Do you know that over-the-counter medications can result in buzzed driving? When you think about drugged driving, you probably think about a driver who has consumed illegal drugs or smoked marijuana. However, drugged driving covers much more than illicit drugs. Buzzed and drug driving can result from taking any drug that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle. If you cause an accident while impaired by drugs, you are responsible for the damages caused by that accident.
The Problem of Drugged Driving in America
The number of drugged drivers is growing in America. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) states that drugs can impair a person’s motor skills, perception memory, attention, judgment, reaction time, and balance. An impairment of any one of these skills can result in a traffic accident.
Illegal drugs are known to impair a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. One survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that 10 million drivers admitted to being under the influence of illicit drugs while driving. However, illicit drugs aren’t the only drugs that can cause buzzed driving.
Many of the drugs that a driver can take legally in the United States can result in drugged or buzzed driving. Examples of drugs you might be taking right now that have side effects that can result in drugged driving include:
- Prescription sedatives such as Ativan, Ambien, Valium, Xanax, and Lunesta
- Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines, especially brands that contain Dextromethorphan or DXM
- Prescription pain medications including oxycodone, morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone
- Steroids including Anadrol and Oxandrin
- Prescription stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta
The NIH website has a list of the commonly abused drugs that can impair driving.
Paying Damages in a Drugged Driving Accident
When a driver causes a drugged driving accident, that driver can be held liable for any damages that arise from that traffic accident. To recover compensation for your injuries from a drugged driving accident, you must still prove the driver caused the crash that resulted in your injuries. Being charged with drugged driving is not sufficient to prove a driver caused the collision. The fact that the driver was drugged may be part of the evidence used to prove that he caused the crash but it is not the only evidence needed to prove fault in a drugged driving accident.
Common damages that are compensable in a drugged driving accident include:
- Lost wages, including a loss of income for permanent disability
- Medical bills, including future medical treatments and long-term personal care
- Funeral expenses, in the event of a wrongful death
- Emotional stress, physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish
- Property damages
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
The damages and the amount of compensation depend on several factors including the severity of the injuries, the length of recovery, and whether the victim suffered any permanent disabilities from the injuries.
Call an Erie Car Accident Attorney for Help
If you have been injured in a drug driving accident, you have the right to seek compensation from the drugged driver. Call our Erie car accident attorney for a free case evaluation to determine what your case is worth.
Contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation with an experienced Erie car accident attorney.