Operating a vehicle while fatigued or sleepy – commonly known as drowsy driving – is reckless behavior that has claimed thousands of lives. With a variety of sleeping disorders across the United States, drowsy driving can happen to anyone at any time and it is extremely dangerous. Dozing off for even a few seconds can cause the driver to run the vehicle off the road, or crash into another driver’s car. Fatigued driving slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment, increases the risk of a crash, and can be fatal.
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If you or your loved one were hit by a driver asleep at the wheel, help is available to you. A Washington, DC drowsy driving car accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long can help you to recover compensation for medical costs, property damage, lost wages, future earnings, and pain and suffering.
Our car accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We understand that the aftermath of a drowsy driving accident can leave the victim shocked, emotionally distressed, and physically broken.
Oftentimes, our DC drowsy driving accident attorneys first meet clients while they are in the throes of grief. In the office, compassion is the utmost priority when we meet with the victims of a car accident. However, in the courtroom, our accident lawyer is not afraid to fight fiercely on behalf of our clients to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
We offer free consultations to prospective clients. We do not charge a fee unless a settlement or a verdict is reached. Contact one of our top Washington, DC drowsy driving accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long today for a free consultation let us take on the burden of the legal processes that follow a car accident so you can concentrate on the healing process.
Unfortunately, drowsy driving is extremely prevalent in the United States. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving is responsible for approximately 6,400 U.S. deaths each year. Research done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that the prevalence of drowsy driving fatalities is more than 350% greater than reported.
Even with these daunting statistics, only two states placed drowsy driving laws into effect. Arkansas’ drowsy driving law was enacted in 2013 and defines fatigue as “being without sleep for over 24 consecutive hours.” New Jersey put “Maggie’s Law” into effect in 2003 and considers driving “while knowingly fatigued” as legal recklessness.
Currently, there are no drowsy driving laws in Washington, DC, Virginia, or Maryland. This is why it is essential to have a legal expert from Regan Zambri Long on your side. Our detailed knowledge of the laws and various insurance policies across the DC Metro area will ensure that you receive the proper amount of compensation after an accident.
It’s a little-known fact drowsy drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers. While Americans have been taught the dangers of drunk driving since grade school, very little is mentioned about the perils of driving while fatigued. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that being awake for at least 18 hours is the same as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. Being awake for at least 24 hours is equal to having a blood alcohol content of 0.1%, which is higher than the legal limit.
Sleep deprivation can hurt your driving ability in the following ways:
While it is difficult to predict when you are going to fall asleep, the Washington, DC Department of Motor Vehicles highlights plenty of warning signs to look for before and during a long drive, including:
If you notice any of these signs, the safest thing to do is to stop driving. Pull the car over and take a 15-20 minute nap in a safe place, such as a rest stop.
There are plenty of ways to avoid getting to this point and reduce driver fatigue before it becomes a problem. They include:
Were you in a drowsy driving car accident in Washington, DC? Here’s what you should do:
The police will be able to help you with immediate medical needs, direct traffic away from the vehicles, and investigate the scene. Make sure to notify the officers of any injuries that need immediate medical attention so they can coordinate emergency medical help for you or your passengers. Do not let the other driver persuade you not to call the police, especially if you suspect driver fatigue. Do not take money from the other driver, as that can hinder your chances of receiving proper compensation later.
Look for any destruction done to your car and personal possessions. Take pictures, videos, and notes for documentation and keep that documentation safe. After your initial assessment is done, exchange information with the other driver. If the driver refuses to give you the proper information, the police officer on your case will provide it in the police crash report. If there are any witnesses present, be sure to collect their contact information, as well.
After you arrive home, the next step is to contact your insurance company. Remember, insurance companies are notorious for doing everything they can to not pay proper compensation to their clients. Even though you are dealing with your own insurance company after a car accident, you need to know they are not on your side. You will not deal with your own insurance agent, but an adjuster, whose job it is to pay out the minimum amount of what is owed to you following a car crash.
At Regan Zambri Long, the car accident lawyers know the ins and outs of Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland driving laws. They are experts at dealing with various insurance policies and can navigate the car accident claim process so you don’t have to. So as soon as you report the claim, your next phone call should be to our car accident attorney.
Our Washington DC-based personal injury law firm passionately advocates for their clients who have sustained injuries due to the negligence of others. Because Washington, DC doesn’t have explicit drowsy driving laws, the legal process following a car accident that involved driver fatigue can be complicated and difficult to prove. The evidence that needs to be gathered includes:
The leading fatigued driving accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have the expertise and resources available to gather all the necessary evidence to see your case through to the very end. Whether your case ends in a settlement or verdict, we will work to secure the favorable outcome you need.
Unfortunately, getting into a drowsy driving accident can result in serious injuries, such as:
Sometimes, drowsy driving accidents can result in fatal injuries. If you lost a loved one because a driver fell asleep behind the wheel, You have the right to file a wrongful death claim against that driver. Contact our auto accident lawyers today to find out what your legal options may be.
A settlement happens when the insurance company agrees to pay an agreed-upon amount owed to the injured car accident victim. This is the ideal situation, though it is not the standard. Many times, a settlement has to be reached through negotiation, which is when you’ll need an experienced DC car accident attorney by your side.
A verdict is reached through a lawsuit after the insurance company refuses to provide proper compensation. If a settlement cannot be reached, then the personal injury claim will be heading to court, where a jury will determine how much compensation is owed to the plaintiff. Regan Zambri Long car accident attorneys champion their clients in the courtroom and have secured millions in case verdicts for their clients.
Damages that can be collected from a car accident lawsuit are split up into three different categories. The first is economic damages, which includes:
The second category in recovery damages are non-economic damages, which include:
And finally, the third category is punitive damages, which are damages secured because the other driver acted with:
It’s important to note that punitive damages are only awarded in rare cases.
“Contributory negligence” is a legal rule that prevents an injured person from seeking damages if they are found partially at fault for the accident that caused their injuries. If the plaintiff “contributes” to their own injuries by acting negligently, they may be barred from recovering compensation from the defendant. Washington DC, along with Virginia and Maryland, are three of the five jurisdictions that use contributory negligence instead of comparative negligence.
If you are unsure whether you may be found partially at fault or believe you have been wrongly accused of contributory negligence, contact a lawyer at Regan Zambri Long.
According to the CDC, there are five types of drivers that are most likely to be a drowsy driver:
Every case is different, so it’s hard to predict how much compensation you should expect. The amount depends on the severity of the injuries and the need for extensive medical care. Regan Zambri Long works to ensure that their clients are paid the maximum amount of compensation.
Yes. The attorneys at Regan Zambri Long work with medical experts in order to strengthen the claim and ensure a beneficial outcome for their client following a catastrophic injury caused by a car crash.
After a catastrophic event, there are many battles to overcome whether it’s grief, physical healing, or emotional distress. The claims process is one battle you don’t have to fight alone. Let Regan Zambri Long carry the weight of the legal processes, so you can give yourself time to rest and recover.
If you were in a car accident with a drowsy driver anywhere in the DC Metro area, we’re here to help. Contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis so you do not owe us a fee until your case is successful.