Drowsy driving is a major cause of car accidents. A driver who has fallen asleep at the wheel is likely to have slowed reaction time, impaired judgment, and difficulty in performing multiple tasks simultaneously. And when you combine these factors with the effects of alcohol or drugs, it’s easy to see why drowsiness can lead to tragedy on our roads.
In the United States, an estimated 100,000 car crashes a year are caused by drowsy drivers. A report from the National Sleep Foundation revealed that about 15% of all fatal crashes in 2009 were associated with fatigued or drowsy driving and more than one-fifth (21%) of truck drivers admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel. But what if you are innocent of these crimes?
Is it possible to prove your own innocence in a car accident case involving drowsiness or fatigue? How do you get across to the insurance company that you haven’t done anything wrong? Let’s take a look at some factors that could help you prove your rights:
Call an Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, then your first step should be to seek legal counsel. The majority of states have rules about how much time people have to take action after being in an accident and if you miss this deadline, you could forfeit your right to compensation.
A Pasadena drowsy driving accident lawyer will know exactly what needs to be done and will ensure your rights are protected. Also, many car accidents aren’t immediately apparent and you could be seriously injured without even realizing it.
Look For Physical Evidence of Fatigue or Drowsiness
After a car accident has occurred, it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible about what happened. This includes taking photos at the scene and looking for physical evidence that the other driver was fatigued or drowsy.
If there were no passengers in the car and you were able to stop when the accident occurred, then you should get out of your vehicle to look at theirs. Pay attention to any broken glass or damage that is indicative of a head-on collision.
If you’re involved in a drowsy driving accident, the first thing to do is look for any traces of alcohol or drugs. The other driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel due to tiredness and fatigue, but they could also be under the influence of something else. If you can prove that the other driver was intoxicated, then it is unlikely they will be able to claim against your insurance.
Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent
If you haven’t been charged by the police with a crime, you still have the right to remain silent if questioned. The circumstances of an accident may lead police officers to assume that you were in some way at fault, but you don’t have to say anything.
You can contact your lawyer and they will go to the police station with you if necessary. This will ensure that the investigation is conducted fairly and your rights are protected. If the other driver was drowsy or fatigued and they can’t prove your negligence, then you shouldn’t answer any of their questions – even if it means you end up in a worse situation with the authorities.
Speak With Insurance Companies
If you have been involved in a car accident with another driver, then it’s likely they will attempt to claim against your insurance. If the fault is proven to be yours, then this could affect your premiums or even result in a loss of cover under some policies.
That’s why it’s important to speak with your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Let them know what happened and that you will be speaking with a lawyer to ensure your interests are represented.
Be Prepared for Investigation
In cases where drowsiness or fatigue has been cited as a cause, it’s important to think about how this could have occurred. In many instances, the driver wasn’t getting enough sleep beforehand. You may need to provide evidence of your activities or conversations before the accident, including receipts for petrol if the other driver ran out of fuel. Your attorney will be able to advise you on how best to approach this and what needs to be included in any report.
Drowsy driving accidents are extremely dangerous because they can lead to serious injuries or even death. If you were involved in a drowsy driving accident, it is important that you understand your rights and what the law says about this type of situation before moving forward with any legal proceedings. The following article provides some insight on how to prove your rights when dealing with an incident like this one.