One of the worst accidents that can happen on a busy highway is when a crash is caused by a driver who has lost concentration because of falling asleep at the wheel. This may happen because of the long distances people often have to drive getting from one place to another.
If you have been injured and your car damaged in a crash caused by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver. This will help to cover the costs of the injury and the car repairs. Before you can do this you should have the evidence to prove who caused the accident.
An accident caused by a driver who falls asleep at the wheel can be serious. If someone falls asleep while driving, their vehicle becomes a weapon.
If you are injured by a driver asleep at the wheel, you can suffer head trauma, internal injuries, broken bones, or spinal injuries.
Even if you are wearing your seatbelt and your car is equipped with air bags, you can suffer life-threatening injuries because of a driver falling asleep at the wheel.
Any injuries caused by such accidents can lead to long-term hospital stays, extensive therapy, and intensive rehabilitation services. The injuries suffered can also lead to death.
There are accidents caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel every day.
Accidents Resulting from Drivers Falling Asleep at the Wheel
There are many reasons for accidents caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Often, the driver has been on the road too long, has tried to drive too far after a long day, or is experiencing health issues that is causing him or her to be more tired than usual.
When a driver falls asleep at the wheel, he or she may crash into the rear of another vehicle, run a traffic control device, cross into another lane of traffic, or run off the road then overcorrect. Any of these can cause life-altering injuries.
Despite being warned to not drive when tired, many drivers believe they can overcome the feelings of tiredness and continue to their destination. Unfortunately, this often isn’t true and can have an impact that will last for years to come.
While a tired driver can fall asleep at the wheel at any time of the day or night, but these kinds of accidents do most often occur in the evenings.
If a driver starts feeling tired, he or she should pull off the roadway to avoid a collision, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
Evidence to Collect After the Crash
There is a certain amount of evidence you will need to provide before settling a personal injury claim. This should include the following:
- eyewitness reports proving the at-fault driver was asleep;
- a police report of the crash;
- an estimate of the cost of repairs to your car;
- your medical bills for treatment already received;
- your physician’s report indicating cost of further treatment if required;
- details of any lost wages since the car accident;
- likely loss of wages in the future;
- lost opportunities for overtime pay;
- details of any sick or vacation entitlements you have already used;
When your PI claim is being assessed by the at-fault driver’s insurer it may include a calculation for pain and suffering. To help the insurer reach a fair amount you should keep notes after the crash which should include details of the pain and suffering you have had to endure due to the crash.
This could be aches and pains or difficulty in sleeping due to pain endured from your injuries.
How Will This Affect My Insurance Claim?
How your claim will proceed and how your insurance claim is affected is dependent on several things. First, you must consider if you live in a no-fault or an at-fault state. If you are in a tort law state, where drivers are considered to be at-fault, then the driver who was to blame for the accident will be held liable for the damages that you suffered because of the crash.
The other driver’s liability coverage in that case should help cover the costs associated with your automotive repairs, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. If your state uses a “no fault” approach, then your auto insurance will cover the costs of damages up to your insured amount.
What Kind of Damages Can You Receive?
You can expect to receive in damages the following:
- Repairs to your car;
- The full cost of medical treatment already received and future medical costs;
- Physician’s fees;
- The cost of physical therapy;
- Any lost wages up to now and into the future;
- An amount calculated for your pain and suffering which is typically a multiple of all the medical costs added together;
- An amount for punitive damages if the at-fault driver is proved to have been driving negligently.
What Damages to your Vehicle that could occur?
You could suffer a variety of damages if you are hit by a car operated by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. You need to follow proper protocol to preserve evidence so you can file your claim and show that the other driver caused the crash and what damages you suffered because of the other driver’s actions.
As with any auto accident, you should call the police. Make sure you call the police so an accident report can be completed. When the officer responds, he or she will investigate the accident and usually determine preliminary fault.
If you are physically able to do so, get photos of the accident scene and of the damages to the vehicles from the crash. Also, if there are visible injuries, get photos of them as well. Ask any witnesses to provide written statements and be sure to get the names of witnesses along with their contact details.
Be sure to establish medical care right away, so your injuries can be connected to the crash caused by the driver falling asleep at the wheel.
You will need to maintain thorough documentation to show your damages and to support your claim. Here are some of the more common kinds of evidence that you can use to support your car accident injury claim:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of the injuries
- Photos of the damages
- Medical bills
- Proof of missed work and lost wages
- Proof of the need for future medical care
- Towing bills
- Rental car receipts
- Damage repair estimates
- Proof of the future loss of earnings
- Witness statements
When you have been in an accident caused by the other driver falling asleep at the wheel, you will need to maintain supporting documentation. Also, enlist the help of a car accident injury attorney who can help you get your claim on track and get compensated for your losses.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Get After Being Hit By A Driver Who Was Asleep at the Wheel?
If you were hit by a driver who was asleep at the wheel, you will want to be sure and include all your damages in your personal injury claim. By doing this, you can ensure you are fairly compensated and that all your losses are covered by the at-fault party’s insurance. When you ask for compensation and present evidence, here are some of the damages that you will most likely want to claim.
- Medical expenses - When you claim your medical bills, you want to be sure to add up all your medical costs associated with the accident. These costs will include doctor visits, hospital care, surgical procedures, x-rays and labs, physical therapy, follow-up care, physical therapy, medical devices, and prescriptions. If you are going to need future medical care, be sure to add that into your total settlement value.
- Lost wages - You will need to document missed work and lost wages. Also, if you will miss work in the future or you will have to switch jobs because of permanent disabilities, you will want to be sure and ask to be compensated for your future loss of earnings as well.
- Property damages - This will include the cost of repairing your vehicle, the cost of a rental car, and the cost of any towing. This can be proven with the tow bill, rental car receipts, repair estimates and photos of the accident scene and of the damages your car sustained.
You will also want to ask to be compensated for these damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life Loss of consortium
If you have been hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel, you should enlist the help of a personal injury attorney who handles such cases in your state. There are strict statutes of limitations for pursuing such claims, and with the help of a lawyer, you can increase your chances of a successful claim and ensure deadlines are met. The earlier you speak with a lawyer after a crash, the faster you can start gathering evidence and documentation.
Determining Who is At Fault for These Accidents
It is important to determine who is at fault when an accident occurs. Often, when a driver falls asleep at the wheel and causes a crash that can be determined by the police officer who arrives on the scene to investigate the accident and complete the report.
Sometimes it is obvious who is at fault for the crash, but at other times, it can be more challenging.
If you have been involved in a crash that is more challenging to prove fault, your detailed account, reports from witnesses, crash scene evidence, police reports, photographs, and medical records will all be needed to prove who is at fault.
If you have suffered injuries in a crash caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel, you may benefit from filing a personal injury claim against the driver who is at fault.
The at fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for your medical bills, lost wages while you recover, and your pain and suffering. No insurance company is going to willingly offer you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. You should consult with a personal injury attorney to ensure you are treated fairly.
Why You Should Seek Help From an Attorney
It is important to you that you are compensated for all the financial hardship from a crash caused by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. The best way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve is to ask a personal injury attorney to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurer on your behalf so you get the settlement you deserve.
The PI attorney ensures all the evidence available cannot be disputed by the insurer so that the settlement is reached as quickly as possible. You will not be asked for any fees in advance as they are paid when a favorable settlement has been reached.