What if the Other Driver Claims The Crash Was Caused by Highway Hypnosis?

car on highway at night with traffic aheadMany people have experienced highway hypnosis, such as if they were driving late at night or on a long road trip. This is a trance-like state that increases the risk of a dangerous collision.

In this blog, TSR Injury Law’s experienced Minneapolis car crash lawyers discuss the dangers of highway hypnosis and how victims of highway hypnosis crashes may be able to seek compensation. While at-fault drivers may cite highway hypnosis as the cause of a collision, this is not a valid defense.

If you were injured in this type of crash, call our experienced law firm to learn how we may be able to help you. There are zero upfront costs, and an initial consultation is 100 percent free.

Local Lawyers. Proven Results. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

What Is Highway Hypnosis/White Line Fever and Why Does it Happen?

Drivers who are on long trips spend a lot of time staring straight ahead at the white lines on the road. This can have a hypnotic effect, making it difficult for drivers to remain consciously aware of their actions. This effect is known as highway hypnosis or white line fever.

Highway hypnosis often happens on long road trips, but it can also happen to drivers who are on the road at night or taking a familiar route.

If you are on the road at night with little to no scenery or traffic, it can be much more difficult to keep your mind on driving. Scenery and traffic can help stimulate drivers’ senses, so they are less likely to lose focus on the road.

If you are on a familiar route, you may not be conscious of your actions because you have driven through the area so many times.

Highway hypnosis is more likely to happen if you are drowsy or operating on little sleep. Driving at times when you are normally asleep or at home can also be dangerous.

Common Symptoms of Highway Hypnosis

One of the most common symptoms of highway hypnosis is forgetting some portion of your trip. Something may cause you to snap out of your trance and you may struggle to remember the last few miles you traveled.

Other symptoms of highway hypnosis include:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Frequent blinking because you are struggling to keep your eyes open
  • Struggling to maintain focus on driving because you are daydreaming
  • Following other cars too closely without realizing it
  • Mental fog
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Struggling to stay in a lane (sometimes running over reflectors causes drivers to snap out of their trance)

What Are the Dangers of Highway Hypnosis?

Driving while you are drowsy, distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs is incredibly dangerous as they inhibit your fine motor skills and your ability to focus on driving. Highway hypnosis can affect drivers in similar ways to drowsiness, distraction or intoxication.

Drivers who are experiencing highway hypnosis may be more likely to:

  • Drift off the road and crash into a fixed object, like a guardrail, road sign or tree
  • Rear-end another car
  • Drift across the center line into oncoming traffic
  • Fail to stay in a lane
  • Drive through a red light
  • Drive through a stop sign
  • Fail to use their turn signal
  • Enter a highway on-ramp going the wrong way
  • Speed

What Types of Crashes Are Often Caused by Highway Hypnosis?

Drivers experiencing some form of mental fog or highway hypnosis may end up causing traffic crashes, such as:

  • Sideswipes
  • T-bone collisions

Can Drivers Use Highway Hypnosis as a Defense?

Highway hypnosis is not a legitimate defense against liability for a car crash. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely. If they are too tired to drive, they need to get off the road. If they cause a crash because of reckless actions while they were in a trance-like state, they can be held liable for the damages they cause.

If you were injured in a highway hypnosis crash, TSR Injury Law may be able to assist you in recovering compensation. In Minnesota, victims can seek medical expenses and other damages from their own car insurance policies. Victims may also be able to seek compensation from the liability insurance of the at-fault driver.

Our experienced lawyers know how to prove driver negligence, which may include evidence of highway hypnosis. For example, our lawyers may be able to prove the at-fault driver was working late into the night and wasn’t able to get adequate sleep before going back out on the road. We may also be able to obtain evidence that the driver was on their way home from a long road trip and would have been struggling to stay awake while driving.

Crash damage could also help lawyers prove the cause of a collision. For example, head-on collisions are often caused by drunk, distracted or drowsy drivers. Black box data from the vehicles can also be accessed and can show a lack of reaction time by the driver that caused the crash.

