Late last month, a 47-year-old woman was killed when she lost control of her car on the Beltway. According to a prominent national news report, the woman was driving on Interstate 495 in Capitol Heights when the accident occurred. Maryland State Police were called to the scene of the accident at around 3:45 a.m.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the woman’s Dodge Avenger was traveling south on I-495 when she crossed three lanes of traffic and veered off the road. She proceeded to hit a safety rail before coming to a stop. Unfortunately, the woman was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident. The Maryland State Police believe that fatigue could have played a role in the accident. However, the crash is still under investigation by Maryland State Police.
The above case was incredibly tragic because someone lost their life, but it could have been much worse. In many highway accidents, there are multiple cars involved, increasing the number of victims. Fatigued driving is a serious problem and can result in severe injuries and even death. The effects of drowsy driving often mirror the effects of alcohol and other substances. It can decrease awareness, lower reaction times, and impair vision and judgment.
There are many reasons that drivers become fatigued to the point that their driving ability is impaired. Sometimes individuals have persistent interrupted sleep, or they may be under the influence of medications that have sedative side effects. Additionally, in some instances individuals may have sleep disorders. However, sometimes fatigue can just be a result of extended driving or an inadequate amount of sleep.
Establishing Negligence in Fatigued Driving Cases
When accidents are a result of a drunken driver, there are often ways to establish the impairment of the defendant. However, it is more difficult to establish a case of fatigued driving. In drunken driving cases, blood alcohol concentration can be evaluated, breathalyzers can be used, and impairment-related tests can be given. However, there is no objective test for drowsy drivers.
These types of cases may be hard to establish, and it is highly recommended that an attorney is consulted when pursuing a personal injury claim of this nature. The plaintiff must be able to show that the culpable party was acting negligently when the accident occurred. They have to then show that the party owed them a standard duty of care and that they breached that duty. Lastly, they must show that the breach was the actual or proximate cause of the injuries and damages they suffered.
Have You Been Involved in a Car Accident with a Fatigued Driver?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of a negligent driver, you should contact an attorney at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC to discuss pursuing a personal injury claim. These cases can be complicated, and an attorney can help you prepare for all levels of the claim process. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. This may include damages for your pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and in some instances even punitive damages. Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen today at (410) 654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Silver Springs DUI Accident Results in One Woman’s Death, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published March 3, 2015.
One Man Dead after Fatal Howard County Accident Involving Snow Plow and Icy Roads, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published February 24, 2015.