Proving a driver was drowsy or sleeping and caused a collision has its challenges, but it is not an impossible task. Especially if you have a legal expert on your side who can help investigate the accident and gather the necessary evidence.
Call an experienced car accident lawyer in Fort Worth, TX to discuss your claim if you were injured in an accident caused by a driver you suspect was drowsy or sleeping when the crash occurred.
Below, we discuss some of the common causes of drowsy driving and the evidence that may help prove your case.
Common Causes of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is more than being tired or because a person is missing out on enough sleep. There are other factors that may also contribute to a driver being drowsy or falling asleep behind the wheel.
If a person suffers from a sleeping disorder, like sleep apnea, it may be difficult to get at least seven hours of restful sleep. Other common sleeping disorders may include:
- Restless leg syndrome
Sleeping disorders, especially when left untreated, place drivers at a high risk of causing a crash. However, there are other scenarios that may also cause or contribute to a driver becoming drowsy at the wheel, including:
- Working a late shift or inconsistent work hours
- Being on/taking medication that causes drowsiness
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Depending on what caused the driver to become drowsy or fall asleep at the wheel and crash, the type of evidence that could be used to prove your case may vary.
In most accident cases, one of the most important pieces of evidence are statements from eyewitnesses. A statement from a witness who observed the driver was asleep or bobbing his or her head several times, could help to support your claim.
Expert witness testimony may also be useful in these scenarios. An accident reconstructionist is one type of expert that may be used to help determine the actions of a driver before an accident occurred. The reconstructed evidence could help to show a driver was swerving before colliding with your vehicle. Drowsy drivers often drift out of their own lane when struggling to stay awake.
Another important piece of evidence for any accident case is the police report. During the police officer’s preliminary investigation to determine the cause of the crash, he or she may be able to determine whether the driver was asleep, drowsy or impaired.
If the police officer determines drowsy or impaired driving contributed to the crash, it would likely be included in the report. This documentation could also be used to help support your claim.
Medical and Work Records
If the at-fault driver suffered from a sleeping disorder or was on medication that causes drowsiness, his or her medical records may be especially useful in helping to prove drowsy driving.
If medical history is not the reason for the drowsy driver, but odd work hours are suspected then you may be able to prove your claim by reviewing the at-fault driver’s work records. For example, if the person worked late one evening and then took an early morning shift the next day. Due to the quick turnaround on a work shift, it is highly unlikely the person achieved enough hours of sleep. In this case, the at-fault driver’s employer could also be assessed with partial responsibility for the accident. There are specific laws that prevent employers from scheduling employees in certain ways.
Unfortunately, the at-fault driver is not going to willingly hand this information over to you. His or her insurance company is also not likely to comply so easily. That is why you need an attorney on your side who is ready to file a lawsuit and compel discovery to force the at-fault party to disclose this important information.
Call an Experienced Lawyer Today
At Anderson & Cummings, our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience helping injury victims gather evidence and building strong cases to secure compensation. If you need help proving a drowsy driver caused your accident, our attorneys are prepared to help.
Call us today to discuss your claim during a free consultation. There are no upfront fees while we work on your case, so there is no risk to you.
Over 50 years of experience. Call (817) 920-9000 today.