Reducing the Risk of White Line Fever

There are many steps drivers can take to help reduce the risk of highway hypnosis. For example, try to avoid driving for extended periods after the sun goes down. You may think of yourself as a night owl, but there is a higher risk of a crash at night as the darkness makes it harder to stay focused on driving.

Another step drivers can take is to talk to passengers or listen to more energetic music. However, if you are too tired, louder music and conversation are not going to be enough to combat fatigue. You may need to get off the road or have one of your passengers drive as a safe alternative.

Contact TSR Injury Law For Experienced Legal Help After a Crash

Car crashes can cause significant, sometimes life-changing injuries. These injuries are often the result of another driver’s negligent actions, such as staying on the road for too long and falling into highway hypnosis.

TSR Injury Law has been helping victims of another driver’s negligence for decades. Our law firm has secured more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in a motor vehicle crash.

TSR Injury Law. No Upfront Costs. Contact us today: (612) TSR-TIME.

Can I Include a Secondary Injury in a Minneapolis Car Crash Claim?

man with pain in his head

The trauma from a car crash can have a domino effect, as one injury can lead to another. For example, a broken bone could be accompanied by soft-tissue damage and/or a nerve injury. Some secondary injuries can cause significant pain and lengthen your recovery, while others can be life-threatening.

TSR Injury Law discusses secondary injuries from Minneapolis car crashes, including causes, symptoms and steps victims can take to reduce the risk of secondary injuries.

Our firm has decades of experience helping crash victims recover favorable compensation for the damages they suffered. Our services come with no upfront costs and your initial legal consultation is free.

Injured by a negligent driver? Call TSR today: (612) TSR-TIME.

Seeking Compensation For Secondary Injuries From a Car Crash

If you suffered injuries in a car crash, you have the right to seek medical coverage from your own insurance policy, as Minnesota is a no-fault state. If the secondary injury is related, you may also seek compensation from the at-fault person’s coverage. Technically the secondary injury may not have happened in the crash, but the secondary injury would not have occurred unless you suffered the primary injury.

That said, it is critical that you immediately report a secondary injury. This helps to establish a connection between the secondary injury and the crash. Waiting to report the injury gives the insurance company room to dispute how this additional injury happened.

Our Minneapolis car accident lawyers help crash victims seek full compensation for their damages. Call to learn more.

Defining Secondary Injuries

Secondary injuries are a side effect of a primary injury. In other words, the secondary injury would not have happened without the primary injury occurring first.

Often, an injury can be so devastating to the body that it causes further damage. Sometimes the secondary injury shows up right away. However, in some cases, the secondary injury takes days or weeks to show up.

The term secondary injury is not commonly used. Most often, these injuries are simply referred to as complications.

Medical complications are often the result of compensating for an existing or new injury by doing things in a way your body is not used to. For example, crash victims might walk differently or get up from a sitting position in a different way.

A secondary injury could also occur when doctors provide treatment for a primary injury. For instance, you could develop an infection or the surrounding tissues or organs could be damaged. Improperly fitted prosthetics or mobility devices could also cause people to strain themselves and suffer a secondary injury.

Primary vs. Secondary Brain Injuries

While any secondary injury can be dangerous, secondary brain injuries could have fatal complications. An example of a secondary brain injury is one that occurs after an injury to your skull. Initial damage to your skull can often lead to future brain damage.

The primary injury results in immediate damage, such as injury to the blood vessels, cells and tissues in your brain. This can cause further damage over time, particularly if the primary injury is not properly treated. As more brain cells deteriorate, there is a risk of debilitating cognitive issues and possibly death.

Common Examples of Secondary Injuries

There are numerous examples of secondary injuries that may result from a Minnesota car crash. For example, you could suffer a knee injury and eventually develop back problems. This could be because you start moving awkwardly to compensate for your knee injury which puts an unusual strain on your back.

