Las Vegas Fatigued Driving
Traveling long distances can cause drivers to get drowsy behind the wheel. Anyone who is traveling a distance should make allowances for sufficient rest periods to ensure they are not falling asleep at the wheel and putting themselves and others in danger and at risk.
Unfortunately, all too often, large truck drivers are responsible for fatigued driving accidents on the roadways. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific regulations regarding hours of operation, oftentimes they are disregarded. Truck drivers are not the cause of all fatigued driving accidents but they do play a factor.
Fatigued Driving: Frightening Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there have been more than 7,000 people who have lost their lives due to fatigued driving over the last decade. While there are not any specific accident statistics available, primarily because reporting officers need to determine whether fatigue played a role in an accident, these numbers are based on estimates. Drivers should also be aware that while fatigue plays a role, there are other factors which can exacerbate the problem including:
- Prescription medications– in some cases, drivers may feel they are fully awake when they start driving but prescription medications they are taking could cause drowsiness. This is a serious problem as too often drivers do not pay attention to potential side effects of medication.
- Driving After Drinking– a driver who is already slightly overtired may find that even a limited intake of alcohol can further exacerbate the drowsiness and cause them to potentially fall asleep at the wheel. Driving after drinking even a moderate amount raises risk of accident, but when combined with exhaustion, the results can be devastating.
- Sleep disorders– some people who suffer sleep disorders including narcolepsy, sleep apnea and insomnia can be more prone to falling asleep or becoming disoriented while driving because of sudden waves of fatigue.
What Victims of Driving Fatigue Accidents Can Do
Car accidents happen on roadways all over the United States. However, if you are a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada or a visitor and you are involved in an accident that could have been prevented if the other driver were more alert behind the wheel, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit to ensure you are fairly compensated for your losses including time from work, medical bills and pain and suffering.
After an accident, law enforcement should be notified immediately by a 911 call. The police in many cases are busy an cannot immediately respond if there is not an injury requiring ambulance transport. A driver involved in an accident is well advised however to remain at the scene, even for hours if need be, until police arrive. The police investigation usually creates a very credible record about what happened very beneficial to the victim of someone else’s negligence.
Regardless of how minor injuries may initially seem to be, you should seek immediate medical attention. If ambulance transport is not appropriate, seek medical attention at a clinic the same day or as soon as reasonably possible. Delays in seeking treatment may cause an insurance company to dispute the legitimacy of a claim.
There is no obligation and no benefit to providing a recorded or other statement to the insurance company of the at fault driver. Once an injured person is represented by an attorney, the attorney will advise as to whether providing a recorded statement is in the injured party’s interest. Usually it is not.
If possible, at the scene of the accident, attempt to get information about potential witnesses as they may be helpful to you later.
Contact with any insurance company after an accident is best done after consulting with an attorney.
In some cases, your insurance company may be commonly owned the by the insurance company of the adverse driver, even if the names are different. Commonly owner insurance companies may share information. So information you provider to “your” insurance company may end up in the computer system and files of the other insurance carrier.
When you contact your insurance company after you have sought medical care, be very careful about answering questions. Keep in mind, an insurance adjuster is going to ask you some questions that could potentially be used later to show that either you were partially responsible for the accident or that your injuries were not serious.
Nevada is a shared responsibility state; this means that even when an accident was not your fault, the other driver may try to place part of the responsibility on you in order to reduce the amount of any insurance settlement you may be entitled to.
Working With a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney
You should contact a Nevada personal injury attorney and schedule a consultation as soon as you can after your accident. Many injury victims contact an attorney the same day, or within a day or two of their accident. It’s never too soon, but, it can be too late.
An attorney can advise you of your rights and help you determine how to proceed.
Victims of any car accident that could have been the result of fatigued driving often do not understand what their rights are under Nevada law.
Victims have as a practical matter a very limited time to take action after an accident. For example, a person who sought no medical treatment with two weeks of an accident might find that the insurance company questions the injury, based on the delay in treatment. There is a two year period from the date of an injury to file suit for most types of personal injury claims in Nevada, but actions taken in the immediate aftermath of the accident will have a very big effect on the claim, when it is filed.
Contact The Law Offices of Eric H. Woods
The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney, the more likely it will be that you can get a satisfactory resolution. Victims of a car accident should contact the Eric H. Woods Law Offices at 702-737-0000 and schedule a consultation to find out what options are available to them.