Driving while tired is one of the most dangerous ways to drive. While drivers generally appreciate the risks of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may not appreciate the risks of drowsy driving. In some cases, being tired can impair a driver as much as intoxication, potentially leading to severe or even deadly car accidents.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash with a drowsy driver or your loved one was killed in a crash where the driver fell asleep at the wheel, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Baltimore drowsy driving car accident lawyer represents injured victims and their families and fights to get them compensation for the damages they faced. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our attorneys today at (410) 694-7291.
Suing for Tired Driving Accidents in Maryland
When a driver causes a car crash, the victims generally need to prove that the at-fault driver did something wrong behind the wheel to prove they were at fault. In most cases, violation of a traffic law is good proof of negligence behind the wheel, as is something that would be clearly dangerous compared to what a reasonable driver should do. Cases of tired driving usually fall into the second category, but tired driving might also violate reckless driving laws.
Sometimes driving while you are a bit tired is unavoidable. Driving to work in the morning before you’ve had your coffee – or coming back from a long day at work – might mean having to drive while you’re a bit tired. This can be somewhat dangerous, but it might not be outside the realm of what a reasonable driver would do. However, driving while you’re exhausted or while nodding off is patently dangerous, and no reasonable driver would continue to drive under those circumstances.
In a situation where the at-fault driver was so tired they could barely stay awake, you can claim that the driver violated the expected safety standards that a reasonable driver would follow. Drivers, in fact, have a legal duty to drive as a reasonable driver would, and failing to meet that standard can be grounds to hold them liable for any injuries they cause.
Alternatively, a victim of a drowsy driving accident could point to reckless driving laws to claim the at-fault driver was negligent. Maryland law makes it illegal to drive with “wanton or willful disregard for” other drivers’ safety. Choosing to continue driving while literally falling asleep at the wheel is clearly risky and could cause injuries to other drivers. This might work as a legal avenue to prove the at-fault driver’s violations, allowing a court to hold them responsible for the harm resulting from the crash.
Damages for Drowsy Driving Crashes in Baltimore
Tired driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving because being tired similarly slows your ability to react, makes it more difficult to make quick decisions, and makes it harder to pay attention to your surroundings. These impairments can contribute to a crash and make it unsafe to operate a vehicle. In addition, a driver could literally fall asleep at the wheel, which would make it impossible for them to control their vehicle. If a driver cannot react quickly enough to hit the brakes or turn to avoid the crash, the resulting accident often occurs at higher speeds and causes more severe damage. Because of this, drowsy driving accidents often result in high damages and severe injuries.
Drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians who are injured in a car crash can often sue the at-fault driver for damages. These damages may be paid, at least in part, by the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy, but filing an insurance claim might not be the best way to get damages. Insurance claims often pay for vehicle damage, medical bills, and lost wages, but they might not cover these damages in full or pay for pain and suffering. To claim these full damages, you may need to file your case in court.
Damages for medical bills and lost wages are often the core foundation of an injury case. If your injuries required medical care and caused you to miss work while you recovered, you should not be the one to cover that burden. Instead, the driver who was responsible for the crash should cover any medical expenses – including surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, and other care costs. They should also cover any wages you miss if the injury made it harder to work, including lost paychecks from your recovery and any reduced earning capacity you face if the injuries are permanent or make it impossible to return to work.
Damages for pain and suffering are also available in lawsuits for injuries in Maryland. These damages are separate from the medical bills and lost wages and are used to pay the victim directly for the pain, physical discomfort, mental anguish, and emotional distress of the injuries.
These damages can be much higher than anticipated in cases of severe or permanent injuries or disabilities, and you should never accept money from an insurance company or at-fault driver before discussing the value of your case with an experienced injury lawyer.
Call Our Baltimore Tired and Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a drowsy or tired driver, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Baltimore drowsy driving car accident lawyer represents injury victims and their families and fights to get them financial compensation for the injuries they faced. For a free consultation on your potential case, call our tired driving injury attorneys today at (410) 694-7291.