Falling asleep while driving can be construed as gross negligence because it shows a reckless disregard for others. Drowsy driving is dangerous and falling completely asleep is even more dangerous. When a driver falls asleep at the wheel, they put themselves and everyone in their path in danger. Drowsy driving and falling asleep are usually avoidable with caution.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury because of negligence, you could receive financial compensation from the at-fault driver or another liable party. A private driver who fell asleep while driving could bear liability. If the driver was a rideshare, truck, or another kind of commercial driver, their employer could also bear liability. A personal injury law firm can help you build a strong case for compensation.
How does Gross Negligence Affect Personal Injury Compensation?
In most personal injury cases, the injured party must prove the at-fault party was negligent. The legal components of negligence include a duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. An injury lawyer in your area can help you prove these factors.
Proving these elements entitles you to typical personal injury damages that include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Current and future lost income and benefits
- Property damage or destruction
- Lasting disability or disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Wrongful death damages, where applicable (e.g., funeral and burial expenses, the decedent’s final medical expenses, and lost household income)
By comparison, reckless or extreme negligence defines gross negligence. In general, it means the at-fault party acted with a wanton disregard for your safety. A personal injury case that results from gross negligence could entitle you to additional damages compensation punitive damages.
Personal injury attorneys in your area can help you understand when your case meets the criteria of gross negligence. They can also handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are a special category of compensation rarely awarded in personal injury cases. They penalize the at-fault party rather than reward the injured party. You could be eligible for punitive damages if your accident was caused by:
- Gross negligence
- Egregious actions
- Intentional wrongdoing
Having a personal injury lawyer familiar with state and local law on your side could help your case. It can take the burden of preparing your case off your shoulders and allow you to focus on your physical recovery without losing valuable time.
Your state will impose a filing deadline, called a statute of limitations, on your right to file your personal injury lawsuit. If it expires, you could unintentionally forfeit your right to file your lawsuit and be left with no legal avenue that allows you to seek compensation. Another benefit of hiring a local lawyer rather than representing yourself is they can accurately define and comply with your state’s filing deadline.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
How do I Prove Gross Negligence in a Falling Asleep While Driving Accident Case?
It can be challenging to prove your case against someone who fell asleep at the wheel. A local law firm will have team members and resources to investigate and prove your case. To prove the elements of negligence and gross negligence, your lawyer will collect evidence that includes:
- Official accident report
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Accident scene photos
- Accident reconstruction
The lawyer who handles your case could collect evidence you might find difficult to access on your own. This can include security, dashcam, and surveillance video footage that may have captured the at-fault driver’s actions. It can also include obtaining driver’s license and driving history information for the at-fault driver.
How Prevalent Is Drowsy Driving and Falling Asleep at the Wheel?
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research from 2022, as many as 6,000 fatal car accidents could be the result of drowsy driving. The most commonly reported reasons for drowsy driving or falling asleep while driving include:
- Commercial drivers who work long hours
- Shift workers who work the graveyard shift
- Drivers who have untreated sleep disorders
- Drivers who consume sleep-inducing medication
Another common cause is drivers who do not get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel. If either of these reasons caused your accident, you could be entitled to multiple forms of compensation. Your lawyer will fight hard to obtain the compensation you are entitled to recover and the best possible outcome for your case.
Get Your Free Consultation Now After a Drowsy Driver Car Accident
Were you or someone you love injured in an accident because the other involved driver fell asleep while driving? If you were, our car accident attorney can help you prove the negligence that caused the accident. We can also help you fight for monetary compensation.
Learn more about how Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you build a strong case for financial recovery after a crash that a drowsy driver caused. Contact one of our team members for your initial free consultation today.