Cincinnati Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer
Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident in Cincinnati caused by a drowsy driver? If so, you could be owed significant compensation, and the attorneys at Lawrence & Associates can help you get justice.
Drowsy driving accidents are, unfortunately, quite common. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control reported that drowsy driving was a factor in 72,000 car accidents, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths. However, since it can be difficult to determine if drowsy driving played a role in an accident, the CDC also reports that it is highly underreported, and there are an additional 6,000 deaths caused by drowsy driving every year.
All drivers are legally required to safely operate their vehicles and take reasonable actions to minimize the risk of harm. Unfortunately, many drivers do not understand the danger of driving while very fatigued, which can put a driver in a similar state as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
At Lawrence & Associates, we understand the serious implications that a drowsy driving car accident can have on an individual’s life, and we are passionate about working to recover compensation for victims. Call a knowledgeable Cincinnati car accident lawyer today at (513) 351-5997 for a free consultation.
Why do I need a drowsy driving car accident attorney?
Compared to many other types of car accidents, it can be more difficult to prove that drowsiness was a factor in an accident. There is no test to prove drowsiness, unlike alcohol or drugs. An experienced drowsy driving accident attorney will be able to conduct a full investigation to determine if drowsiness played a role in your accident.
Car accidents often take a serious toll on your mental and physical health, and medical bills can add serious financial pressure. After suffering a car accident, you need to take time to rest and recover, but you also deserve compensation to help ease financial burdens. A car accident attorney will take on all legal aspects of your case, helping take some of the burden off of your shoulders.
It’s crucial to consult with an attorney before signing any legal documents after a car accident. The party who caused your accident may reach out to you and ask you to take a settlement instead of taking your case to court. While many car accident cases do end in settlement, it’s important to have a lawyer read the proposed settlement first to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. An experienced car accident lawyer may be able to negotiate a higher settlement. After you sign a legal document like a settlement, you will no longer be able to pursue further legal action, even if you find out that you got a bad deal.
Why should I choose Lawrence & Associates?
Our team of experienced accident attorneys is ready to do everything possible to get you the compensation you deserve. We understand how physically, financially, and emotionally devastating car accidents can be, and we work tirelessly to advocate for our clients. We have consistently won high-value settlements and verdicts for our clients. We understand that financial compensation cannot heal all wounds or resolve a car accident’s mental trauma, but easing the financial pressure that car accidents often bring allows you to focus on healing.
We understand that many people worry that hiring a lawyer will be too expensive. That’s why, at Lawrence & Associates, we operate on a contingency-fee-basis. That means that we only get paid if we obtain a favorable verdict for you. If we do not win your case, you don’t owe us any money at all. We also offer a 100% free consultation, where you can tell us a little about your accident, ask questions, and we can get the ball rolling on your case. Give us a call today at (513) 351-5997 to set up your consultation.
Causes of Drowsy Driving Accidents
Driving while sleep-deprived or fatigued can have similar effects as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drowsy driving can cause:
- Slow reaction time
- Reduced alertness
- Blurred vision
- Impaired judgment
In particularly dangerous situations, drowsy drivers may fall asleep at the wheel, which often results in severe or fatal accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that while anyone can drive drowsy, the majority of driver drivers fall into one or more of these three categories:
- Males between the ages of 17-23
- Individuals who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, or sleep apnea
- Employees who work irregular shifts (late at night or very early in the morning)
Investigating a drowsy driving accident
The other driver will likely not admit that they were fatigued before an accident. However, an investigation can produce compelling evidence that a driver was fatigued.
The NHTSA reports that the following characteristics often appear in fatigued driving accidents:
- The accident happens between midnight and 6 am or during the midafternoon. Our bodies are naturally supposed to be asleep between midnight to 6 am. Even individuals who work graveyard shifts and sleep during the day may experience extreme drowsiness between these hours. Additionally, we naturally experience a dip in our circadian rhythm in the midafternoon, which can be exacerbated by a lack of sleep.
- There is evidence that the driver did not try to avoid the crash. Usually, sudden braking produces skidmarks on the road. If a driver is asleep, they won’t brake and won’t produce skid marks. Eyewitness testimony can also help establish if the driver attempted to avoid the accident.
- The driver was driving alone. Drivers tend to be more alert when there are passengers in the car to talk with, and passengers can also wake a driver if they fall asleep or appear to become drowsy.
- The accident occurred on a high-speed road with few turns or curves, like a freeway. Drivers are more likely to become drowsy when they don’t have to focus on turns, stoplights, or stop signs. This means that more drowsy driving accidents occur on freeways, highways, and interstates.
Additionally, investigating the driver’s actions before getting on the road can help prove that they were drowsy. Can a classmate or roommate testify that the driver was awake the previous night studying for a test? Do cell phone records show that the driver had been driving for a significant distance without stopping? An accident that left no skid marks in which multiple witnesses testify the driver had been up for 24 hours straight is compelling evidence that the driver was drowsy.
Sometimes, drowsy driving accidents occur when an individual has taken an over-the-counter or prescription drug with a side effect of drowsiness. Receipts or credit card statements showing an individual purchased such a drug before an accident, or medical reports showing the individual had ingested it, can be powerful evidence.
How Much Compensation Am I Owed?
The amount of compensation you could recover depends on the unique circumstances of your case, such as your medical bills, property damage, and extent of your pain and suffering.
After a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only is it important for your health and wellbeing, delaying medical care can damage your legal claim. If you do not promptly receive medical care, the opposing party may argue that you worsened your condition by waiting. Do not try to tough it out — see a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries commonly resulting from drowsy driving accidents do not immediately show obvious symptoms, especially head injuries, but delaying care for such injuries can be devastating.
It’s important to keep good records of your medical care, especially bills, prescriptions, and diagnoses. If you do not have these documents, your lawyer can help you obtain them.
In general, victims in drowsy driving car accidents are eligible to ask for compensation for two kinds of damages in a lawsuit: economic and non-economic.
- Economic damages are your financial losses, such as medical bills, property damage, and any lost wages if your injuries have made you unable to work.
- Non-economic damages are commonly referred to as “pain and suffering.” They include mental trauma, anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of consortium (loss of benefits of a familial relationship). The subjective nature of non-economic damage can make it more difficult to assign a dollar figure to them, but there are a few formulas for roughly estimating pain and suffering damages.
One of these formulas is to multiply the total amount of your economic damages (medical bills, property damage, lost wages, etc.) by a number from 1-5. A “1” corresponds to a less serious injury, while a “5” indicates the most serious injury. For example, if both of your arms were severely broken during your accident, causing permanent damage, this may be considered a “4”. If you paid $15,000 in medical bills, your compensation for pain and suffering might be around $60,000.
There is no hard and fast rule or formula for estimating your compensation for pain and suffering, but your lawyer may be able to give you a better estimate based on the facts of your case.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
All drivers have a legal responsibility to drive safely. Individuals who get behind the wheel while sleep-deprived or drowsy put everyone else at risk. Drowsy drivers who cause injuries and/or property damage can be held accountable for their actions.
Contact an experienced drowsy driving accident attorney today at Lawrence & Associates. Call (513) 351-5997 to schedule your 100% free consultation.