If you were struck by a drowsy driver and sustained serious injuries, you deserve justice. Just because you have grounds for legal action, however, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a payout.
In order to hold the liable motorist accountable and ultimately secure compensation for the associated losses, you’re going to have to put together a strong claim. That generally starts by gathering the following pieces of evidence:
1. Black Box Data
Unlike drunk driving, there are no tests that can definitively point to drowsy driving as a contributor to a collision. There are, however, other ways to support the theory that a motorist was nodding off in traffic, and compiling black box data is one of them.
Virtually every vehicle that’s manufactured today is equipped with a “black box,” which records a number of operational variables. If this data indicates the driver failed to make any evasive maneuvers prior to the crash, it’s reasonable to assume they had fallen asleep behind the wheel.
2. GPS Data
If the motorist’s GPS data shows they had driven hundreds of miles straight prior to the wreck, it can support your claim that they were drowsy at the time. Such evidence is especially damning when it’s accompanied by receipts for coffee or energy drinks because it indicates that the motorist was trying to fend off fatigue.
3. Eyewitness Testimony
Unless the collision occurred in a relatively rural area, there’s a good chance other people witnessed it. And if they recount any erratic behavior on the part of the driver who struck you—e.g., swerving, taking turns too fast, or ignoring traffic signals—it can support the allegation that he or she was not in a state of mind to be operating a vehicle at the time.
4. Dash Camera Footage
If any of the vehicles that were involved in the wreck or near the scene at the time were equipped with a dash camera, its footage could prove invaluable. Much like eyewitness testimony, recordings of erratic driving can point to drowsiness as a contributing cause of a crash.
Keep in mind, however, that such footage may not be available indefinitely. In fact, it may be overwritten in a matter of weeks. As such, it’s imperative to reach out to the owners of any available dash cam recordings as soon as possible.
5. The Police Report
If responding officers had reason to believe the at-fault motorist had nodded off behind the wheel—or obtained a confession stating as much—they should have included it in their official report. While this document won’t replace the need to conduct a thorough investigation, it could at least provide the foundation on which you can build your claim.
Discuss Your Claim with a Car Accident Lawyer in Jackson
Are you thinking about taking action against a drowsy driver? For strategic guidance every step of the way, turn to Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC.
We combine the knowledge and resources of a powerhouse practice with the personalized care and attention of a small-town firm. Call 601-487-8448 or fill out our Contact Form to set up a free case review with a car accident attorney in Jackson.