Driver fatigue is often a factor in collisions caused by someone’s careless conduct. The Florida Department of Transportation reports that people most at risk for driving while drowsy include teenagers, third-shift workers or others who work at odd times, jet-lagged business travelers, and commercial and long-haul truckers. At Cohn & Smith, our Pembroke Pines driver fatigue crash attorneys understand the challenges faced by injured Pembroke Pines residents in seeking compensation. We can assess the facts of your case, explore your goals and needs, and identify the options that you can pursue.Seeking Compensation from a Negligent Motorist
Driving while an individual is extremely tired slows down the person’s reaction time and makes it difficult to stay focused on the road. Anyone who is hurt in an ensuing accident usually can file a negligence lawsuit against the at-fault party. Negligence is the failure to exercise the same level of care and caution that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in the same circumstances. There are four basic components of this claim that an accident victim typically must establish:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached this duty of care by driving while too fatigued to handle a vehicle properly;
- The fatigued driving caused the accident; and
- The victim incurred quantifiable damages.
In the context of a negligence lawsuit, an excessively exhausted driver who chooses to get behind the wheel likely will be found to have breached the duty of care. This is because operating a vehicle in that condition exposes that person and others to unnecessary, avoidable risks, and a reasonable person probably would not make the same choice.
Often, accidents involving driver fatigue occur in the context of commercial drivers and trucking companies transporting goods over long distances. Detailed state and federal regulations govern this industry, including rules on how long truckers can stay behind the wheel of their big rigs before taking a break. If a commercial driver violated one of these regulations, that behavior likely would constitute a breach. However, as with a car accident case, a victim still would need to prove that the careless conduct directly resulted in his or her injuries.
When a truck driver causes a crash, that driver’s employer sometimes can be held liable as well. Under the theory of vicarious liability, a trucking company may be accountable for the actions of employees that were taken in the course and scope of the employment relationship. In other instances, an employer’s failure to properly train or supervise a driver may make it directly liable for an accident that results from its own negligence.
Driver fatigue can cause serious accidents, especially when large commercial vehicles are involved. Victims may be able to pursue a wide range of damages, including amounts related to lost incomes, pain and suffering, vehicle repairs, and the past and future medical costs that resulted from the injuries.Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Collision in Coral Springs with a Pembroke Pines Driver Fatigue Crash Attorney
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by driver fatigue, you can potentially take legal action against the at-fault party. At Cohn & Smith, our skilled motor vehicle collision attorneys have guided victims from Coral Springs and other areas of South Florida through the process of pursuing compensation. We will fight vigorously to protect your rights. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us online or call us at 954-431-8100. We proudly represent injured individuals in communities such as Weston, Tamarac, and Pompano Beach.