Alabama motorists have a duty of care to drive safely and responsibly. Getting behind the wheel without adequate sleep is more than just careless—it’s dangerous. Drowsy driving could cause an accident and lead to damage to your car, bodily harm, or death.
If a fatigued driver injured you in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your accident-related damages. Your accident claim could help you cover your medical bills and lost income. A Birmingham driver fatigue attorney from the Morris Bart law firm can help you start your case today.
What to Do After a Birmingham Driver Fatigue Accident
If you have been in a driver fatigue car accident, your first priority is keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. Move safely to a sidewalk or median away from active roads if possible, and get medical attention. If you suspect the other driver of driver fatigue, take these additional steps:
- Take photographs of the car accident scene, including any damage.
- As soon as safely possible, write down the series of events before and immediately after the collision, including any indications that the driver was excessively fatigued.
- Collect records of your medical care and costs.
- Do not speak to or agree to sign any documents from the other driver’s insurance provider.
For a free legal consultation with a Driver Fatigue Accident lawyer serving Birmingham, call (205) 380-4158
Birmingham Driver Fatigue FAQ
The more you know about driver fatigue, the better you can avoid getting behind the wheel when you’re tired. A Birmingham driver fatigue car accident lawyer answers a few frequently asked questions.
What Are the Signs of Driver Fatigue?
Taking a proactive approach to preventing driver fatigue is critical to saving lives. But do you know what to look for? Here are a few signs and symptoms of driver fatigue:
- Frequent yawning
- Trouble keeping your head upright
- Difficulty keeping your eyes open
- Inattentiveness and lack of focus
- Wandering thoughts and brief memory lapses
- Drifting in and out of road lanes
- Hitting rumble strips
- Missing road turns, exits, or traffic signs
- Over or under-turning, nicking curbs, taking wrong routes
- Irregular speeds and poor gear changes
- Braking frequently
- Slow reaction times
What Are the Dangers of a Fatigued Driver?
When an exhausted driver gets onto the road, they risk falling asleep behind the wheel. Even if the driver manages to stay awake, fatigue affects the driver’s mental faculties. Lack of sleep can:
- Reduce hand-eye coordination
- Diminish a driver’s ability to focus on the road
- Delay a driver’s reaction to roadway hazards
- Inhibit a driver’s decision-making
According to the National Security Council, a fatigued driver is three times more likely to be in a traffic accident than a rested driver. Drowsy driving has been likened to drunk driving. Forgoing sleep for over 20 hours is the physical equivalent of having a 0.08% blood-alcohol concentration.
Any driver who receives less than seven hours of sleep the night before can suffer from impaired driving and situational awareness. This is a hazard for surrounding drivers in any setting. However, unlike distracted driving or drunk driving, it can be difficult to know if another driver is fatigued.
That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced driver fatigue accident lawyer who can recognize the signs after the fact and help compile evidence for your case.
Who Is Most at Risk of Driver Fatigue?
Unfortunately, anyone can be guilty of driving while fatigued. Teenagers who tend to stay up late and get up early for school may drive when they are not at their best. Shift-workers who work at night and sleep during the day may not adjust well to their unconventional schedules. An undiagnosed sleep disorder may result in a traffic accident.
However, the group most at risk for driver fatigue may be commercial truck drivers. They spend the majority of their time behind the wheel and have strict delivery schedules to meet. Because these drivers tend to transport cargo in large semi-trucks, they carry a greater potential to cause destruction in a collision.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits truck driver service hours, but that does little to ensure these drivers receive adequate rest between shifts.
Recovering Damages After a Driver Fatigue Accident
Car crash victims may experience several categories of financial loss after a drowsy driver causes an accident. Every traffic accident is different and what you may recover will depend on your particular circumstances. You may be able to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing health care costs
- Lost wages
- Lost employment benefits
- Reduced earning capacity
- Car repair or replacement
- Pain and suffering
Wrongful Death Caused by Drowsy Driving
Sadly, a car crash caused by driver fatigue can result in fatal injuries. If you lost a loved one in a fatal collision, our driver fatigue accident lawyers in Birmingham can help you file a wrongful death claim. Qualifying family members may be eligible to pursue funeral and burial costs.
How a Birmingham Driver Fatigue Lawyer Can Assist You
A driver fatigue attorney in Birmingham may be able to support you as you seek damages after your accident. If we decide you have grounds for a case against a negligent party, we can help you file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurer. Alternatively, we may file your personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Your dedicated attorney from the Morris Bart law firm can:
- Investigate the cause of your car accident
- Identify the liable party
- Gather and preserve evidence
- Demonstrate the role driver fatigue played in your accident
- Establish the drowsy driver’s negligence
- Calculate the value of your case
- Pursue a payout to cover your losses
Most personal injury cases settle out of court. However, if we are unable to negotiate a satisfactory settlement, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial.
Work With a Birmingham Driver Fatigue Attorney
If you were in a collision with a fatigued driver, don’t wait. Our team at the Morris Bart Law Firm has over 40 years of experience helping our clients pursue and receive compensation after a car accident in Birmingham and the surrounding area. In 2019, we won in over 6,500 cases, and we will continue to work hard for each of our clients.
A driver fatigue lawyer in Birmingham from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC can review your case for free. Call us 24/7 to schedule your no-obligation consultation today. We’re available to you 365 days a year.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.