Virginia Driver Fatigue Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Thousands of Virginians use motorcycles every day—to commute to and from work, to tour the countryside, and to let loose on the weekends. Riding a motorcycle can be incredibly dangerous, however, especially when sharing the road with other drivers. Fatigued driving is responsible for a frightening number of accidents, and inattentive drivers can cause a serious motorcycle wreck.
If you or a loved one has just been in a motorcycle accident caused by a fatigued driver, you need an attorney who understands Virginia traffic law. Our knowledgeable, award-winning attorneys know what we need to do to secure the compensation you’re owed: we’ll thoroughly investigate your case, gather necessary evidence, and get the expert testimony we need to develop a solid case on your behalf.
Call the motorcycle accident lawyers at CHASENBOSCOLO right away at (703) 538-1138 to discuss your case. We’ll answer all your questions and ensure you understand your legal rights and options.
Why You Need A Lawyer
Traffic accidents are often complex and messy cases. It’s very important to conduct an investigation of the crash immediately to determine negligence. Factors such as the time of the accident, the driver’s behavior prior to the crash, witness testimony, and the police officer’s assessment can all help us determine if the driver may have been fatigued.
If the other driver was a trucker or commercial vehicle operator, a good accident attorney can research the company’s logs to discover whether the driver was pushed past their working limits, an unfortunate practice in the trucking industry.
Your attorney can investigate every aspect of the crash, speak with witnesses, and put together a solid case for your compensation. They can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and can file a lawsuit if necessary.
Why Hire CHASENBOSCOLO?
CHASENBOSCOLO takes pride in our ability to provide top-notch legal representation to clients throughout Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Our firm has helped people recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their injuries for over 30 years.
Our track record speaks for itself, and our work on behalf of our clients has earned us recognition from prestigious organizations such as Super Lawyers, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We were also peer rated for the highest degree of excellence by Martindale-Hubbell.
Our clients are like family to us, and we fight hard to get the best possible outcome for each one. When you hire our firm, your success becomes our personal mission.
Causes of Driver Fatigue Accidents
One of the biggest concerns on the road is a driver falling asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents, especially at night, when a person’s natural rhythms are slower. The National Sleep Foundation reports that about half of U.S. drivers admit to driving while feeling sleepy. This presents a particular risk to motorcyclists, because a drowsy driver is less attentive and more likely to disregard a smaller vehicle in traffic.
Some drivers suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during the night. This causes a person to get less rest than they should, even with a full night’s sleep. Someone with this condition is much more likely to fall asleep when driving. Falling asleep for even a second while in traffic can cause the driver to ignore what’s happening around them, or even to lose control of the vehicle.
Many prescription and over-the-counter medications for pain, colds and allergies, and other conditions warn against using them while driving. A driver taking these remedies may become drowsy and drift into another lane or make some other critical mistake.
Commercial drivers are at serious risk for fatigued or drowsy driving. Truckers work long hours at a stretch to make cross-country deliveries. They are supposed to stick to federally mandated driving limits to keep from overextending themselves, but sometimes their schedules force them to break these regulations.
Truckers and others who drive frequently sometimes take supplements to keep them awake on long trips. Over time, the driver can lose sleep this way, causing them to be less alert on the road.
Injuries in Driver Fatigue Accidents
Any traffic accident can result in a broad combination of injuries, but accidents involving motorcycles and fatigued drivers can be particularly severe. Motorcycle operators have very little to protect their body from impacts—usually only a helmet and the clothes they’re wearing at the time of the accident.
Some injuries an accident victim could suffer include:
- Road rash, or abrasions from scraping skin along the pavement
- Broken and fractured bones or ribs from impacts with a vehicle or the ground
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Burns, sometimes leading to permanent scarring
- Lacerations from flying metal or glass
- Whiplash due to sudden stops or rear collisions
- Concussion from heavy impacts
- Traumatic head and brain injuries, sometimes leading to permanent brain damage
- Neck and spinal cord damage, which could become partial or full paralysis
- Internal damage from heavy impacts or puncture wounds
It’s very important to seek immediate medical attention after any accident. Even if you don’t feel injured or your injuries don’t seem that serious, you could be suffering from a concussion or internal damage that won’t show symptoms until much later. If this damage isn’t treated right away, it can sometimes cause permanent problems.
You’ll need to obtain a doctor’s diagnosis in order to make a claim or file a lawsuit—if you don’t see a doctor, the insurance company may try to argue that you weren’t actually injured.
Drowsy Driving by The Numbers
Here are a few facts related to drowsy driving:
- According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who work night shifts or long hours are six times as likely as other drivers to fall asleep at the wheel and get into a wreck.
- Drivers with untreated sleep apnea are seven times more likely to have a crash.
- Twenty percent of American drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel.
- The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that drowsy driving crashes occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m., or late in the afternoon.
- In 2017 there were 91,000 accidents reported to police that involved fatigued drivers.
- The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine reports that 16-24 year-olds are 80% more likely to be in a drowsy driving wreck than drivers 40 years and older.
The available data indicates that motorcyclists must be aware of the risks of driving while fatigued and need to watch out for others on the road who may not be fully alert.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve just been in a fatigued driver accident, you may have many questions. Your attorney is the best source for questions about your case, but here are a few answers that may help.
Is it possible to prove that a driver was fatigued?
It can be difficult to prove that someone caused a crash because they were drowsy or fell asleep, but a good accident investigation can uncover evidence that could corroborate this theory. Witnesses may have seen the driver fall asleep. Certain actions the driver took, like changing lanes without looking or swerving unpredictably, may indicate that they were not alert.
Receipts from gas stations and restaurants along the driver’s route could establish a timeline to show how long the driver was on the road. If the driver is a commercial trucker, an investigator can examine their travel logs to determine whether they skipped required breaks or drove for an excessive period of time.
What is contributory negligence, and how would it affect my compensation?
In most states, a party who is found to be partly at fault for an accident can still receive compensation, minus their percentage of fault that contributed to the accident occurring. Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., however, all follow a legal rule known as “pure contributory negligence.” This means that if you are found to have contributed even slightly to causing the accident, you are unable to collect any damages.
Insurance companies will sometimes try to argue that you contributed to the accident even if you didn’t, in order to take advantage of this law and keep you from obtaining any compensation. It’s very important to have an attorney who is familiar with tactics like this and knows how to fight them.
What can I be compensated for?
The amount and type of compensation you receive for your injuries depends on the nature of your accident, who was negligent, and the level of negligence contributed by each party.
Here are a few types of compensation you may be able to recover, however:
- Payment of medical and hospitalization bills
- Replacement of personal property damaged in the crash
- Prescription drug reimbursement
- Replacement of lost wages for time spent away from work during recovery
- Coverage for long-term care and rehabilitation costs
- Compensation for loss of household income or loss of consortium due to death or debilitating injury
- Help with funeral and burial expenses in the tragic event of a death
Your attorney can provide a sense of the amount and type of compensation that may be available in your own situation when you meet to discuss your case.
Speak With A Motorcycle Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been in an accident with a fatigued driver, you need a motorcycle accident attorney who understands Virginia traffic injury law backward and forwards. Surviving a motorcycle accident can be an overwhelming experience, and it’s important to have a strong team of advocates on your side who can fight on your behalf.
Your first priority right now should be on recovering from your injuries. We help clients in your situation every day—and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call CHASENBOSCOLO at (703) 538-1138 today or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.