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Many Floridians are tired and maybe even exhausted. Being drowsy behind the wheel can be deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 700 people are killed annually in drowsy driving accidents. The real number is actually much higher. Driving fatigue is not as easy to ascertain as conditions like alcohol impairment, even though the effects are very similar. When a driver doesn’t get enough rest or sleep before they operate a vehicle, the consequences can be disastrous. They can put the safety of many innocent people at risk. An earlier analysis indicated nearly 40,000 accident-related injuries in the United dates are caused by sleepy drivers, however, this is just an estimate because it is very hard to discern what is sleepy driving and what is not. However, accidents caused by fatigue or sleepiness are entirely preventable.
Oftentimes when people are killed in accidents and sleepy driving is speculated, you might learn that these people were on vacation recently and they’ve been driving all day and all night to get home. Or perhaps they work overnight and they work very long shifts. Even a brief moment of drowsiness is enough to cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and cause a terrible accident. Whatever the cause, drowsy driving is an issue. However, it is an issue that many drivers don’t take seriously. They often overestimate their ability to fight drowsiness when they are driving a vehicle like a car or truck. When lives are at risk, it is an issue that must be acknowledged so that the proper precautions can be made.
The sleep foundation has noted that drowsiness can have a significant impact on the driver’s judgment, coordination, attention, and decision-making skills. Drowsiness can significantly slow reaction time, preventing drivers from having full control over their vehicle. Getting drowsy can cause you to not be able to pay attention to your surroundings, limiting your ability to react to sudden hazards. It is not uncommon for petite motorists to weave back and forth between lanes, have difficulty maintaining the right speed, and drive off the road. Oftentimes, drowsy driving is compared to drunk driving because the effects are very similar. In either case, you are not able to fully process what’s going on in front of you. Your senses are compromised and cannot safely operate a vehicle. In controlled studies, there has been proof that sleep deprivation is just as risky as alcohol impairment.
This is a great question to ask your truck accident lawyers in Altamonte, FL such as the ones available at Presser Law PA. An experienced truck accident lawyer has probably dealt with drowsy driving crashes before because truck drivers do have long hours and they are driving for extended periods of time. A lawyer can explain to you about how liability works in cases involving drowsy driving accidents. If you have been a victim of a drowsy driving accident, a truck accident lawyer can help you file a claim against the driver.
No one is immune from fatigue while driving but truck drivers are especially at risk due to their long hauls and tight deadlines, drivers are required by federal law to capture hours of service to various animals but it is possible for drivers to become fatigued while following the rules. Many truck drivers feel pressure to arrive at their destination quickly. Some trucking companies even encourage truck drivers to push through their fatigue and sleepiness so that they can continue driving. If they don’t obey their employer, they risk getting penalized or even fired. It is a poor practice that only increases the risk of drowsy driving accidents. And the reality is that enforcement in some truck companies may be rather lax allowing drivers to clock overtime they should not be clocking.
Truck accidents are often devastating, leaving many innocent victims with severe injuries like spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and other bodily harm. Trucks are massive vehicles, and when they strike another car, the damage can be widespread. Victims of truck accidents are eligible to file an accident claim so that they can recover compensation that they are entitled to. A truck accident lawyer can help you determine what damages you can claim. When it comes to compensation following a truck accident there are generally two types of compensation: compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to financial losses that have a verifiable and objective amount. These are the damages that most people think of being able to recover when they think of a personal injury claim. Economic damages are easier to calculate and may refer to the other party/insurance company covering for expenses such as:
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate and can be more subjective. These vary from one person to another because every accident victim responds to an accident differently. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages can be more challenging to prove. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
There are also punitive damages, but they are rare. They are only awarded in specific circumstances, such as after a drunk driving accident or other accident where the defendant was engaging in criminal activity. While economic and non-economic damages are meant to help the victim recover/adjust after the incident, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter any other future negligence. They do not result in any monetary compensation being awarded to the victim. Punitive damages are often claimed against entities such as corporations and very rarely against individuals. However, in a trucking accident, it’s possible that the company as a whole is at fault. Determining what damages you can claim can be a confusing and difficult process, but you can have a lawyer help you so that your calculations are accurate. Your attorney can help you determine the types of compensation your case qualifies for.
Many times insurance companies will try to settle out before a case reaches court in order to save time and money. However, oftentimes it’s better not to accept the first offer you’re given. Even when an offer sounds good, there’s a good chance that it won’t cover many of your present and future expenses. Just because you are given an offer following your accident doesn’t mean that the offer will be the highest you will get. Insurance companies will try to lowball you whenever they can. Unfortunately, insurance companies will try to undercut victims with a less than adequate offer. That’s why you should always do your own calculations and talk with your lawyer to see if the offer is realistic. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you receive the correct offer.
You might be hesitant to contact a lawyer because you believe that it’s too expensive. However, most personal injury cases–such as truck accidents–are paid via a contingency fee. What this means is that instead of having to pay a lawyer by the hour, the lawyer will cover all your upfront costs and receive a percentage of your final settlement or court award. The logic behind this is that most lawyers understand that you’ll already be burdened with costs such as medical bills, so this allows them to fight on your behalf even when you can’t afford it.
Although the contingency fee can sometimes be 30 percent or more, not only will you be saving on initial legal fees, but an attorney can help you maximize the compensation you deserve. Another benefit is that you will only have to pay if you win your case.
If you’re dealing with a commercial truck crash, it may not be necessary to prove the driver was driving to establish negligence and win your Florida car accident case. This is because if the driver has violated traffic laws by failing to maintain the lane keeping and assured clear distance, they can be found liable for injuries causing resulting craft regardless of whether we prove they were drowsy. Evidence that the driver broke the law or was testing their body’s biological need for rest can be used to prove their failure to use the reasonable care required of all drivers on the roadway. Employers of measuring drivers can be found vicariously liable, which means we do not need to prove the employer did anything wrong as long as the employer was negligent while acting in the course and scope of their employment.