Colorado Springs Fatigued Driver Accident Attorneys
After working long hours, it may be tempting for drivers to hop in their cars and make their way home. However, what many drivers do not realize is that driving while overly tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Fatigued drivers are often unable to slow down properly, stay in their lane, or even keep their eyes open while behind the wheel. When a drowsy driver causes an accident, that accident is often devastating.
If you have become the victim of a drowsy driver, you have likely been left with catastrophic injuries. You may be feeling hopeless, especially if your injuries have left you with mounting medical debt. That is where we at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., come in. We have worked with many accident victims and know how best to approach these kinds of cases. For help getting the compensation you not only deserve, but need, call our Colorado Springs car accident lawyers at (719) 475-2555 today.
Driving requires constant attention. At any moment, a pedestrian could cross a street, a light could turn red, or traffic could come to a sudden halt. What makes fatigued drivers so dangerous is the fact that they are incapable of paying attention to the road. Even if the car in front of them gives plenty of warning about coming to a stop, a fatigued driver may not notice and slam into the car anyway.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), driving while overly tired is the equivalent of driving while drunk. Driving after being awake for 15 hours is the same as driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05%. Driving after being awake for a full 24 hours is the same as driving with a BAC of .10%, which is over the legal limit of .08%. Drowsy drivers having limited reaction times, an inability to make judgment calls, and poor coordination. Drowsy drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers, if not more so.
There is a great amount effort put into educating drivers of the danger of driving while intoxicated. While this education does not stop all drivers from getting behind the wheel while drunk, it does prevent some. However, there is very little information available for drivers about the dangers of driving while overly fatigued. That means that drivers are far more inclined to do it, not realizing it is incredibly dangerous. As a result, they cause severe accidents, and catastrophic injuries.
As sleepy driving is incredibly similar to drunk driving, the severity of the accidents caused by sleep-deprived drivers are also very similar. Tired drivers usually do not have the concentration or cognitive ability to recognize when they should slow down. This means that a collision caused by a drowsy driver will be a high-speed one. High-speed collisions will cause far more severe injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Severe burns
- Crush injuries
- Deep lacerations
- Brain damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Traumatic amputation
That is, if you survive. Drowsy drivers are responsible for thousands of deaths every year. The injuries they cause are often so severe that their victims die before making it to the hospital. If you have lost a loved one due to a drowsy driver, then you can file a wrongful death claim in order to recover damages. If you were the victim of a drowsy driver, then you can, instead, file a personal injury claim. However, to file a successful claim, you will need to prove liability on the driver’s part.
It can be difficult to spot a drowsy driver. Unlike intoxicated drivers, there are no tests, such as a breathalyzer, that can determine how tired the driver was when he or she got behind the wheel. On top of that, the adrenaline from the accident is very likely to wake the driver up. However, you do not need to prove that the at-fault driver was fatigued in order to receive compensation; you just need to show that he or she was at fault for the accident. Here’s how:
Duty of care: The person must have had a duty of care to you. This means that the driver was legally responsible for keeping you reasonably safe with his or her actions. This is an easy step, as all drivers have a duty of care toward those on the road with them.
Breach of duty: You must show that the driver breached the duty of care with some sort of negligence, such as by falling asleep at the wheel. That will involve gathering evidence, such as a police report, witness statements, photos of the accident scene, and security footage if it is available.
Causation: The breach of duty of care must be the reason why the accident happened. If the fatigued driver fell asleep at the wheel and failed to stop at a stop sign, slamming into you as you tried to cross an intersection, then that would be the breach leading directly to the accident.
Damages: Perhaps most importantly of all, the accident must have caused you tangible harm. These “damages” are what you are trying to claim compensation for, so if there were no damages, then you cannot receive compensation. Gathering documentation for your damages is relatively easy, and usually involves getting a quote from a mechanic, as well as pulling together a medical report on your injuries and any medical bills you received for your treatment.
Gathering the evidence you need is not an easy process. It will require a proper investigation, and hours spent poring over the witness statements, documentation, and security footage. Keep in mind, you won’t be proving these facts to the drowsy driver, but their insurance provider. Insurance companies are rarely willing to hand over compensation, even when they are legally obligated to do so. If you want the compensation that you deserve, then you need to work with a skilled and determined attorney.
We at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., have years of experience working with car accident victims, especially victims of drowsy drivers. We know the ropes and are ready to fight for your rights to a fair settlement. If you have become the victim of a fatigued driver, then you need one of our Colorado Springs lawyers in your corner. Call our firm at (719) 475-2555 to set up your free consultation today.