Many people who wouldn't dream of driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs do something similarly dangerous on a regular basis—yet they may not even realize what they are doing. Getting behind the wheel after taking prescription or over-the-counter medications is common and, in some cases, it can lead to horrific car, truck, and motorcycle accidents.
People assume that because their doctor prescribed a medication, or because they were able to buy the medication at the store without a prescription, it must be safe. While it may be appropriate to take, it may be completely unsafe to drive after taking the medication. A number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs have impairing side effects greater than the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs, thereby leading to serious car crashes.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a driver who was impaired by the side effects of a medication, you may be entitled to compensation. A skilled California personal injury attorney can help you secure the full and fair financial recovery you deserve. Here's what you should know.
Liability in Crashes Caused by Medication Side Effects
Do you read the warning labels on the prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines you take? Most people don't, and, as a result, they may be unaware that the medication they're taking could impair their driving performance, including attentiveness, response time and ability to remain awake. Additionally, prescriptions may not mix well with food or drink a person normally consumes. A person without knowing it, could be creating a serious danger to themselves and to others.
Taking a drug they thought was safe doesn't absolve a motorists of his or her duty to operate their vehicle safely. California law prohibits driving while impaired, regardless of whether the impairment is due to prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs, or medicinal or recreational marijuana.
How Medications Impact Driving Performance
Allergy medicines and psychotropic drugs are just two examples of the types of medications that can affect the user's driving performance. However, they're far from the only kinds of drugs capable of doing so. A wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications—as well as some herbal supplements—have side effects that can make safe driving difficult by causing:
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slowed movement and reaction times
- Decreased alertness and inability to focus
- Other impairments
Drugged Driving Accident Victims May Be Entitled to Damages
Being in a crash caused by a drugged driver can turn your whole world upside down. As a result of the accident, you may be severely injured and temporarily (or permanently) unable to work. The combination of the physical injury and the inability to work, your medical and household bills will continue to mount while there is no way to pay for the ongoing expenses. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you may not have to bear those financial burdens on your own. An adept attorney can help you get medical care on a lien basis so the expenses are delayed, and seek compensation for a wide variety of damages, including:
- Accident-related medical expenses
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And so much more
An Attorney Can Investigate Your Accident and Build a Strong Case for Damages
After a serious car crash, there's far too much at stake to go it alone. Here's how an accomplished attorney can help:
- Gather important evidence
- Talk to eyewitnesses
- Establish liability
- Handle communication between you and the at-fault party's insurance company or defense counsel
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Take your case to trial, if necessary
- Find expert witnesses to testify on your behalf
- And much, much more
Let Our Skilled Attorneys Handle Your California Car Accident Recovery
Need a knowledgeable and experienced team of injury recovery professionals on your California car crash case? You've come to the right law firm. The Inland Empire Law Group has helped many Inland Empire injury victims over the years. We want to help car accident victims injured by another person or company's negligence recover fair compensation. Find out how we can help you: Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule a free initial consultation.