According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every year nearly 100,000 police-reported crashes involve drowsy driving. At Levin & Malkin, our car accident attorneys are acutely aware of the innocent victims of these accidents, some of whom are our clients, and some of whom were the fatally injured loved ones of our clients. If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a drowsy driving car accident, contact our sharp personal injury legal team for a free initial consultation.

We have many years of experience targeting negligent drivers whose sleepiness was the cause of traffic accidents that severely injured or killed other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. While we all know how easy it is to fall asleep at the wheel, especially when physically exhausted or sleep-deprived, there is no excuse for taking the wheel or continuing to drive when you are at high risk of having a collision. 

The alternatives are many: you can pull over and rest, have enough caffeine to keep you awake until you reach your destination, stay at a motel, call a friend for backup. Nothing is more important in terms of time or money than protecting your own life and the lives of others on the road.

Drowsy Driving Is Never Okay

Perhaps you are suffering a broken bone, a traumatic brain injury, paralysis, amputation, damage to an organ or loss of someone you love to a driver who states that his/her drowsy driving was unavoidable. If so, our car accident attorneys are as troubled and angered by this excuse as you are. That’s why we are determined to fight aggressively to win you the damages you need to return to some semblance of normalcy.

Driving while impaired by drowsiness is almost always the fault of drivers who:

  • Have sleep apnea but refuse to acknowledge the problem or treat it
  • Have trouble sleeping over a period of time but don’t seek medical help
  • Leave for a trip at 3 a.m. to beat traffic, but fail to get enough sleep the night before
  • Fail to check the labels of prescription or over-the-counter drugs to see whether drowsiness is a possible side effect of medications they are taking
  • Refuse to consider public transportation or a drive share service in spite of feeling exhausted or sleepy
  • Are not alert to signs of drowsiness, like crossing lane lines or hitting a rumble strip 

Why You Need a Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer

Being injured in a drowsy driving car accident can be overwhelming physically, emotionally, and financially. Let our car accident attorneys take all necessary steps to hold negligent and reckless drowsy drivers accountable by: 

  • Gathering evidence (including surveillance footage)
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Examining police reports and medical records
  • Consulting with accident reconstruction and medical experts 
  • Creating a winning strategy for trial that may win us a generous settlement without one 

Factors that Affect or Worsen Driving While Drowsy

Teenagers are renowned for pushing the envelope, including by skimping on sleep which can be very dangerous. In a similar vein, senior citizens have a tendency they may be unaware of toward fatigue at earlier hours and may have vision that is less acute than it was. Truck and bus drivers are particularly vulnerable to becoming drowsy on the road because of their need to keep to tight schedules and drive for long hours. 

Besides these complications, far too many people drink alcohol before driving. Even if they imbibe a small amount, it makes sleepiness more likely.

Drowsy Driving Is Distracted Driving

Studies have put distracted driving into three categories:

  • Manual distraction in which the drivers remove their hands from the wheel
  • Visual distraction during which drivers’ eyes stop focusing on the road
  • Cognitive distraction during which drivers’ minds are thinking of other things than driving

Drowsy driving involves all three types of distraction. No wonder it’s dangerous! We’ve all had the experience of dozing on the sofa and dropping something as we do. This is an example of manual distraction. If this occurs while driving, a sleepy driver’s hand may slip from the wheel. 

Such dozing may last for four or five seconds, during which time a car moving at 55 mph can travel 100 yards with its driver asleep. Equally alarming, during those seconds of dozing, the driver’s eyes are no longer focused on the road and the driver’s thoughts have drifted to dreamland. This means she or he is visually and cognitively distracted as well. During those few inattentive seconds, a catastrophe can easily occur.

While it is sometimes difficult to prove that the driver who caused you harm was sleepy or dozing, it may be easier to prove distracted driving — a charge which may be sufficient to have you awarded substantial damages. Even if you are partially responsible for the collision, for example, if you were speeding at the time of the crash, you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

What Comparative Negligence Means

If evidence shows that both parties bear partial responsibility for the drowsy driving accident, the court will assign each driver a percentage of the blame. As long as you are determined to bear no more than 50 percent fault for the crash, you are entitled to claim compensatory damages under New Jersey Comparative Negligence Law. 

Whatever the particular circumstances of your case, the highly skilled car accident attorneys at Levin & Malkin will work diligently to get you maximum compensation. If the other driver was especially reckless, e.g. sleepy due to alcohol or other substance abuse, you may be awarded punitive damages as well.

Damages Our Capable Car Accident Attorneys Will Fight For

Because we know how overwhelming serious injuries or a death in the family can be, we will fight vigorously to get you the resources you are entitled to for:

  • Medical and rehabilitation costs
  • Lost income, present and future
  • Property damage or loss
  • Psychological counseling
  • Replacement services (e.g. house cleaning)
  • Extended nursing care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Permanent scarring or other disfigurements
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Final medical costs, funeral costs, loss of financial and emotional support (in case of wrongful death)

If You’ve Been Harmed in a Drowsy Driving Car Accident, Contact Levin & Malkin

Our experienced car accident attorneys have your back. We will not only fight for your rights but treat you with the respect and compassion you deserve. More than that, we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we win your case. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.