Driving while fatigued has similar effects to driving while intoxicated. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident and the other driver was fatigued, this can have an impact on your settlement. This is especially true if the circumstances of the accident lead to the courts considering that you are both partially at fault. If you have evidence that the other driver was fatigued, you may receive more compensation due to punitive damages.
Punitive Damages for Fatigued Drivers
Punitive damages refer to when a judge allows a defendant is required to pay a larger sum of money to the plaintiff as punishment for actions taken by the defendant. Motorists have the responsibility to get off the road when exhausted and check into a hotel.
Consequences of Driving While Fatigued
Motorists who are too tired to drive might drift out of their lanes, miss road signs, and may even fall asleep and have an accident. The driver might not notice you and collide with your vehicle even if his or her eyes are open due to being less alert. Accidents are usually more severe when involving a fatigued driver because the driver is less likely to take defensive measures such as braking or swerving. Even with a collision, these measures can reduce injuries caused by the accident.
Evidence of Fatigued Driving
To include fatigue as a factor during a car accident lawsuit, you'll need to prove that the driver was fatigued. Find out if there were any witnesses who saw the driver nodding off while driving. The driver might have been drifting before the collision and a witness might have noticed this. Also, if the other driver was operating a truck, there may be driving logs that can show that the driver was on the road for too long.
Commercial truck drivers must limit the amount of time that they spend on the road. If the employer does not properly train the driver or if the driver is expected to drive for a number of hours that exceeds the maximum allowed by law, you could also sue the employer. Employers are much more likely to compensate you fully for your damages because they carry insurance that has a much higher limit.
Why You May Need Legal Help
A personal injury law firm can help you gather evidence to prove that the other driver was fatigued. Your representative will negotiate with the defendant's insurance provider to seek the highest possible settlement.
For more information, contact a personal injury law firm in your area.