Louisiana Auto Accidents due to Tired Drivers
Many drivers do not realize that operating a vehicle while fatigued or sleep-deprived can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Too often, drivers in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana underestimate the risks of getting behind the wheel when they are tired, or underestimate how much their sleepiness is impacting their ability to drive safely.
Because New Orleans personal injury lawyers have worked on many claims involving sleep-deprived drivers, they know how exhaustion can contribute to auto accidents and how to build a strong injury claim should a person be injured due to a collision involving tired drivers.
Dangers of Driving Sleep Deprived
Driving while fatigued is a serious threat to road safety for a range of reasons, including the following.
- Impaired cognitive function. When a person has not been getting enough sleep, it affects their cognitive abilities. Extremely fatigued drivers often have difficulty staying focused on the road, so they are unable to recognize hazards in time to avoid them.
- Decreased alertness. Lack of sleep reduces alertness, and drowsiness can lead to some drivers momentarily falling asleep at the wheel. Sometimes referred to as microsleeps, these short periods of nodding off can have devastating consequences when a person is driving at a high speed or in heavy traffic.
- Slowed reflexes. Exhaustion slows down a person’s reflexes, so they are not able to respond quickly to sudden changes in road conditions, or their response to dangers is delayed. This delay significantly increases the risk of rear-end collisions, sideswipes, and inadequate responses to traffic signs and signals
- Judgment impaired. It can be difficult to impossible for a person to make accurate and rational decisions if they are a sleep-deprived driver. Because of their impaired judgment, they may engage in reckless behavior, such as tailgating, speeding, or making lane changes that are abrupt and unsafe.
To pursue compensation after a collision caused by a tired driver, it may be necessary to establish that the fatigued driver was negligent. An experienced injury attorney can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case demonstrating that the driver’s sleep deprivation was either a contributing factor in the collision or the sole reason the accident occurred.
Calculating Damages and Dealing with Insurance Companies
A skilled New Orleans personal injury lawyer will total up all of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and any other losses resulting from the accident. This full valuation assessment will ensure you receive fair compensation.
Having an attorney by your side can help protect your rights should an insurance company try to minimize payouts or shift blame. And if a fair settlement cannot be reached through insurance negotiations, an attorney can use their expertise to represent you in court.
Have you been recovering from an injury caused by a fatigued driver? After an accident in New Orleans, Metairie or Gretna, connect with the seasoned legal team at Palazzo Law Firm in order to hold the responsible party accountable. Call 504-433-1442 for a free consultation.