Driver Fatigue or Drowsy Driving
Last Updated : February 11, 2022

Beaumont Driver Fatigue or Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyers

If a fatigued or drowsy driver caused your car accident, the Beaumont car accident lawyers at Portner Bond, PLLC might be able to assist you with your legal case and seek compensation for your losses. We’re ready to join you in the fight for justice and hold the other driver liable for their actions.

Getting behind the wheel while feeling tired or fatigued is dangerous. In fact, it can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Fatigue causes similar symptoms and increases the risk of an accident occurring.

When you hire our legal team, we’ll dedicate our attention, time, and resources to proving the fatigued driver’s recklessness led to your injuries. Car crashes can cause severe physical and emotional harm. If you require ongoing treatment, you need a way to pay for it. You shouldn’t have to suffer financially because of another person’s actions. We’ll create an effective plan to recover the maximum compensation available in an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Our attorneys have over 85 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of victims just like you. We have the skillset, resources, and passion needed to secure the best outcome possible for you. To find out more about our legal services or schedule your free consultation, call Portner Bond, PLLC at (409) 838-4444.

Common Symptoms of Fatigued or Drowsy Driving

Driver fatigue is common throughout the United States. According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately half of adult drivers admitted to driving consistently despite feeling tired. Additionally, 20% of those people said they had fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the last year.

Experts often compare the effects of drowsy driving to drunk driving. That’s because they cause similar symptoms that increase the risk of a car accident. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body reacts as though you have alcohol in your system. After staying awake for a consecutive 18 hours, your driving abilities would be similar to someone with a.05% blood alcohol concentration BAC. Staying awake for 24 hours straight would be similar to a blood alcohol concentration of .10%. In Texas, the legal BAC limit for drunk driving is .08%.

Whether someone’s tired from a busy day or didn’t get enough sleep, it impacts physical and mental abilities and causes the following:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Decreased sensory perception
  • Lack of motor skills
  • Poor decision-making
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Reduced muscle coordination

Someone who gets behind the wheel feeling any of the above symptoms can’t drive safely. They’re unable to focus on their surroundings or correctly process what’s happening around them. If there’s an emergency situation, they likely won’t have the mental capacity to make the right decision. Drowsy or fatigued drivers might exhibit the following behaviors that could cause an accident:

  • Tailgating
  • Drifting into another lane
  • Yawning or blinking frequently
  • Failure to follow traffic signals and signs
  • Trouble keeping eyes open
  • Changing lanes without using turn signals or looking for other vehicles
  • Driving over rumble strips or onto the shoulder
  • Difficulty keeping eyes open

You Deserve Financial Compensation from the Drowsy Driver

The fault system in Texas allows accident victims to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. If a drowsy or fatigued driver caused your accident, you could file a claim with their insurance company for a settlement that covers your losses.

It’s a legal requirement for all drivers to hold auto insurance with minimum liability limits. Those limits reimburse injured parties for the expenses they incurred and any suffering they endured. The coverage listed on the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy will determine the maximum compensation you can pursue.

When you file a liability claim, you can seek damages. Damages are the total losses associated with an accident. They fall under two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are expenses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Out of pocket costs
  • Vehicle repair or replacement

Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of consortium

Most insurance adjusters have a hard time determining a fair monetary value for someone’s non-economic damages. That’s because calculating them is subjective. Various factors they review could contribute to the final number they come up with, such as:

  • Type and extent of the injury
  • Daily life disturbances, such as canceled vacations, time away from work, and inability to complete routine tasks
  • Total economic damages
  • Liability limits listed on the at-fault driver’s policy
  • Physical or mental impairment caused by the crash
  • Length of time it takes to recover
  • Availability of evidence proving fault
  • The estimated cost of future medical treatment required

Economic and non-economic damages are available in insurance claims and lawsuits. However, there’s a third type of damage that’s only available in a lawsuit. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate an accident victim for their losses. Instead, they aim to punish the liable party and deter similar behavior in the future.

Punitive damages are a rare financial award and hard to win in a lawsuit. You must provide the jury with clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault driver acted with malice, fraud, or gross negligence.

If you want to pursue punitive damages, you must follow the statute of limitations. It’s a strict deadline for suing someone after a car accident. The statute of limitations in Texas is two years. This means that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit; otherwise, you’ll lose your legal rights to compensation in this matter.

Can I Still Seek Compensation if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

Yes. The biggest mistake people make after getting hurt in a car crash is giving up after discovering the other motorist doesn’t carry auto insurance. They assume they have no way to recover compensation, so they accept their losses. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road for accident victims.

You might be able to file a claim with your auto insurance company if you purchased UM coverage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist is a form of optional insurance that all drivers can choose to include on their policy. It reimburses an injured party’s damages if the at-fault driver doesn’t hold liability insurance or has coverage that isn’t high enough.

When you file a UM claim, you can pursue the following economic and non-economic damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Out of pocket costs
  • Car repair or replacement expenses

Another optional type of coverage is known as MedPay (medical payments). If it’s included in your policy, you can apply for payment of your medical costs up to the amount of coverage you chose. Your medical providers will submit your bills to the insurance company for the upfront payment of your expenses. It’s the perfect form of insurance at the beginning of a case when you’re undergoing initial evaluation and treatment of injuries. Most people are able to pay for their ER bills with MedPay.

How Portner Bond, PLLC Can Help You

Performing an investigation is time-consuming and overwhelming. Portner Bond, PLLC has the experience and resources to determine fault after an accident and collect evidence that proves the injured party deserves financial compensation. When you hire us, the first thing we’ll do is launch a thorough investigation and obtain relevant evidence, such as:

  • Traffic crash report
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Your medical records and bills
  • Security video footage
  • Accident scene photos
  • Car repair estimates
  • Affidavits from experts
  • Documentation of fatigued driving, such as work schedule, gas station receipts, cell phone records, or highway toll records

When we finish collecting the evidence we need, we’ll file the claim for you. You won’t have to lift a finger during the entire legal process. We know you’re already stressed, and we don’t want to burden you with additional responsibilities.

We’re familiar with the tactics insurance companies use. Their goal is to save as much money as possible by providing a low settlement offer or finding a reason to deny the claim. We’re aggressive in our negotiating and will do our best to seek an amount that covers your total damages. We’ll make sure they treat you fairly and pay out the maximum settlement you deserve.

Portner Bond, PLLC Legal Fees and Costs

We know the financial strain you’re experiencing after a car accident. You have to pay for your medical treatment and worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer. Most people decide not to seek legal representation as a way to save money. Unfortunately, those people usually end up with smaller compensation than they would have received if they retained a lawyer’s services.

Unlike other law firms, we don’t expect a retainer fee or charge by the hour. We take all car accident cases on contingency. This means there are no upfront fees or costs when you hire us. We don’t collect any legal fees unless we win compensation for our clients. If we lose your case, you won’t have to pay us.

We’re Ready to Help You Fight for Your Rights

At Portner Bond, PLLC, we’re committed to helping victims of fatigued and drowsy driving accidents in Beaumont and throughout the state of Texas. We know how to handle insurance claims and litigate complex cases effectively.

You can depend on Portner Bond, PLLC to be your advocate. We’ll protect your rights and pursue the financial award you need to recover and put your life back together. We’ll be happy to schedule a free consultation so you can meet with us and receive legal advice. Call us today at (409) 838-4444 if you were the victim of a drowsy or fatigued driver car accident in Beaumont.