Minneapolis Fatigued Driver Accident Attorney

Have you suffered injuries in a car accident because another driver fell asleep at the wheel? If so, you may need to speak with a Minneapolis fatigued driver accident attorney.

Drivers who take to the road in a sleep-deprived state put everyone else at risk. Unfortunately, as we’ll discuss in this post, drowsy driving can be difficult to prove. Too many fatigued drivers cause devastation on Minnesota roads and escape without having to properly compensate the people they harm.

Don’t let this happen to you. If you’ve fallen victim to a negligent driver, work with a lawyer who will stand up for your rights and pursue the compensation you need to get back on your feet.

Understanding Fatigued Driver Accidents

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), drowsy driving negatively impacts reaction times, hazard awareness, and attentiveness. A driver who takes to the road after being awake for 20 hours is, on average, impaired to the same extent as someone driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%.

Though lack of sleep is the most common cause of fatigued driving, it can also occur in drivers who have consumed certain medications, who have untreated sleep disorders, or who work irregular shifts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Legal Definition of Fatigued Driving in Minnesota

One of the key challenges in drowsy driver cases is the fact that it’s difficult to say when someone is dangerously fatigued. Unlike, say, drunk driving, which occurs when someone has a specified amount of alcohol in their system, there is no clear indication of when a driver is drowsy to a problematic extent.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there are currently only two states (Arkansas and New Jersey) with laws setting explicit rules around drowsy driving.

The Role of Fatigue in Commercial Trucking Accidents

Fatigue has been a notorious problem in the trucking industry for decades. Truckers must often deliver their cargo on tight schedules, so they have an incentive to ignore tiredness in an effort to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this often has tragic results.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules in place to tackle this issue, known as hours of service (HOS) regulations. These provide that:

  • Truck drivers must take a break of at least 30 minutes after driving for 8 consecutive hours.
  • Drivers must spend at least 10 hours off duty after a shift of 14 hours.
  • The 14-hour driving window can be expanded by a maximum of 2 hours if drivers encounter adverse weather conditions.

If you get in an accident with a truck driver and you can prove that the driver was in breach of these rules at the time of your collision, you stand a better chance of establishing negligence on the driver’s part and succeeding in a lawsuit.

The Claims Process

If you decide to pursue a lawsuit against the fatigued driver who caused your accident, there will be a number of steps to the process.

During your initial meeting with your attorney, you’ll discuss the details of your accident, your injuries, and any evidence you’ve collected. The lawyer will evaluate the strength of your case on this basis, explain your legal options, and discuss potential strategies and outcomes.

If you proceed with legal action, your lawyers will collect all the evidence (including accident reports, medical records, witness statements, and camera footage) needed to build your case. Your attorneys may also decide to involve expert witnesses at this point.

Once your lawyers have officially filed suit, the discovery process can begin. This involves the exchange of all relevant information between the two sides via document requests and depositions.

There will be opportunities to settle your case before it gets to the courtroom; in fact, most cases reach conclusion during the pre-trial negotiation stage, as this is more convenient for you. However, if it’s not possible to reach a satisfactory agreement in this way, the case will progress to court, where a judge and jury will decide on the outcome.

After both sides have presented their cases, the court will deliberate and make a decision. They’ll determine whether the defendant is liable for your injuries and decide on the amount of compensation to award.

If either you or the defendant is unhappy with the decision, there will be an opportunity to appeal it.

We understand that the claims process can be extremely stressful for clients. That’s why, if you choose to work with us, you’ll have access to our personal phone numbers. We’re only a text or email away if you have questions or concerns.

Steps to Take Immediately After an Accident

The actions you take directly after being involved in a fatigued driving accident can make or break any case you decide to file later on. Although you’ll likely be in a very shaken state, it’s imperative that you keep your wits about you as best you can so that you can gather as much evidence as possible.

