Compensation for Car Accidents Caused by Falling Asleep Driving

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

February 10, 2023


Build a solid insurance claim against the motorist who fell asleep at the wheel to maximise your damage compensation.

On American highways, drowsy driving and drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel cause many accidents.

It’s all too typical for people to fall asleep while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, sleepy drivers caused more than 72,000 accidents in a single year, resulting in 41,000 injuries and 800 deaths.

Experts concur that the number of sleepy drivers on the road is significantly under-reported. According to some estimates, 6,000 people die each year due to drivers falling asleep behind the wheel. ¹

Tired drivers are just as hazardous as those who are inebriated. Driving after more than 20 hours of sleep deprivation is the same as driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 per cent, which is the legal limit for drunkenness. ²

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, sleepy driving is responsible for 328,000 accidents each year. One-third of these collisions end in serious injury or death. Every day, thousands of accidents occur as a result of someone falling asleep behind the wheel. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you deserve to be compensated as much as possible for your losses.

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Polls indicate an alarming amount of drivers admitting to falling asleep behind the wheel. Drowsiness impairs a driver’s ability to: 

  • Pay attention to the road 
  • React in time to prevent an accident 
  • Make appropriate judgments even if they haven’t fallen asleep entirely.
  • Anyone may drive when fatigued, but drivers who don’t get enough sleep daily are at the greatest danger of falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • Shift workers, particularly night shifts; 
  • Commercial car operators (buses, semi-trucks, delivery vans, etc.)
  • Drivers who suffer from sleep apnea
  • Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Accidents caused by a driver who has fallen asleep behind the wheel may be devastating to accident victims and their families.

Drowsy drivers are more likely to stray out of their travel lane and into oncoming traffic. Head-on collisions are the worst kind of car accident, resulting in fatalities and serious injuries.

Drivers who are sleeping may go right past stop signs or red lights, crashing into the side of your car. T-bone collisions are another kind of collision that results in seriously damaged individuals.


You have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver for your medical bills, lost earnings, and other damages, regardless of the sort of accident that caused your injuries.

In most circumstances, you’ll start by claiming with your insurance company. If you reside in a no-fault state, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance provider. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is included in no-fault insurance and pays for medical costs regardless of who caused the accident. You will not be compensated for your pain and suffering under PIP.

You’ll file an injury claim against the at-fault Driver’s insurance carrier if no-fault rules don’t apply to you or your injury bills exceed your PIP coverage.

If you’ve been hurt in a commercial car collision, you should contact a personal injury lawyer straight once. Company insurance plans may be worth millions of dollars.

Knowing the language is helpful when working with any insurance provider. Here is some legal terminology that insurance firms often use:

The term “liability” refers to a person’s fault or duty. In most cases, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages you sustained in the incident.

When a motorist fails to behave properly or does something that no reasonable driver would do, such as running a red light, this is known as negligence.

Property damage to your car, as well as personal injury damages such as medical and treatment bills, out-of-pocket expenditures, lost earnings, and pain and suffering, are all possible damages.

A direct and proximate cause is an activity that causes harm that would not have occurred otherwise. If you hadn’t been struck by a driver who had fallen asleep behind the wheel, you wouldn’t have suffered serious injuries.

The term “duty of care” refers to the need to be cautious and prevent harming others.

Although it may seem to you that the other motorist fell asleep at the wheel and collided with your car, the insurance company will not just pay you a big cheque.

You’ll have to show numerous things before the insurance company will reimburse you, including:

  • The other motorist owed it to the public to drive safely.
  • By continuing to drive when sleepy, the motorist disobeyed that obligation.
  • Due to their carelessness, the sleepy Driver crashed with your car.
  • Your injuries were caused solely by accident.
  • Strong claims are built on solid evidence.

To win a personal injury case, you must persuade the claims adjuster for the insurance company that the Driver’s carelessness was the direct cause of the accident and your injuries. This is accomplished through amassing evidence.


Drowsy driving accidents may be devastating. After the crash, you may not be in any position to consider the evidence. If you or a friend is capable, get assistance and begin gathering evidence to support your allegation.

Allow no one to move the autos unless it is required for safety. The location of the accident and the point of impact may often tell a tale.

If the sleeping Driver’s car collided with your car in your lane, the Driver crossed over and hit you for a cause. The sleeping driver would have difficulty explaining how the collision in your lane happened unless there were hurricane-force winds or an ice or wet road.

Call 911 as soon as possible after the accident to alert authorities and request assistance. Tell the dispatcher you’ve been harmed and if you know anybody else who has been hurt. Include neighbouring junctions or landmarks in your location. If there are any risks at the site, such as leaking gasoline or flipped automobiles, the dispatcher must be informed.

