Sadly, we live at a time when some people decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after taking drugs. All types of drugs, including prescription medications, can impact the body and mind enough to make driving unsafe. Just because a prescription was written by a doctor does not mean it is legal to drive while under the influence of that drug.
Call Judd Shaw Injury Law today if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by someone driving under the influence of drugs. This kind of negligent behavior can wreak havoc in your life, and we will not stand for it. When we take on your case, our team will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Defending the rights of our clients and seeking justice is part of our core beliefs, which we call the Judd Shaw Way. Get in touch with us right away, either by dialing (866) 909-6894 or filling out the contact form here on our website. Our No Fee Guarantee® means you will not need to pay a dime unless you win.
Drug-Related Accident Statistics
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 13.5 million Americans drove under the influence of drugs in 2021. In 2016, opioids were found in the bloodstream of 19.7 percent of drivers under the influence after a crash. Marijuana, though, is the most popular type of drug found in the bloodstream of drivers after an incident.
It is almost impossible to nail down the number of accidents rooted in drug usage. THC and other types of medications can be found in the bloodstream days or even weeks after consumption.
A good roadside test for determining drug levels in the body currently does not exist. Police often use their own methods of finding out whether someone is driving high or not.
The Problem With Driving While Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
Some people may assume that it is safe to drive while under the influence of prescription medications. The medication may seem harmless, especially when provided by a doctor, but there’s a reason why many pharmaceuticals come with warning labels. These might include instructions to avoid operating any heavy machinery, including automobiles, while consuming the drug.
Unfortunately, many prescriptions can have various side effects that can make driving dangerous. These side effects include the following.
Many types of medication can cause drowsiness, even over-the-counter ones like for colds or allergies. No matter how you obtained the medication, always examine the label and usage instructions before choosing to drive. Even if you doubt you will fall asleep while driving, drug-induced drowsiness can make it more difficult to pay attention to the road.
Much like drugs that can make you drowsy, some can make you dizzy. You might feel fine at the moment but may be hit later with a wave of dizziness. This can be dangerous, and not just for you. If there is even a small risk of dizziness, it’s best not to drive for the safety of all those who travel on the road.
Many medications can alter a person’s vision to the point of making it difficult to see everything that is going on around him or her. This can be especially troublesome when trying to drive, because you need to be completely aware of your surroundings at all times.
Slowed reaction times
When driving, you need to be able to react to any obstacles that might get in your way, such as a car that cuts you off or halts in front of you. Some medications can make it impossible to be able to respond quickly or safely enough.
Lack of focus
Many people who take prescription medications are unprepared for the lack of focus these drugs can cause. This side effect can make it difficult to handle household chores, much less driving a vehicle.
For some, the inability to concentrate is so severe that the mental condition feels similar to daydreaming – when what you need most behind the wheel is a firm grip on your reality and surroundings.
Can Someone Under the Influence of Drugs Be Held Liable for Causing an Accident?
People take drugs for a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, allergies, colds, and pain. Some are prescribed by a physician, while others are taken to get high.
Depending on the substance itself, some drugs pose a higher risk of causing an accident than others if taken while driving. Drugs can also be abused and taken either in doses or in a way that a doctor did not recommend.
Whether a drug is prescribed by a doctor or not, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. Being impaired means there is no way you can drive safely.
It should be common sense to avoid getting behind the wheel under the influence. Yet, millions of people take the risk every year, putting the lives of others in danger. If an impaired person causes an accident, he or she will be responsible for the damage caused.
Should You Hire a Drugs Lawyer After Being in an Accident?
After being in an accident, you may not know whether the other driver was under the influence of drugs. If you suspect this might be the case, calling a lawyer can help you build up a strong claim for compensation. Your attorney will be able to gain access to vital evidence such as the police report and the results of the other driver’s drug test.
As the plaintiff in the legal case, you will need to prove the other driver breached his or her duty of care. Did this breach of care lead to your injuries? Winning compensation is not always easy, but an experienced attorney can secure all evidence needed to back up your side of the story.
What to Do When Involved in an Accident as a Result of Drug Use
When you are in an accident, it can be difficult to know whether the other driver was under the influence of drugs. Even if it seems obvious by how he or she behaves, it could be the result of a brain injury or shock. There is no definite way to tell, other than if a reliable drug test is administered right after the incident.
Regardless of the cause of the accident, the following are several ways you can help with your case.
It is always important to call 911 after an accident. When the police show up on the scene, explain exactly what happened.
Mention whether you believe the other driver is under the influence of drugs. You might explain the behavior you witnessed that made you think drugs may be a factor. This will all be recorded in the report. The other driver may be required to take a blood test.
Get medical attention
When the police arrive, request medical assistance. Documenting any injuries you sustained will further back up your claim. Even if you do not think you are injured, you should still get checked out. Remember, being in shock can hide symptoms of several injuries.
Call Judd Shaw Injury Law for Drug-Related Legal Services
After getting hurt in a drug-related collision, you may be facing an uncertain future. If the accident has left you in pain, facing considerable financial losses, or unable to work, you can work with a lawyer to recover the compensation you deserve.
Judd Shaw Injury Law has experience handling different types of car accident cases. Our team stands ready to defend your right to seek compensation. We do things the Judd Shaw Way, being driven by these core values to take excellent care of our clients. All you have to do is sit back and let our attorneys go to work while you focus on making a full recovery.