At the Loewy Law Firm, our skilled and compassionate Austin drowsy driving accident lawyers believe that everyone deserves full and fair compensation if they’ve been injured due to another party’s negligence. Call today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
As motorists, we have a right to expect other drivers to abide by traffic laws, drive carefully, and stay alert. Unfortunately, driver fatigue is a common occurrence in Austin and throughout the country. Drowsy drivers pose a significant risk to everyone who shares the roadways. Driver fatigue contributes to numerous car accidents.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, you might be suffering physically, mentally, and financially. You don’t have to suffer alone. Help is available.
How a Lawyer Can Help Following a Drowsy Driving Accident
The experienced Austin drowsy driving accident attorneys at the Loewy Law Firm can help:
- Thoroughly investigate the accident, including the at-fault driver and their mental fitness.
- Review all your injuries and medical treatment to determine past and future medical costs.
- Evaluate the full extent of your losses, such as lost wages, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other ways in which your life has been impacted by the accident.
- Handle all communication with the insurance companies to protect you from saying things that could diminish your claim.
- Fight tirelessly for a full and fair settlement.
- If the maximum settlement cannot be reached, take the drowsy driving case to court.
Compensation Available in Drowsy Driving Accidents
Some of the common expenses associated with drowsy driving accidents include:
- Doctor visits
- Surgical procedures
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Physical impairment
In addition, you might be able to obtain financial compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
If you had a loved one lose their life in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, you and your family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain the compensation you deserve. The committed Austin drowsy driving accident lawyers at the Loewy Law Firm represent those who have been seriously injured by other drivers who nodded off behind the wheel. We are ready to review the details of your accident, discuss your legal options, and let you know all the types of compensation you may be entitled to.
Responsibility for Drowsy Driving Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) limit the number of hours truckers can drive with the goal of preventing drowsy driver accidents. If you are hurt by a trucker who has exceeded the maximum number of hours on duty, you likely have a claim against the truck driver and his employer for the motor vehicle collision the driver’s fatigue caused.
If you were involved in a crash with the driver of another car, it can be harder to prove the driver was drowsy. The average person does not keep a log of the number of hours they were in their vehicle, nor are they required to stop driving after a certain period of time. Unfortunately, too many drivers will stay behind the wheel when they are tired or even if they have started to fall asleep. While this behavior is not specifically illegal, it is unsafe, and it is considered something no reasonable motorist would do.
If you were injured in a car accident by a careless, negligent driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses, such as your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
An Austin car accident attorney at The Loewy Law Firm will help you to show that it was unreasonably unsafe for a driver to be behind the wheel when they were drowsy. If you can show this through witness statements, police reports from the scene, expert testimony, and any other available evidence, you should be fully compensated for all losses the drowsy driver has caused.
If you were hurt, you can pursue a civil case for personal injury, and if your family member was killed by a drowsy driver, you have a wrongful death claim.
Causes of Drowsy Driving in Austin
Drowsy driving can pose dangers similar to those of drunk driving. Like intoxicated drivers, drowsy drivers are less aware of their surroundings, and their reaction time is considerably slower. Some causes of drowsy driving include:
- Sleep loss
- Sleep that was interrupted or fragmented
- Traveling for too long without taking breaks
- Consuming alcohol or drugs before driving
- Driving late at night
- Driving early morning
- Changing work schedules that affect the amount of sleep one gets
Sleep disorders can cause drowsiness. These include such disorders as:
- Sleep Apnea
- Restless Legs Syndrome
Signs of Drowsy Driving
Signs of drowsy driving vary from individual to individual. Being able to identify these signs is a crucial step to taking a proactive stand against driving drowsy. While anyone can engage in drowsy driving, some people are more susceptible to this behavior than others. Commercial truck drivers, those with sleep disorders, and people who work long shifts are at a greater risk for driving while drowsy.
Common signs of drowsy driving include:
- Yawning or blinking repeatedly
- Inability to keep eyes open
- Nodding off; trouble keeping head up
- Slowed or decreased motor skills
- Delayed reaction times
- Heavy eyelids
- Inability to remember driving within the last few minutes
- Missing road signs or turns
- Missing exits
- Drifting into other lanes
- Not maintaining a consistent speed
- Hitting the “rumble” strip located on the side of the road
- Trouble focusing
- Feeling irritable
- Barely avoiding an accident
- Blurry vision
Why Drowsy Driving Is Dangerous
Drowsy drivers suffer from slowed reaction times, impaired judgment, decreased vision, trouble focusing, diminished alertness, and aggressive behavior, among other symptoms. All these symptoms significantly impair an individual’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Drowsy drivers may drift into other lanes or drift off the road. This can cause serious head-on collisions. Drowsy drivers are also not likely to notice when cars stop in front of them. This can cause severe rear-end crashes.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving is among the most underreported traffic safety issues in the United States. The AAA’s study put dashcams in vehicles of everyday motorists and discovered that the percentage of accidents involving drowsiness is nearly eight times greater than federal estimates. AAA found that 10.8% of crashes resulting in property damage involved drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving accidents often result in severe injuries and even fatalities. Some of the reasons why drowsy driving is dangerous include:
- Drivers who fall asleep often do not decelerate before the collision.
- Drowsy drivers often do not swerve or make an attempt to avoid a crash.
- Drowsy driving accidents often happen at night when it’s more difficult to see other vehicles on the road.
- Drowsy driving accidents often occur on freeways at high speeds.
Contact an Austin Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer
Auto accidents that involve a drowsy driver can have a significant effect on the victim’s life. These accidents often result in serious, life-changing injuries that lead to physical, mental, and financial hardship. Since 2005, the Austin personal injury attorneys of the Loewy Law Firm have been committed to pursuing these cases on behalf of injured people throughout Austin.
If you have suffered injuries in an accident in the greater Austin area that was caused by a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Allow our highly skilled and compassionate attorneys to fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.