How The Time Change Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case

Posted on: 30 October 2020


If you were involved in a car accident after a time change, either in spring or in fall, that time change could add a new dimension to any injury claims you make. The time change has a definite effect on how well you function, and that means that the idea of who is at fault and what circumstances could have been handled differently could be affected. Overall, it might not change the verdict in the case, but it could change the award depending on how much you were affected, too.

Both Spring Forward and Fall Back Had More Accidents

Both time changes saw more accidents. Springing forward can result in more car accidents in the morning, and falling back results in more car accidents and car-pedestrian accidents in the evening. Researchers have tracked both of these phenomena and found the rise in accidents to be consistent — so consistent that the rise in accidents followed the time change when it was moved in 2007. In other words, when the time change was moved, the rise in accidents occurred in the week of the new time change, and not during the week that the time change used to occur in.

This Rise in Injuries and Deaths Spans More Than One or Two Days

And the rise in accidents does last at least a week. People need time to adjust to having all of their routines shifted by an hour, even if they're adding an hour in fall. The change in when it gets light and dark can be disorienting to people, and the adjustment is not easy for most.

Accidents Due to Increase in Carelessness, Drowsiness

The increase in accidents is due mainly to carelessness as people drive in the dark the way they drove when it was light, and to drowsiness because of the missing hour in spring and upset sleep schedule in fall (a lot of people may end up staying up later to account for that extra hour and thus go to bed more tired than they usually are).

So, say you've been hit by a car shortly after the time change. It's possible the driver was drowsy — but it's also possible for the driver to claim that you were drowsy, too, and you didn't look carefully before crossing a street, for example.

That may sound discouraging if you're about to take someone to court over a personal injury claim, but it's not. It just means you need a good personal injury lawyer to help you put together a case that clearly shows you were not at fault in the accident. That can be tricky when you have a well-known issue like the time change lurking in the background, but good legal advice and representation can help you navigate those waters easily.

For more information about personal injury law, contact a local law office like the Law Office of Robert Karwin.