Lawyer for Car Accidents Caused by Prescription Drugs
When most people think of drugged driving, they think of a motorist on marijuana or on some other illegal drug. The sad reality is, prescription drugs can be just as impairing and dangerous to drive on as many illegal substances.
Drivers who take prescription medications are expected to avoid operating vehicles when it is not safe for them to do so. If a motorist makes an unsafe choice and drives his car under the influence of prescription medication, victims who he hurts in a resulting crash can seek compensation for losses. An Austin prescription accident attorney at The Loewy Law Firm can help crash victims who are seeking monetary damages for the harm they’ve been forced to endure by a drugged driver.
Dangers of Driving on Prescription Drugs
Taking prescription medications affects everyone differently. Motorists need to be extra careful to make sure they are not driving while under the influence of a prescription drug that will impair their driving. Prescription drugs can cause a wide array of adverse side effects that affect one’s ability to drive. Some medications can make it hard for drivers to judge distances, while others may encourage risky driving behaviors.
Motorists need to take into consideration the interactions between multiple prescription drugs. While most prescription medicines will not affect your driving ability, some prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter drugs, have side effects that may make it unsafe to operate a motor vehicle.
Common prescription medications that affect driving include:
- Pain medications
- Muscle relaxants
- Sleep aids
- High blood pressure drugs
- Cold medications
- Allergy medications
- Diet pills
Some common side effects of prescription medications include:
- Reduced reaction time
- Blurred vision
- Impaired cognitive function
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty breathing
Side effects may vary based on the type of medication and what other medications are being taken with it. Herbal supplements can also create side effects when interacting with a prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Drivers’ reactions to medications may change over time, especially if they quit taking a drug for a period then go back to it. As people get older, they may find that they have stronger reactions to certain drugs that once caused little to no side effects. Drinking alcohol may also increase the side effects of many prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Common Injuries Caused by Drivers on Prescription Medication
If you have been injured by a drugged driver, you might be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries that you sustained. An experienced Austin personal injury attorney can discuss your legal rights and the strategies that may be used to help prove that a driver was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.
Typically, the faster the vehicles were traveling at the time of the collision, the more severe the injures. Some of the most common injuries caused by drivers on prescriptions medications include:
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Internal organ damage
It is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident, even if you feel OK. Some injuries, such as TBIs, don’t always show up right away and may take days or weeks before they become evident.
Who is Responsible for Prescription Accidents in Austin?
Crash victims or their surviving family members can pursue compensation for losses after an accident if they can prove:
- Another motorist made a careless choice, driving his vehicle in a manner that no reasonable motorist would have.
- The carelessness or negligence of the other motorist was the direct cause of a collision.
- The collision caused injuries or caused a wrongful death of a close relative.
In the case of an accident caused by a driver under the influence of prescription medication, crash victims can show that no reasonable motorist would have gotten behind the wheel when a medication affected his ability to drive. Crash victims can also prove the driver violated impaired driving laws, which would create a presumption of negligence and make it easier to make a successful injury claim.
The Loewy Law Firm has provided legal representation to many clients after accidents caused by drivers under the influence of prescription drugs. We know what types of evidence can convince insurance companies or juries that a driver is to blame for an accident. We’ll help you to get ahold of toxicology reports, witness statements, police reports, expert witness testimony, and other evidence you need to put together the strongest possible case.
Driving Under the Influence and Personal Injury Liability
The key to recovering financial compensation for injuries is proving the driver was under the influence of drugs to the extent that their driving ability was impaired. One challenge in a drugged driving case is that being impaired by these substances is harder for juries to understand than alcohol impairment. If you were seriously injured by a driver who was under the influence of drugs and your case goes to trial, expert testimony will likely be needed to convince the jury that the at-fault party was significantly impaired by drugs. Because the effects of prescription drugs on driving are less well-known than those of alcoholic beverages, a skilled and experienced drugged driving accident lawyer is needed to win these types of cases.
Typically, in drugged driving cases, the following must be addressed:
- The driver was operating their vehicle recklessly when the crash happened.
- Expert testimony is typically required about the side effects of the prescription medication involved and how it affects the driver.
- Was the at-fault driver following their doctor’s orders in regard to the medications taken?
- Did the label on the pill bottle warn that the drug’s side effects could affect driving?
Common symptoms associated with a driver being under the influence of prescription drugs include:
- Dazed expression
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty walking
- Dilated pupils
- Bloodshot eyes
Contact an Austin Prescription Accident Attorney Today
Accidents involving drivers on prescription drugs are often serious because the drugs can cause drivers to fall asleep, have delayed reactions, and otherwise engage in very dangerous behavior. A drugged driver may not be able to stop in time, or even slow down, before striking your vehicle head-on or at high-speeds. You can be badly hurt, and you should be fully compensated for all financial losses as well as for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
An Austin auto accident attorney from Loewy Law Firm will work hard to help you negotiate a settlement or pursue a claim for full compensation in a court of law. We believe every driver has an obligation to be sober on the roads, and even prescription drug use is not acceptable if it alters the ability to drive safely. We will fight to help you hold a driver accountable if you paid the price because of someone else’s dangerous choice to get behind the wheel while drugged.