You should:

  • Call 911: As soon as you’re confident that your immediate safety is not under threat, you should report your accident to the authorities, requesting medical assistance if there are any injuries. The police will document the scene and create an official accident report, which may serve as an important piece of evidence later on.
  • Exchange information: Get the name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance company details of every other driver involved in the accident. However, do not engage in any conversation about how the accident happened, especially not regarding who was to blame for the collision. Anything you say (including seemingly harmless remarks) may be used as evidence later on.
  • Document the scene: Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved (making particular note of their positions on the road and any damage they’ve sustained), and any visible injuries to you or others. You should also try to capture any skid marks or damage to street signs.
  • Gather witness information: If there are any bystanders who witnessed the accident, ask for their contact information. You should also ask them if they’d consider staying at the scene long enough to provide a statement to the police.
  • Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine, it’s crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries (including whiplash, head trauma, and some types of internal injuries) may not show symptoms immediately. If you don’t receive attention from paramedics at the scene of your collision, it’s imperative that you visit your primary care physician as soon as possible thereafter. As well as this being important for your safety, the record of this visit will provide evidence linking your injuries directly to your accident.

If you’re reading this in the days or weeks after you’ve had an accident and realizing that you forgot one or more of these steps, don’t panic. No case is perfect. Our job is to build as strong a case as possible with the resources at our disposal, and we’ve secured many excellent results for clients in seemingly difficult situations.

Why Choose Our Firm?

We’re a team of personal injury specialists with decades of combined experience helping injured Minnesotans secure settlements and verdicts to get their lives back on track.

Isaac Tyroler began his career in personal injury by clerking for the Honorable David R. Battey. From there, he began representing clients with personal injuries and hasn’t looked back since. Outside his regular practice, he serves as chair of the Minnesota Association of Justice’s (MAJ) legislative committee.

Rachel Sperling Leonard works exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death cases. Before going down this path, she worked for insurance companies as a defense lawyer, so she knows exactly how these companies operate when hit with lawsuits. She works with clients through Spanish as well as English, having studied Spanish at university and spent time studying in the Dominican Republic.

At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we take pride in our record in the courtroom. Unlike other firms, we’ll never shy away from a court battle; if we’re not satisfied with the settlement offers defendants are presenting, we won’t hesitate to take matters in front of a judge and jury. In fact, other firms often outsource litigation work to us because of the strength of our reputation in the field.

To learn more about how we might be able to help you, get in contact to schedule a free case evaluation.

Your Path to Recovery Begins Here

Our Minneapolis fatigued driver accident attorneys will do everything in their power to get you the settlement or verdict you need to get back on your feet after your accident. To take the first steps in the pursuit of justice, contact us today.

You can reach us over the phone at 651-259-1113 or via our online contact form. We offer free initial consultations, so there’s no risk for you in seeing whether you have a viable case on your hands.

The team at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law wants to make decisions together with you on your case. We do not dictate what you should do in your case. Instead, we lay out the facts with you and then discuss the pros and cons before we make a decision together on how to proceed. This is the best way for us to represent you. Learning more about what is important to you and about what you want to see happen in the case gives us the best chance at a successful outcome.

Our Minneapolis Hit-and-Run Lawyers Offer a No-Obligation, Free Consultation

Having to deal with trying to heal from your injuries after another driver hits you and flees the scene is difficult enough on its own. But when the insurance company is constantly pestering you, asking you the same questions over and over and trying to convince you that your injuries aren’t as severe as you are claiming, it can be downright exhausting.

When you hire our Minneapolis hit-and-run lawyers to represent you, we take over all correspondence with the insurance company, giving you time to heal. To learn more about how Tyroler Leonard Injury Law can help with your case, call us at 651-259-1113 for a free case review today.

Attorney Isaac Tyroler

Attorney Isaac Tyroler has been a strong advocate for injured people his entire legal career. He has a passion for righting wrongs, and he deeply cares about representing injured clients who may feel overwhelmed or uncertain about how to navigate the legal system. He is compassionate toward clients and aggressive with insurance companies and defendants. He is on the elected Board of Governors of the Minnesota Association of Justice (MAJ), the top personal injury lawyers’ group in Minnesota. And is currently the chair of MAJ’s legislative committee. [ Attorney Bio ]