Drowsy Driving Accidents in Louisville
Americans are always on the go, with busier schedules than ever, we are constantly trying to pack more activities into the limited amount of time we have. One of the unfortunate side effects of being so busy is not getting enough sleep. This can not only be detrimental for health; it can also be dangerous when we drive.
Drowsy driving causes tens of thousands of auto accidents and injuries each year, with hundreds of these accidents resulting in fatalities. Of course, when a driver falls asleep at the wheel, the results can be disastrous. But even when motorists are sleepy and fatigued but do not fall asleep, they still have slower reaction times and tend to be less attentive behind the wheel.
When the negligence of a drowsy driver causes an accident, those who suffer injuries through no fault of their own deserve to be compensated. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drowsy driving accident, you cannot count on the insurance company to give you a fair settlement. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible, and their interests are not aligned with yours. With so much at stake, it is important to have an experienced legal advocate in your corner who is looking out for your interests.
For more than two decades, the attorneys at John H. Ruby & Associates have successfully represented individuals who have been injured in drowsy driving accidents, and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries in Kentucky. We understand the major physical, emotional, and financial toll these types of injuries can have on victims and their families, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time.
Drowsy driving accident cases tend to be more complicated than standard motor vehicle accident claims. Oftentimes, these types of cases involve commercial drivers and their employers, which means a different set of laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry and going up against large entities with vast resources. We are not intimidated by complex cases against well-funded adversaries, and we fight hard to recover every dollar of compensation our clients deserve.
Drowsy Driving Accidents in Kentucky
Drowsy driving is far more common than most people realize. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of Americans have driven while tired or fatigued and 37% admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel during the past year. Some of the groups most likely to drive while drowsy include:
- Drivers who get less than six hours of sleep every day;
- Drivers who have untreated sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea;
- Younger and less experienced drivers, especially those who stay out late and drive past midnight;
- Drivers who consume alcohol, drugs, or medications and make them sleepy;
- Travelers who drive long distances or frequently fly to different time zones;
- Shift workers (e.g., those who work long hours and work overnights or early mornings);
- Drivers who operate commercial vehicles, such as buses and semi-trucks.
Drowsy driving has always been a major problem in the trucking industry. Many commercial truck drivers fall into multiple high-risk groups. Trucking companies put a lot of pressure on drivers to deliver their loads on time, often prompting them to stay out on the road longer than they should. In addition, according to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report, approximately one third of all truck drivers in United States have sleep apnea. As we all know, accidents involving big rig trucks can be catastrophic, and the industry must do more to ensure the safety of its drivers and other motorists they share the roadways with.
Damages Available from Drowsy Driving Accident Claims
When someone is injured in an accident that is caused by a drowsy or fatigued driver, they are entitled to compensation. Compensatory damages can be separated into two general categories:
- Economic Damages: These are actual monetary losses that the victim suffers, such as hospitalization costs, costs for surgeries and other types of medical treatment, rehabilitation expenses, costs for ongoing medical care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and funeral and burial expenses (in the case of a wrongful death).
- Non-Economic Damages: These are losses that are real but intangible and more difficult to quantify. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, diminished quality of life, disfigurement, loss of consortium, loss of comfort, care, and guidance, and permanent disability.
In some rare cases in which there is clear and convincing evidence that the person or party responsible for the drowsy driving accident acted with malice, oppression, or fraud, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages, also known as “exemplary damages”, are not meant to make the victim whole, but rather to punish the wrongdoer and help discourage them (and others) from similar conduct in the future.
In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits is just one year from the date of the underlying accident. One year can go by fast, and if you miss the deadline, you may lose out on your opportunity to recover compensation for your injuries. For this and many other reasons, it is very important to get in touch with a seasoned personal injury lawyer sooner rather than later, so they can immediately begin constructing your case.
Speak with the Experienced Louisville, KY Drowsy Driving Accident Attorneys at John H. Ruby and Associates
Being injured at the hands of a drowsy driver can be a life-altering event. Oftentimes, injury victims are forced to miss work for an extended period of time, if they are able to return to work at all. And during this time, they are forced to endure untold amounts of physical and emotional suffering.
At John H. Ruby & Associates, we are ready to go to work for you and to help you recover the full and fair compensation you need and deserve. We handle the entire process from start to finish, taking care of all the complicated legal tasks and dealing directly with the other side, so you can focus on your recovery. Throughout the process, we stay in frequent communication with you, providing regular updates on the progress of your case.
If you are in the Louisville, LaGrange or Shelbyville, Ky areas, call us today at 502-895-2626 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You may also message us through our online contact form or stop by our office in person at your convenience.