Establishing Liability in a Drowsy Driving Lawsuit

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on October 30, 2020

. Updated on March 23, 2022


woman falling asleep at the wheelPeople who get behind the wheel and drive while fatigued are one of the leading causes of serious car accidents in the U.S. today. Thousands of people are injured or killed due to drowsy driving accidents each year. However, because there is no method to capture fatigue, as you can for alcohol or substance abuse, it is much harder to prove liability.

If you were injured because of negligent driving behavior, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney to determine if you may have legal actions for recovering compensation.

At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, our South Bend car accident attorneys are well-versed in accidents involving drowsy drivers, and we have a proven track record, having recovered millions in compensation for our clients. We are prepared to work to build a robust claim and pursue the maximum amount of compensation on your behalf.

How Can We Prove Negligence Due to Drowsy Driving?

Establishing a driver is at fault for a concrete reason, such as drinking and driving or speeding, is an easier task. It is considerably harder to show tangible evidence of a drowsy driver who caused an accident.

That said, there are some types of evidence that your attorney may be able to obtain and use to support your accident claim, including:

  • Driver performance errors: A lack of skid marks at the accident scene may show that the drowsy driver did not try to brake or take other evasive measures, something that is common when someone falls asleep at the wheel.
  • Medical records: These records may be useful if it shows the other party was taking a prescription drug that causes fatigue.
  • Credit card receipts and phone records: Reviewing these records may reveal that the at-fault party had been on the road for hours and would likely have been experiencing fatigue.
  • Speak with witnesses who may have seen the accident: Witnesses may have seen the vehicle of the at-fault party swerve into another lane or into oncoming traffic. A passenger in the at-fault driver’s vehicle may also be able to testify that he or she had been yawning, blinking or nodding off in the moments before the crash.
  • Accident reconstructionist: This type of expertise may be valuable in providing evidence, such as vehicle damage, to prove fault, including whether the driver was likely to have been driving drowsy.
  • Dash cam or video footage from nearby businesses or traffic lights: Sometimes there may be video footage of the accident that provides visual evidence of the crash.
  • Social media: If the at-fault driver is active on social media, your attorney may be able to determine that he or she had been up for enough hours to be considered dangerously fatigued.

Who is Most at Risk for Driving Fatigued?

Many motorists may suffer from being tired while driving occasionally, but there are some who have an increased risk for being fatigued while operating their vehicles, such as:

  • Those working alternative hours or beyond their normal shifts
  • People with sleep apnea or other sleep disorders
  • Anyone driving after midnight and up until six in the morning
  • Individuals who take prescriptions drugs that cause drowsiness
  • Drivers who have consumed alcohol – it does not necessarily have to exceed the legal limit to cause drowsiness

It is a known fact that driving drowsy can be compared to driving drunk, but preventing drowsy driving is straightforward. If you are having difficulty staying awake – such as blinking, yawning, swerving or nodding off, you should not be on the road. Pull over to a safe area and rest awhile. Driving while fatigued is reckless and negligent behavior that can lead to a serious or deadly collision.

Our Experienced Lawyers May Benefit Your Claim

If you were in a serious accident and suffered injuries through no fault of your own, our licensed attorneys are prepared to help. Having an experienced team of legal professionals to help you with your potential car accident claim can mean the difference between accepting your insurance company’s low offer or obtaining the maximum compensation for your injuries.

While no attorney can guarantee an outcome, injured victims who hire an attorney typically obtain a larger compensation than those who do not.

Contact Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak to learn how we may be able to help. There is zero cost for your initial consultation, and if we represent you, there are also no upfront costs or attorney fees to pay. You will not have to pay us anything until we recover compensation for you.

Call our firm for experienced legal help today. (844) 678-1800

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases