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Personal Injury Lawyer
Vancouver & Southwest Washington

A Law Firm That Handles Fatigued/Asleep at the Wheel Accidents

Crash victims in Vancouver, WA count on Colin

A big problem for many people is not getting enough sleep. When those people get behind the wheel of a car, it can be an even bigger problem. Fatigued drivers can cause car accidents that leave others with serious injuries. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC helps injury victims throughout Clark County and Southwest Washington get the financial compensation they deserve.

When people drive fatigued, they struggle to pay attention to the road. Their ability to make good decisions is affected. Their reaction times are slower if they need to brake or steer suddenly. Some drivers actually fall asleep at the wheel while driving. The results are frequently devastating. Because the negligent driver is asleep, they often don’t brake. It’s a full-speed collision. Victims can be seriously injured when rear-ended at a stop sign, or T-boned by a fatigued driver gliding through a red light at an intersection.

Vancouver, WA fatigued driver accident attorney Colin Scott has seen the damage from accidents caused by these drivers. Severe neck injuries, herniated discs, broken bones, and internal organ damage are all common in this type of crash.

Injured victims of fatigued drivers deserve maximum compensation

Fatigued driving is an act of negligence, because those drivers chose to drive when they were very tired. This puts other drivers and passengers on the road at risk. The victims of the accidents they cause may suffer serious injuries that can require surgery, hospitalization, medication and physical therapy.

In Vancouver, recovering financial compensation for injuries sustained in an accident with a fatigued driver can be complicated. These drivers usually don’t admit they were tired, and this can be difficult to prove. And insurance companies are always looking for any excuse to pay you as little as possible. They may try to minimize your injuries, or they may blame you for causing the accident.

That’s why you need an experienced accident attorney who knows how to build strong cases that get results. Our firm focuses our efforts on helping accident victims get the best possible outcome after their accident. We want to help our clients recover the maximum financial compensation possible so they can rebuild their lives and move forward.

Drivers have a choice to prevent asleep at the wheel crashes

Exhausted drivers frequently have many opportunities to avoid causing a fatigue-related accident, but they make negligent decisions to drive impaired by a lack of sleep. Here are just some of the ways drivers can avoid causing an asleep at the wheel accident:

  • Don’t drive tired. Sleep deprivation, working long hours, or driving during regular sleep hours may be triggers that increase the chances of negligent drivers falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • Take regular breaks. Negligent drivers prioritize getting to their destination over the well-being and the safety of others on the road. When they start to feel drowsy, fatigued drivers should take a break or a short nap.
  • Understand medication side effects. Responsible drivers make sure they are informed about the side effects of the medications they take. Some medications can make you drowsy. If the medication says “don’t operate heavy machinery,” remember that a car is a heavy machine.
  • Share driving responsibilities. A drowsy driver may avoid causing a crash by taking turns driving with a friend or loved one.
  • Don’t drink and drive. It's common sense, but negligent drivers do it anyway. Alcohol and other illegal substances can impair a driver’s ability to stay awake. Drunk drivers should arrange for a sober ride to their destination or wait until they are well enough to safely operate a motor vehicle.
  • Utilize available preventive technology. Many vehicles nowadays come equipped with advanced safety features like lane departure warning systems or driver drowsiness detection. Negligent drivers who don’t take advantage of these technologies raise the risk of a devastating car accident.

How to prove driver fatigue in an accident

When building a case to prove driver fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel, we consider all the evidence. Our Washington personal injury and car accident law firm understands the unique information and evidence necessary to show that a driver’s fatigue caused an accident. Here are just some of the documents, facts, and methods we may use to prove you were injured in an asleep at the wheel accident:

  • Police reports. Official police reports documenting the accident can provide preliminary assessments of the driver's condition or behavior.
  • Accident reconstruction. Experts can analyze the physical evidence at the scene, such as skid marks, vehicle damage, and road conditions, to determine the cause and sequence of events leading to the accident.
  • Driver's statements. If the driver made any statements immediately following the accident or during the investigation, those statements can be used as evidence. Drivers who fell asleep at the wheel often don’t remember what happened.
  • Surveillance footage. If the accident occurred in an area with surveillance cameras, footage from nearby establishments or traffic cameras can be obtained to analyze the driver's behavior before the accident. This may help establish signs of fatigue, such as nodding off or erratic driving.
  • Medical records. Evidence of any pre-existing conditions or medications that could contribute to fatigue or drowsiness will be included in medical records. They can also document any injuries sustained during the accident, which may be consistent with falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Witness testimony. Eyewitnesses who observed the accident or interacted with the driver before the incident can provide crucial testimony.
  • Expert testimony. Sleep specialists can be called upon to provide their professional opinions on the driver's condition and the likelihood of fatigue or falling asleep.
  • Electronic logging devices (ELDs). In cases involving commercial vehicles and large trucks, the data from electronic logging devices can be accessed. These devices record information about the driver's hours of service, rest breaks, and compliance with federal regulations, which can be used to assess fatigue-related factors. This information may indicate whether a sleeping truck driver caused a crash.
  • Prior driving history. If the driver has a history of drowsy driving incidents or traffic violations, previous records and citations can be introduced to establish a pattern of behavior.

There are many types of evidence that can be used to prove a drowsy driver accident, but it takes an experienced Vancouver car accident attorney with a track record of success to get the job done right. Attorney Colin Scott has extensive experience handling car accident cases involving drivers who fell asleep at the wheel.

Fighting for the compensation you deserve

Vancouver attorney Colin Scott regularly investigates car accidents to find out what really happened. This often includes reviewing relevant documentation related to the crash, including property damage estimates and police reports. It can also include interviewing witnesses, over the phone or with assistance from a private investigator. It can also include reviewing the other driver’s criminal history for prior convictions that show they are dishonest. Colin knows where to look for this evidence and how to obtain it when appropriate. If needed, he can also consult with one or more experts and specialists who can help support a claim for liability and damages in your case.

When insurance companies see that Colin is serious about a case and is prepared to fight them in court, they may agree to enter into settlement negotiations. But that doesn’t mean they have your best interests in mind. It can sometimes mean they want to make a quick settlement that doesn’t cover all your damages and helps them save money.

That is not acceptable. Colin fights for a resolution of your case that meets your needs. This includes compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that may be available to you such as pain and suffering.

Help for injured victims of Vancouver asleep at the wheel accidents

If you were injured in an accident that you believe was caused by a fatigued driver, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. It’s generally preferable to start work on a case before evidence is lost or destroyed, and while the memories of witnesses are still fresh.

Learn more about how we can help during a free consultation with a fatigued driving accident lawyer. Attorney Colin Scott can go over your legal options and answer any questions you have. Schedule an appointment by contacting us online or calling 360-718-3640.

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