Drowsy driving accidents injure people every day all over the nation. Some states, like Florida, have enacted legislation limiting teen driving at night, in an effort to cut down on the new drivers who drive drowsy. Even still, drowsy driving is a huge problem across all groups. If you were injured in a drowsy driving accident in Fort Lauderdale, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you must prove responsibility for the drowsy driving accident first.
How can I prove the driver who caused my accident was fatigued?
Proving a driver was fatigued can be difficult because there is no specific test that can prove a driver was drowsy or fell asleep behind the wheel. However, we have handled enough drowsy driving claims to know what to look for.
If the driver does not admit to falling asleep behind the wheel (and drivers rarely do), we will examine the scene and look for markers that can prove drowsiness. For example, applying the brakes forcefully often leads to skid marks on road. If there were no skid marks, we can argue that the driver did not attempt to avoid the accident because s/he was drowsy or fell asleep behind the wheel.
We might also be able to get information from the other car’s “black box.” We can examine the data it recorded and determine whether any sensors went off that could prove the driver was unable to maintain his/her lane or sit up straight.
If we cannot prove drowsy driving from evidence at the scene or the car’s black box, we can also investigate the driver’s work record to determine how long s/he had been working without sleep. We will also determine the type of work the driver does. For example, people who work long hours or perform shift work are more likely to drive drowsy.
We will also interview eyewitnesses to get their side of the story. This can be especially helpful if an eyewitness saw the driver yawning or unable to maintain his/her lane. In some cases, eyewitnesses might even see the driver fall asleep behind the wheel.
Is my case different if a commercial truck driver caused my accident?
Yes. Because commercial trucks are so large and fatigue is a huge problem with truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits how long drivers can stay on the road. To prevent drivers from working over FMCSA hour limits, drivers must maintain a daily log of how long they were on the road, when they took breaks, and how long the breaks lasted.
We will send a spoliation letter to preserve and recover those logs and determine whether the driver was over his/her hours of service limit.
How can I get help?
If you have been injured in an accident that you suspect was caused by a drowsy driver, contact our auto accident lawyers for a free evaluation of your claim. Call us at 954-767-6500 today.