Drugged Driving: Causing Car Accidents & Injuries
Being a safe driver requires defensive driving skills on your part, as well as being aware of the attitudes and behaviors on the part of other drivers which can result in car accidents and injuries. While most of us are aware of the dangers of drunk driving and the laws against it in South Carolina and throughout the country, many people are unaware of the risks associated with driving under the influence of drugs. Drugged driving accidents may involve illegal street drugs, medications prescribed by a physician, as well as over-the-counter remedies available in any store or pharmacy. Regardless of the type of drug involved, if you are unaware of the symptoms and side effects that can occur when taking it, the end result can be an increased risks of serious and potentially fatal car crashes and collisions.
Drugged Driving Accidents
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that drugged driving accidents have become increasingly common, with as many as ten million Americans admitting to driving while under the influence of some sort of drug or chemical. Research from the NIDA indicates that in as many as half of all fatal driving accidents, drugged driving is to blame. Cocaine is a factor in nearly ten percent of fatal accidents, while marijuana was found in the bloodstream of 40 percent of drivers involved. Surprisingly, prescription medication was the most common type of drug involved in these accidents, found in the blood stream of close to 50 percent of drivers. Among the most common types of medication are the following pain and anti-anxiety medicines:
- Hydrocodone, known as Vicodin
- Oxycodone, or OxyContin
- Alprazolam, or Xanax
- Diazepam, or Valium
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Side Effects that Impact Driving Ability
While the effects of taking illegal drugs and certain prescribed medications may seem obvious, even over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines and sleep aids can impair driving ability, resulting in an increase in car accidents and injuries. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), common side effects may include the following:
- Drowsiness and excessive fatigue
- Impaired judgment and reasoning
- Slowed reaction times
- Headaches and blurred vision
- Weakness, dizziness, and fainting
In the event an accident does occur as the result of being under the influence of illegal drugs or due to prescription and over-the-counter medication side effects, drivers may be held accountable for injuries and damages incurred by passengers and other motorists through their insurance company or through a personal injury lawsuit.
The victims of such an accident should discuss their cases with a car accident lawyer Columbia to understand their legal options. You could receive compensation for property damage, medical expenses, and even for the costs of your emotional distress treatments. An experienced attorney will build a case for you based on medical documentation, police reports, witness testimonies, experts’ depositions, discovery, and more. While most such cases settle out of the court, sometimes you need to go to trial if the at-fault party does not offer a reasonable amount. Our attorneys are more than ready and experienced to represent you in front of a judge or jury.
Those who want to take the legal route and seek justice should contact a car accident injury lawyer Florence to explain their options. As you probably know, most such cases settle out of the court. It would be an ideal situation, as the process is fast enough for you to recover smoothly. Getting a quick and satisfactory settlement means that you would not have to worry about piling medical bills, loss of income, etc. Unfortunately, even if the driver who injured you was under the influence of drugs and clearly at fault, insurance companies will do their best to minimize the amount. In this case, your attorney will most likely suggest you take your case to trial.
Reach Out to Us for Help
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as the result of a drugged driver, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm. Our experienced South Carolina car accident attorneys can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.