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Can I Pursue Compensation for an Accident Caused by a Fatigued Driver?

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Campbell County, TN car accident lawyer drowsy driving

Roads and highways can be dangerous places, whether someone is driving for work, for pleasure, or as part of their daily routine. The large number of automobiles on the road increases the risk of car accidents, and one of the primary factors that can lead to deadly collisions is fatigued driving. Truck drivers should especially be careful of driving while tired, since they are often on the road for long hours and during overnight shifts. If a vehicle collides with a larger vehicle like a truck, the results can be catastrophic.

According to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, fatigued driving results in 1.2 million crashes and over 5,000 fatalities every year. Victims of car accidents involving fatigued drivers may be entitled to receive financial compensation for their damages.

What Happens After a Wreck Involving a Fatigued Driver?

In any accident, the police should be called to the scene in order to file a written report of the damage to both vehicles. All persons involved should also seek medical attention if injuries were sustained in the accident. In regard to monetary compensation for economic damages such as medical bills or car repairs, the driver who is at fault for the accident is expected to pay. A driver who takes the wheel while they were impaired due to lack of sleep will typically be considered at fault for an accident.

Under Tennessee law, the at-fault driver may also be required to pay compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. The limit for non-economic damages is $750,000 for most injuries. If a person suffers a catastrophic injury, the limit is increased to $1,000,000. In certain cases, such as when a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, these limits do not apply.

Tennessee law also states that a victim of a car accident has a certain amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit after a wreck. A victim has one year to file a claim for personal injuries and three years for property damages. 

What Are the Signs of Fatigued Driving?

If a motorist is about to embark on a long journey, they need to be aware of their driving capability. When someone else is riding in the vehicle, that passenger can help recognize the signs of fatigued driving. If driving alone, the motorist needs to be aware of their own ability to operate their vehicle safely. Signs of fatigued driving include:

  • The driver cannot keep their eyes open

  • The driver is struggling to hold their head up

  • The driver is yawning frequently

  • The driver's mind begins to wander

  • The driver accidentally misses a turn or exit

  • The driver forgets about a landmark that was passed

If any of these signs become obvious, a driver should pull off of the road and take a nap to regain the energy needed to complete the trip. Many motorists choose to drink coffee while driving in the hopes that the caffeine will keep them awake, but this is not an effective way to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.

Contact a Jacksboro, TN Personal Injury Attorney

Fatigued driving can significantly impair a motorist’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, and it is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately, some motorists do not realize they are too tired to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, and they may cause an accident as a result. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident involving a fatigued driver, the Law Offices of William F. Evans can help you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with a Campbell County car accident lawyer, call 423-449-7980.


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