When most people think of drugged driving, they imagine a motorist who is stoned or high on illegal narcotics. The reality, however, is that both prescription and over-the-counter drugs can have just as severe an impact on one’s ability to drive safely as illegal drugs. In some cases, such as a prescription medication that causes marked drowsiness, legal medications can actually impede one’s ability to drive more than certain illegal drugs.
Although it is perfectly legal to take a prescription or over-the-counter medication, it is not necessarily legal to drive after doing so. Drivers have an obligation to make safe choices, and if a motorist is too impaired by pills to drive safely, the crime of drugged driving may be charged. The impaired driver can also be held responsible if an accident injures others. Steinger, Iscoe & Greene can assist victims of collisions caused by drugged drivers in pursuing compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
According to CBS News, studies have shown that the majority of Americans regularly takes prescription medication. For example:
These medications can make it more difficult for a motorist to drive safely, and the more medications a person is on, the greater the risk of the drugs interfering or otherwise impeding the ability to drive.
A patient who has taken either prescription or non-prescription drugs should carefully follow instructions and warning labels and should check with their doctor or pharmacist to make sure that the medication will not interfere with their ability to safely operate a vehicle. If there is any doubt, the patient shouldn’t drive.
If someone drives after using drugs and causes a collision, victims or surviving family members of those killed in the crash can pursue a claim for damages, including medical treatment costs; lost wages or loss of earning potential; pain and suffering; or wrongful death losses. Those pursuing a damage claim must show:
When police report to the scene of a collision, they may ask drivers to undergo a blood test to detect drugs in their system if there is reason to suspect either motorist is under the influence. The results of toxicology reports can show legal drugs in the bloodstream and can be used as evidence in a drugged driving accident claim. Victims can also have witnesses, including experts and eyewitnesses, testify about the cause of the collision.
Steinger, Iscoe & Greene has represented many clients whose lives were changed by drivers who got behind the wheel after taking either prescription or over-the-counter medications. Let us help you to make a damage claim if you or a loved one suffered losses due to a drugged driver. The initial consultation is free.