A lot of motorists who would never even think to get behind the wheel after drinking have no qualms about driving while drowsy. What they don’t realize, however, is that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Because of the way sleep deprivation impacts motor control and cognitive function, remaining awake for 18 hours straight is comparable to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent. What’s more, those who don’t sleep for 24 consecutive hours have the same level of impairment as those whose BAC is 0.1 percent, which is higher than the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.
Unlike drunk driving, however, there are no chemical tests to prove definitively that someone was driving while drowsy. This can make it challenging for car accident claimants, who must prove liability before they can secure compensation for their losses.
If you were seriously hurt in a collision caused by a drowsy driver, here’s what you should know about proceeding with a claim:
1. How Can I Prove the Motorist Who Struck Me Was Drowsy?
The strongest evidence that will support your claim is going to depend on the circumstances; however, it will probably include at least a few of the following pieces of proof:
- Dash camera footage,
- Eyewitness testimony,
- The official police report,
- Statements from accident reconstruction experts,
- Surveillance recordings, and
- Black box data.
2. How Long Do I Have to Take Action Against a Drowsy Driver?
If the insurance adjuster refuses to offer a fair settlement—or disputes liability altogether—you may have to file a formal lawsuit, and in the state of California, you’re probably going to have just two years to do so. That’s the statute of limitations for personal injury actions.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that there are a few exceptions to this filing deadline that can shorten it. As such, you’re going to want to discuss the situation with an attorney and get your claim underway as soon as possible.
3. How Can I Increase My Chances of Securing a Satisfactory Payout?
There is no way to guarantee your claim will result in a payout. There are steps you can take, though, to increase the likelihood that it’s resolved in your favor. Such steps include:
- Keeping a low profile on social media,
- Following all medical advice,
- Preserving any documents that correspond to your injury-related expenses,
- Writing daily journal entries about the progress of your recovery, and
- Referring the opposing party to your legal team.
Call (562) 206-1939 to Discuss Your Case with a Long Beach Car Accident Attorney
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
At the Law Office of Michael D. Waks, we’re devoted to protecting injured parties and their loved ones. If you were seriously hurt through no fault of your own, we’ll help you put together a strong claim, so you can seek compensation from all those who were to blame. Call (562) 206-1939 or fill out our Contact Form to set up a free, no obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer in Long Beach.
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Since accident scenes are always chaotic, we’ve created a handy document that contains detailed instructions for recording pertinent information before leaving the area. By keeping it a copy in your glovebox, you’ll be ready for anything. Download it HERE for free.
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