Driver Fatigue and Vehicle Accidents in Washington, D.C.
Were you hit by a negligent driver while operating a vehicle in Washington, D.C.? At The Abelson Law Firm, we understand that this type of tragedy appears to come out of nowhere, and it has the capacity to permanently diminish your health and well-being. An accident also causes unnecessary financial and emotional distress to your loved ones and worries your close friends. Of course, they don’t want to see you hurting from injuries that weren’t your fault. Everyone believes that you deserve fair compensation under the law. A major cause of injuries and fatalities each year in D.C. occurs when the negligent driver is suffering from fatigue. In other words, the driver does not have adequate sleep and loses his or her focus while behind the wheel. In deaths resulting from a large truck crashing into a passenger vehicle, the alertness issue is a key factor.
Driver Fatigue and Truck Accidents
One of the problems that could affect all types of drivers is a devastating collision with a semi-truck, also known as a large truck or a tractor-trailer. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS),
“A total of 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016. Seventeen percent of these deaths were truck occupants, 66 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 16 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.”
Why so many more occupants of passenger vehicles die than other types of victims (that is, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and truck drivers) is a matter of physics. Because a semi-truck weighs 20 to 30 times what a passenger vehicle does, the odds are very unlikely that passengers riding in a smaller vehicle could survive, especially in the event of a head-on collision. It’s important for all drivers to get behind the wheel when they have had enough rest and they aren’t impaired by a substance such as alcohol, prescription drugs, or recreational drugs. Alert drivers can avoid collisions and save the lives of other passengers in their vehicle. What’s more, drivers should avoid texting and other distractions that detract from the attention they give to all vehicles on the same highway.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer
If you’re hurt in a serious collision, then you likely have many unanswered questions, and you want to trust a lawyer who has assisted clients with similar matters. At The Abelson Law Firm, we take each accident case seriously and look at its potential merits. We cannot help everyone, but we can review each claim and determine if there is a viable claim that we might pursue on the injured person’s behalf. You may need to help your minor child, spouse, or infirm parent seek legal help for injuries sustained in an accident, and we will help with questions like these:
- Who will help you get reimbursed for medical bills related to the accident?
- What happens if you cannot return to work or perform the same kind of work?
- How will you be compensated for your needless pain and suffering?
- How will you afford legal representation?.
We are passionate about helping accident victims seek justice through the civil court system. If you do pursue your motor vehicle accident claim, however, there is no guarantee that you will recover money from any defendant or his or her insurance policy.
What Is Our Experience With Fatigued Driver Claims?
If you are hurt by a fatigued driver, there is the burden of having to prove how his or her actions caused your damages. We’ve helped many clients to seek damages for injuries, usually through the settlement-demand process, which means we ask the defendant’s carrier to make an offer based on medical records and other evidence in a specific case. Although you didn’t deserve what happened to you, you want a lawyer with civil litigation experience to battle the insurance company. If you do get a settlement or your lawyer takes the case to trial, your life will never be the way it was before the crash. The nature of permanent injuries and the emotional trauma of a crash usually mean that your life is different. You must rebuild around the new state of your body. Seeking compensation involves exercising your legal right to hold the defendants accountable for their negligence.
How Do I Obtain Damages?
Each accident case has its own time limit for which the injured person may pursue legal action. Typically, a person injured by a fatigued driver has 3 years to make a claim, but you should have an attorney advise you on the statute of limitations that applies to your potential case. If you fail to pursue the claim, you could lose your rights to make any recovery. When we present a client’s claim to the at-fault insurance company, we typically ask for these types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Prescription costs
- Medical transportation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Attorney’s fees and costs
- Punitive damages (that is, awarded in the few cases in which a jury determines the defendant or his or her insurance company committed gross negligence)
Who Bears Responsibility for My Fatigued Driver Claim?
We understand that each person who gets hurt in a preventable accident feels wronged. You want swift justice, but it can’t come quickly enough to ease your pain. If you pursue a claim against a fatigued driver, there are no guarantees of recovering anything. The defendant’s insurance company may present an adequate defense, and you could potentially lose your case at trial. It takes a long time for the legal process to work. It’s best to consult a personal injury attorney before moving forward.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Victims of motor vehicle accidents often lack the legal resources to prepare their case and to submit a demand for compensation to the defendant’s insurance company. We look forward to reviewing each potential claim and to determine if we can be of any assistance. When you schedule your free consultation, be sure to ask Mr. Abelson about his experience with similar cases. We encourage you to call us at (202) 331-0600 or contact us online for free information.