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Is Sleep Deprivation a Public Health Crisis?

Posted on : January 29, 2018

Last year the Centers for Disease Control came forward with information arguing that sleep deprivation across the United States is the latest health crisis. Sleep deprivation can have many negative implications for someone’s physical and emotional health but it could also cause problems for them operating behind the wheel. Millions of people across the country are failing to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of rest, putting them at higher risk for health problems like depression, anxiety, heart disease and diabetes. It also has negative implications for American employers who allegedly are losing more than $100 billion on an annual basis in medical expenses, sick leave and lost production.

The worst problem with people who do not get enough sleep is if they try to get behind the wheel. Whether it’s been a long day at work or someone has gotten up too early without the right rest, the consequences can be serious. When an accident occurs, if the injured party can show that the other person was asleep at the wheel or unreasonably tired, that could be used to show liability across the board and to make the other party legally responsible for the injuries sustained. Recovering damages in a case like this is built on being able to show that someone else was responsible for the incident.

Plenty of research identifies that going more than 20 hours straight without sleep is the same as being legally drunk which means putting someone behind the wheel in this condition could significantly increase their chances of an accident and cause other people to suffer injuries or fatalities as a result. If you have recently been involved in an accident that you believe to be the responsibility of someone who was sleep deprived or who never should have gotten behind the wheel to begin with because of lack of appropriate sleep, it is a good idea to set aside the time to talk directly with your personal injury lawyer about your options. You may not have to be the one responsible for paying your medical bills if you can show that someone else breached their duty of care to you.    

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