Here are some other examples of secondary car crash injuries:

  • Impaired blood flow because of a brain injury
  • Structural damage after breaking a bone, such as an injury to ligaments or tendons in one of your joints
  • Chronic pain in your leg after suffering a fracture
  • Mental health issues after a serious injury that dramatically changes your lifestyle, such as depression, anxiety or difficulty sleeping
  • Impaired flow of oxygen throughout the body due to inflammation of your spinal cord
  • Infections that develop after an internal injury
  • Herniated disc from using your back to lift something instead of your legs
  • Pinched nerves that result from pressure from bone fragments

Consequences of Secondary Injuries

Secondary injuries can lengthen the healing process and put you at higher risk for long-term medical issues. For example, you could develop long-term back pain or a brain injury that creates significant cognitive difficulties, such as problems remembering things or focusing on tasks.

Brain damage could also result in painful, chronic headaches that affect your ability to work or maintain personal relationships with family and friends.

Mental health challenges can take a long time to overcome. Even with therapy and medications, victims may still struggle to engage in their lives the same way they did before.

Can You Prevent Secondary Injuries?

Complications/secondary injuries from a car crash may be unavoidable, but sometimes you can take steps to prevent them. For example, seeking immediate medical treatment so doctors can more quickly diagnose the primary injury. This step is vital as it can help you to receive earlier treatment, potentially eliminating the development of a secondary injury.

However, preventing a secondary injury may also depend on how well you follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations. For example, if your doctor tells you to limit physical activity, such as walking, bending down to pick things up, or getting up from a seated position, you need to follow these recommendations. Too much physical activity increases the risk of aggravating your primary injury, puts additional strain on your body, and can lead to the development of secondary injuries.

Symptoms of a Secondary Brain Injury

Another step you should take is informing your doctor about any new symptoms that develop, particularly symptoms that may indicate a secondary brain injury. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Headaches of worsening intensity or increased frequency
  • Confusion
  • Struggling to focus or remember things
  • Seizures
  • Blurry or double-vision
  • Impaired hearing
  • Increased sensitivity to sound or light
  • Changes in behavior or personality
  • Irregular sleep patterns (sleeping more often or struggling to get enough sleep)
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Extra sensitivity to touch

Contact Us For Legal Assistance Following a Car Crash Injury

Crash victims should get immediate medical treatment to diagnose and stabilize injuries. While this can help prevent the primary injury from getting worse, it could also prevent dangerous secondary injuries.

After seeking treatment, you should consider talking to an experienced lawyer about pursuing compensation for your medical costs and other damages.

TSR Injury Law has helped thousands of Minnesota car crash victims secure compensation. We know how difficult the aftermath of a crash can be and how insurance companies often try to deny and underpay claims. We take these billion-dollar insurance companies head on and secure favorable outcomes for our clients.

TSR Injury Law. Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Liberty Mutual Agrees to Settlement Over Rate Increases, Discounts

table with blocks with car insurance written on themLiberty Mutual Insurance Company has reached a $7.7 settlement with the State of Minnesota after it was alleged the insurer violated insurance regulations.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce investigated the insurance company for allegedly breaking state regulations on antitheft protection device discounts, automated rate increases and multi-policy discounts.

“When consumers pay premiums…they are protected by state law to ensure they get what they pay for,” says Grace Arnold, Minnesota’s commerce commissioner.

As part of the settlement, it was determined that Liberty Mutual did not offer a minimum auto insurance policy discount for antitheft protection devices. As a result, the insurer has refunded and credited a total of $2.27 million to their 52,604 current and former policy holders affected.

In addition, the Department of Commerce investigated Liberty Mutual for rate increases that were automatically applied. The settlement contains $2.1 million for credits and $670,000 for refunds. The money will be paid to more than 28,000 current and former policyholders. Current policyholders can expect to receive an average of $178, while former policyholders will get about $77 apiece.

Liberty Mutual will also provide refunds and credits to settle allegations of offering multi-policy discounts for bundling homeowners and auto insurance policies. The settlement contains about $2.7 million for current and former policyholders, with affected policy holders receiving an average of $350.

To ensure Liberty Mutual honors the settlement agreement, a civil penalty of $150,000 has been stayed. This means as long as Liberty Mutual refunds or credits their policyholders, the fine will be voided.