Serving West Palm Beach Victims Injured in Accidents Caused by a Driver Under the Influence of a Legal Drug
Excessive alcohol consumption is a common factor in car accidents, but it is not the only form of substance abuse that can lead drivers to cause serious collisions. Prescription drug abuse is an all-too-common issue, as well – each year, countless accidents result from drivers taking medications and then getting behind the wheel.
So, can you sue a driver for using prescription drugs and causing a car accident? The simple answer is: Yes. Driving under the influence of prescription medications is not only a criminal offense, but it also constitutes negligence, which can entitle accident victims to seek just compensation.
The Dangers of Driving on Prescription Medications
Like alcohol and illegal drugs, prescription medications can have drastic effects on a person’s ability to drive. In fact, many prescription drugs can cause impairments that are equivalent to, or even exceed, those associated with alcohol intoxication.
For example, a side-effect of many antidepressants is extreme sedation. Antihistamines can slow drivers’ reaction times and impair their coordination, while pain relievers can have side-effects ranging from dizziness to fatigue. The risks of taking sleeping pills before driving are (or should be) obvious, but even the residual effects of prescribed sleep medications can last long into the morning after a good night’s rest. Other common side-effects of prescription medications include:
- Blurred vision
- Inability to focus
- Slowed movement
With these risk factors in mind, it is not hard to see why driving on prescription drugs so frequently leads to accidents – and why victims deserve to be compensated when drivers make the poor decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence of medication.
Vehicle Collisions Involving Medical Marijuana
On November 8, 2016, voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2, which legalizes medical marijuana in the State of Florida. Amendment 2 is set to take effect on January 3, 2017, and it greatly expands the list of patients and medical conditions that are eligible for prescriptions as compared to the existing law (which allows only limited use of non-smoked cannabis) that was passed in 2014.
Of course, while medical marijuana may now be legal in Florida, this will not excuse drivers who cause accidents while under the influence of THC. In this regard, medical marijuana is no different from any other prescription medication: If a driver who is under the influence of any prescription medication causes an accident, they can – and should – be held financially accountable. At Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, we regularly handle complicated auto accident claims, and we can fight to win the compensation you deserve.
Were You Injured in a Crash Caused by a Driver Who Was on Prescription Drugs?
If you were injured in a crash and you believe that the driver who hit you may have been under the influence of a prescription medication, acting quickly can be the key to securing just compensation. You should call 911 at the scene of the accident, and you should also call me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally, so that I can guide you through everything you need to do to protect your rights. Do not let mistakes or delays jeopardize your claim – call me at 561.202.MORE(6673) now.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.