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How to protect your legal rights after being hurt in an accident with a fatigued driver

Around 40% of people get less than the recommended amount of sleep if this American study is anything to go by. The average person needs 7-9 hours a night according to the Sleep Health Foundation. Driving while you are tired is extremely dangerous because all of your normal awareness and reaction times decline significantly, and there is even a chance that you could fall asleep at the wheel. Driving while tired can be as bad as driving while drunk.

Driver sleeping at rest stop
If you feel really tired, take alternative transport, or have a nap

If you have been hurt because someone else caused an accident while driving fatigued, you may well be entitled to various compensation so that you can pay for any damage to your vehicle, injuries that you sustained, past and future wage loss, past and future medical costs and any domestic and care needs resulting from the accident. The process varies depending on which country and state you have the accident, so even if it’s not relevant for you where you live, it may be relevant when you travel for business or on holiday.

There is no excuse for driving while fatigued so it is important that irresponsible drivers are held responsible when they cause a crash. Here is how to protect your legal rights after being hurt in an accident with a fatigued driver.

1. Hire an experienced lawyer or attorney

The single best way to protect your rights following an accident with a fatigued driver is to hire an experienced lawyer to represent you. They will be able to ensure that you are not intimidated by the other side’s legal team and that you know exactly how to present your case in order to get compensation and justice for what happened. Experienced drowsy driving accident lawyers know how to build a case that will guarantee you the best chance of a positive outcome. They will also take on all the burden of your legal case so that you can just focus on recovering from your injuries and they will deal with insurance companies.

2. Obtain your medical reports

You should always seek immediate medical treatment following any kind of traffic accident. Not only will this give your doctors the opportunity to assess you right away and get your treatment started, but it will also provide you with your medical reports which can be used as evidence in the case. In some countries there are statutes of limitations on medical reports, so to protect your right to use the reports in court, make sure you obtain them straight away.

3. Get the police report and other evidence

As well as your medical reports, the police report and witness statements from the scene of the accident will be potentially decisive evidence in the case. It is your right to obtain the police report to use as evidence so if you didn’t get a copy at the scene of the accident, your lawyer can contact the police and obtain it on your behalf. They can also contact any witnesses who saw what happened to use their statements in court.

It has never been easier to call a taxi or an Uber so driving while overly tired is completely inexcusable as well as being incredibly dangerous. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s recklessness then you may be entitled to the money you need to move on from the accident. Follow this guide and it will ensure your rights are protected so that you can get the money you deserve.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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