Take pictures of the following: Photographs and videos are irrefutable proof. Take as many as you can in as little time as possible. Accident sites are swiftly cleared, and valuable evidence may be lost. Take photos of the cars, the collision location, and the traffic lights.

A video of the other car’s turn signals not being on may prove that the driver didn’t provide notice of intended to pull into your lane, supporting your claim that he was asleep. Photograph the licence plate if the car is from another state. Any motorist may fall asleep on a long trip from one state to another.

If you can picture the inside of the other Driver’s car, search for evidence that the driver has fallen asleep. Photograph beer cans and open alcohol containers. Alcohol is a depressant, and it may easily induce a motorist to fall asleep behind the wheel.

  • Roadmaps 
  • Coolers 
  • No-Doz packages 
  • Energy drinks, such as Red Bull 
  • Used coffee cups 
  • Food wrappers 
  • Pillows and blankets 
  • Prescription bottles 

Other evidence in the car that may assist indicate the Driver was on the road for a long period includes:


Photograph the road on both sides of the collision. The lack of skid marks indicates that the Driver did not adjust the drifting car’s course.


Look for anything else that points to the Driver’s car straying into your lane for no apparent reason.


Witnesses, particularly unaffiliated ones, may aid your case. Another car that came to a halt may have seen the at-fault Driver dozing off behind the wheel. Gather as much information as you can from as many witnesses as possible.


Request that they date and sign the written statement. An impartial witness’ assertion that the Driver was dozing off is significant evidence that the Driver will find difficult to refute.


You’ll still have the police report if you can’t collect evidence at the site. A police report is often used as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. To investigate car accidents, most police officers require intensive training. They can generally assess a car accident scene in a matter of minutes and decide who was to blame.

The cops chat with both drivers after securing the area. They’re on the lookout for indicators of intoxication or impairment. They verify that the drivers have valid licences and insurance. They then separate the individuals involved and begin conversing with the drivers.

The officer will write in the police report if the motorist confesses to falling asleep. Diagrams of the incident, driver and witness accounts, citations issued, and the officer’s view of blame will all be included in the officer’s report. Within a week or two after the accident, the report should be ready.


Continue gathering evidence to back up your claim until it is resolved and compensated.


Gather all of your medical bills and documents in one place. Your medical records will aid establish the connection of your injuries to the accident, and medical expenditures are included in the compensation calculation. Receipts for out-of-pocket costs or replacement services should be kept (like child care or lawn services).

Provide them if you have mental health documents or expenses related to anxiety or distress following the collision.


Request a statement from your employer describing your missed pay, overtime opportunities, and any sick or vacation time you utilized after the accident.


Make careful notes of everything you recall about the accident before, during, and after it happens. Describe your anxiety and suffering at the time of the accident.

Keep track of your discomfort, mobility concerns, frustrations, sleep issues, and when you require assistance with everyday tasks throughout your recovery. Your journal could be able to back up your craving for pain and misery. Your journal may be used as evidence if your claim gets to court, so don’t write anything you wouldn’t want a judge to see.


Truckers, like tractor-trailer drivers, must hold a commercial driver’s licence (CDL) and keep meticulous records of their work and sleeping hours. Your attorney may employ discovery strategies and subpoenas to collect the Driver’s sleep logs, driving history, and other critical information.


If you’ve completely healed from soft-tissue injuries like bruises, muscle strains, and minor cuts or scratches, you may usually negotiate a reasonable settlement directly with the insurance company.

You won’t need the assistance of an attorney to calculate your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenditures, and lost income. If you aren’t settling a no-fault claim, you may add one or two times that amount for pain and suffering.

With this Sample Demand Letter to an Insurance Company, you can start negotiating like a pro.

Serious, hard-injury cases are costly and complicated. Suppose you or a loved one has suffered many fractures, permanent scars, brain injuries, spinal cord damage, or other major accident. In that case, you’ll need a qualified lawyer to get the insurance company to give you a reasonable amount of money.

In complex matters such as: 

Hard-injury claims 

Wrongful death claims, your attorney will represent you and your family’s best interests.

Insurance claims for businesses

Advocates for interpleaders (when insurance funds must be divided among multiple claimants)

Serious or deadly injuries are expensive claims. The insurance adjuster will pretend to be your buddy before offering you less money than you would receive if you hired an attorney. They realize that claimants who represent themselves are unlikely to have the energy or legal knowledge to argue for additional money.

Don’t accept anything less than the best. Finding out what a professional personal injury attorney can accomplish for you is free.

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