If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident with a drowsy driver, you have the right to hold them responsible for their actions. The Morris Bart law firm is here to help. Our team of Birmingham drowsiness lawyers offers a free, no-risk consultation for victims who have been in accidents.
We work on a contingency fee basis only. That means if you decide to retain our services, you do not pay anything upfront or out of pocket. We are only paid attorneys fees if there is a successful result in your case.
Facts and Statistics about Drowsy Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated one out of every 25 adult drivers reports having fallen asleep while driving within the last 30 days. However, because there is no way to test for drowsiness, the likelihood is that these numbers are much higher. When someone drives drowsy, they:
- Can’t pay as much attention to the road and have less focus
- React slowly if they need to suddenly brake or steer
- Make poor decisions
- Have less hand-eye coordination
Drivers can experience drowsiness for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the drivers that most commonly cause drowsy driving accidents include:
- Drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders
- Commercial truck drivers on long driving shifts
Even commuters after a long workday or who have irregular shifts can drive drowsy. However, anyone can be tired at any time.
Teens are particularly susceptible to drowsy driving accidents. They often stay up late studying, working, or socializing and are frequently up early in the morning for school, sports, work, or other activities. This lack of sleep, paired with their inexperience, creates a dangerous combination for many teen drivers.
For a free legal consultation with a Drowsiness Accident lawyer serving Birmingham, call (205) 380-4158
Birmingham Drowsiness FAQ
You know it’s not a good idea to get behind the wheel when you’re tired. But do you know your options for recourse when someone else does and causes an accident? Here are some frequently asked questions that a Birmingham drowsiness lawyer has answers to.
Is Drowsy Driving Against the Law?
How Do You Prove Drowsy Driving?
Is Drowsy Driving Against the Law?
Sleep fatigue is the most common cause of drowsiness. And sleepiness is a growing causal factor in highway accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 91,000 police-reported crashes occur each year as a direct result of drowsy driving.
Because of the effects of sleepiness on a motorist, drowsy driving is often likened to driving under the influence. Studies suggest that someone who’s been awake for 24 hours has an impairment level equal to having blood alcohol content of 0.10%—above the legal limit.
You are presumed to be too impaired to operate a vehicle if you’re driving while drowsy. Drowsy driving in Birmingham has become a big issue. In 2017, the Alabama Senate attempted to pass SB 221 to address drowsy driving, but it failed to materialize into law.
Currently, there are no laws against drowsy driving in Alabama. But that does not mean you’re off the hook. You could still be criminally and civilly liable if you cause a car accident from drowsy driving that resulted in injuries, fatalities, or property damage.
How do You Prove Drowsy Driving?
Alabama law enforcement admits that proving drowsy driving can be difficult. In response, the state has invested in road signs to alert drivers of the dangers of driving while drowsy. Because bills have yet to become law, the state gives priority to raising awareness and promoting preventative measures.
However, just because it may be difficult for police to prove someone is criminally liable for an auto wreck due to driver fatigue doesn’t mean a drowsy driving car accident lawyer can’t prove someone civilly liable. An experienced attorney can gather evidence to establish proof, such as:
- A lack of skid marks at the scene:Skid marks indicate that a driver attempted to brake. Without skid marks, it would imply their response time was heavily impaired.
- Prescription records:The driver may have been taking medication with side effects that induced drowsiness.
- Work/school attendance records:If a driver was overworked or had been engaged for lengthy periods of time, it could help prove that they were sleep-deprived.
- Other supporting records: Showing that someone was awake and active for a long period of time might require digging into cell phone records, credit card records, and even social media posts.
Types of Injuries that Can Occur in Drowsy Driving Accidents
There are many types of injuries that can occur because of drowsy driving. They include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
These injuries are caused by a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts normal brain function. While TBIs range in severity, severe TBIs can cause changes in personality or impair memory, movement, or sensation.
The force created during a car accident can cause bones to break. While fractures usually heal well with medical treatment and proper rest, if the bone breaks through the skin in the accident, the victim may experience severe bleeding. It also creates the possibility of infection.
Victims who are young may experience uneven bone growth.
Internal bleeding is actually a symptom of another injury, but one that can create devastating consequences of its own. Car accidents can cause severe hemorrhaging that leads to external bleeding, seizures, organ failure, coma, and, eventually, death.
What makes internal bleeding particularly dangerous is that accident victims do not always realize they are bleeding. This is why it is important to always be seen by a medical professional after any type of serious accident.
Knee injuries are common in car accidents, particularly injuries to the knee ligaments like the ACL. These injuries often require surgery and lengthy healing periods.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is responsible for delivering messages from the brain to the limbs and other parts of the body. Any damage can, therefore, impact sensation and movement.
Though some people can live productive lives after a spinal cord injury, the vast majority require wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive devices to cope with the loss of mobility.
Whether you were injured in one of these ways or some other way, a drowsiness attorney in Birmingham may be able to gather evidence to build a strong case for compensation and hold the drowsy driver responsible for their negligence.
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Damages You May Qualify for After a Drowsy Driving Accident
There are a number of types of damages you may qualify for after a drowsy driving accident, although we cannot estimate your damages without first examining the details of your case. However, some of the damages people recover in cases like yours include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Dismemberment or disfigurement
If your loved one did not survive because of the seriousness of their injuries, your family may be able to recover:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of support and protection
- Wages and benefits previously provided by the deceased
- Medical expenses left to the family to pay
- Out-of-pocket costs related to the care of the victim
How the Alabama Statute of Limitations May Impact Your Case
Like every other state, Alabama places a limit on the amount of time that you have to recover compensation from another driver after a personal injury accident like a car accident. The statute of limitations in Alabama is two years. That means if you do not pursue compensation from the defendant by filing a claim within two years of the date of your accident, you are generally barred from recovering any type of compensation.
How a Birmingham Drowsiness Attorney Can Help
A drowsiness lawyer in Birmingham can help you hold the drowsy driver responsible for their negligence. If you retain our services, we can gather evidence and, if necessary, work with accident scene reconstruction experts to establish liability for the accident. We can build a strong case and negotiate with the insurance company to the fullest extent of your injuries.
If you are ready to get started right away or would just like to take advantage of our free, no-risk consultation, contact the Morris Bart law firm today.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.