The first thing you should do when get involved in a car accident and you think that the driver who crashed into you is to call at 911 to ask for help by telling your location to the dispatcher, informing the injuries occurred due to accident and also report that you may think that the driver in the other car might be under influence.
Photos and Videos: Photos are the solid evidence that can be lost in case of the accident site is cleared before the arrival of police so take as many photos as possible to capture the whole scene and story of accident to be presented later in front of investigator.
Video or photograph of the other car which may include the license plate of the car, any symptoms that the driver was sleepy or under influence, any type of alcoholic bottles or beer cans due to which driver was not actively driving.
Other things that can help prove that the driver was on a long journey:
• Used cups of coffee
• No dozing medicines
• Energy drinks
• Bottles of prescription
Take pictures of anything else that you think proves that the driver has no logical reason to drift into your lane and crashed into your car.
Statement of Witnesses: It may be possible that the witnesses may not have enough time to appear in front of investigating officer on his call for the interviews. And it is a fact that witness statement can play a very important role in your claim process so in such a case, request the witnesses to give their statement in written form what they heard and saw at the accident site.
For example, in San Diego, California, witnesses are in a rush to get nowhere so avoid speaking up after a motorcycle accident. Finding the best San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer can mean winning or losing a lawsuit.
It will be a tremendous point in your favor if some witnesses saw the other driver was nodding off while driving or after the accident, such type of statement will be difficult for the other driver to deny and it will be in your favor.
Police report: The police have some special training about road accidents and they can tell after a quick review of the accident site who was at fault and who was not. So police report itself is evidence that can favor you in your claim for compensation.
After that, the police will separate the people involved in the accident and speak with them. The police will look for any symptoms found in the driver related to impairment or being under the influence.
The police officer investigating the accident prepares an official document about the accident that is called a police accident report. Information about the witnesses and driver, statements of drivers and diagrams of the accident site will be included in the report along with the professional opinion of the investigator about the accident that who was at fault. The copy of this report can be purchased for a nominal fee.
Even after the crash, continue to gather as much evidence as you can in favor of your claim until you settle and get paid.
Medical Bill and record: The worse types of vehicle accidents involve commercial semi-trucks. Specifically, 18-wheel truck accidents result in serious injuries. Medical record has nothing to do with the proving negligence of the driver but it will prove that the injuries incurred to you are solely due to the semi truck accident.
A truck accident law firm will help you obtain your medical reports and bills along with the record of the provider. Also, count the out of pocket expenses and keep a record of your mileage spent on the medical visits. Never wait to retain the best semi truck accident attorneys to help you recover money for your medical bills.
These medical bills will be of great help in the calculation of injury compensation amount.
Lost Wages: Request the employer to provide you a statement of lost wages and along with the vacations required to get fully recovered from injuries.
Take Notes: Take notes of everything that you remember about the accident. How you get to know that the other driver was not in complete senses at the time of the accident. Also make notes about your pain levels, injuries and physical disabilities you had to face due to your injuries.
Commercial Driving Records: Truck and trailer drivers must have a certified commercial driving license and must maintain a record of working hours and sleeping hours. The attorney that you hired, can discover the driving history and sleep logs of the driver.
Maximization of Compensation:
In case you have been recovered from soft tissue injuries like bumps, small cuts, and bruises, etc, you can settle with the insurance company on your own without seeking help from an attorney.
A fair amount of compensation can be calculated by adding all the expenses cost for medical treatment, lost wages and out of pocket costs. For pain and suffering, one or two times the total amount can be added.
Hard injury involves a high amount of complex claims. If you are injured seriously, you can have an attorney who will get the available amount of compensation for you. It will be the duty of an attorney to find out all sources of compensation to get the maximum amount.
The attorney will be responsible for :
• Claims for hard injuries
• Claims for wrongful fatality
• Claims for commercial insurance
Severe injuries are usually high dollar claims and the adjuster will try to convince you at a lower amount by showing sympathy with you because they know a normal person does not know much about the laws and can’t deal with the legal formalities too long as compared to a professional attorney.
So do not settle so quickly for less amount rather consult with the attorney to get the maximum compensation for your loss.