Driver fatigue is a significant cause of car accidents and can result in severe and life-threatening injuries. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you might be eligible for compensation to cover your losses.
A Cape Coral driver fatigue car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can answer your questions and tell you more about your legal options.
How A Cape Coral Driver Fatigue Car Accident Attorney Will Build Your Claim
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsy driving led to more than 91,000 collisions in 2017, resulting in an estimated 50,000 injuries and 800 fatalities.
If you were involved in a collision with a drowsy driver, a Cape Coral car accident attorney from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can pursue compensation on your behalf by filing a claim with the insurance company representing the at-fault driver.
We will promptly begin investigating your claim and handle the following legal tasks along the way:
- Examine the accident scene, take photos, and gather evidence
- Obtain the police report and speak with law enforcement
- Speak to eyewitnesses and gather statements
- Consult with expert witnesses, such as health providers and accident reconstructionists
- Identify and evaluate damages
- Work to demonstrate driver negligence and liability
- Communicate and negotiate with the liable party and their insurance company
The insurance company may present you with an offer that is less than what you deserve. If this occurs, we can negotiate using the supporting evidence we’ve gathered regarding the at-fault driver’s liability and the extent of your injuries and damages. If we cannot agree upon a settlement, we can take your case to trial if necessary.
Proving Liability For A Cape Coral Car Accident
If a person is aware of their fatigue and drives a vehicle in this condition, this could be considered negligence. Negligence is a failure to take reasonable care or act as a reasonable person would in a similar situation.
If you can establish the other driver was negligent due to fatigue or other causes, you may be eligible for compensation. There are four elements needed to prove a negligence claim:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, meaning they had a responsibility to drive in a manner that would not cause harm to others.
- The defendant breached this duty owed to the plaintiff, meaning they failed to uphold their responsibility, such as by driving while fatigued.
- The plaintiff suffered injuries proximately or directly caused by the fatigued driver’s breach of duty.
- The plaintiff sustained quantifiable damages representing recoverable losses.
Compensation In A Motorist Fatigue Car Accident Case
Personal injury victims can seek certain damages for financial and personal losses, including the following:
- Medical care expenses, including emergency services, surgeries, prescription medications, etc.
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Transportation expenses
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
Loved ones who lost a family member due to a car accident that was not their fault can file a wrongful death claim under Florida Statutes § 768.21. Beneficiaries in these cases can include surviving spouses, children, and parents. Recoverable wrongful death damages may include the following:
- Loss of the decedent’s support and services
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship, guidance, and protection
- Pain and suffering related to the loved one’s passing
- Medical costs already paid by a surviving loved one
- Funeral and burial or cremation costs
The Statute Of Limitations For A Driver Fatigue Car Accident
Per Florida Statutes § 95.11, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Florida is four years from when the injury transpired. This means you must file your lawsuit within this window, or a monetary recovery may not be possible. The deadline for wrongful death claims is only two years after the decedent’s passing under the same statute.
Your Cape Coral driver fatigue lawyer can help you meet the statute of limitations.
What Causes Fatigue While Driving?
Many people get inadequate sleep and can become drowsy at some point while driving, even during the day. Other than lack of sleep, other causes of driver fatigue include the following:
- Strenuous work or exercise
- Long working hours
- Having a sleep disorder or poor sleep quality
- Performing monotonous tasks
- Certain medications that cause drowsiness
- Other health issues
Although any driver can become fatigued, groups at exceptionally high risk include the following, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Night shift employees
- Workers with long shifts
- Long-haul truck drivers
- Employees working more than 60 hours weekly
- Long-distance or jet-lagged business travelers
- Young adults under 26 years of age
Drowsy Driving Can Be As Dangerous As Drunk Driving
Fatigued drivers can be just as impaired and liable for the accidents they cause as drunk drivers, and the results can be equally devastating. In fact, Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports that being awake for 17-19 hours or more is equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10%, which is higher than the legal limit (0.08%).
What Types Of Accidents Do Fatigued Drivers Cause in Cape Coral?
Fatigued drivers can cause many of the same types of accidents as intoxicated or distracted drivers. Because they aren’t paying attention to the road, they are likely to rear-end a vehicle that stops or slows down in front of them unexpectedly. On the highway, this can result in multiple vehicle pile-ups and extensive damage and injuries to all involved.
Similarly, a drowsy driver can gradually veer off and sideswipe a car. If they happen to diverge into an oncoming lane, they can hit another vehicle head-on. Finally, if they fail to stop at a red light or stop sign while dozing off, they can collide with the side of another car, otherwise known as a T-bone collision.
Fatigue among long-haul truckers is common due to driving long hours and monotonous road conditions. If a truck driver dozes off at the wheel, colliding with a vehicle in any situation can result in traumatic injuries or catastrophic loss of life.
Get Help From A Cape Coral Driver Fatigue Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by a fatigued driver’s negligence, you could pursue the compensation you need to cover your losses. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a free consultation. We can handle your case while you focus on healing and recovering from your injuries.
We Can Help.