Did A Motorist, Impaired By Prescription Medication Cause Your Florida Car Accident?
Driving while impaired by prescription drugs might not seem as bad as driving under the influence of alcohol, but it can be just as risky. Suppose you were seriously injured in a car accident, and you believe the other motorist was driving while impaired by prescription drugs. If that is the situation, you might be asking yourself whether you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the other driver. If you were injured in an accident and believe the other driver was impaired by prescription medication, consult a qualified attorney because you may be entitled to compensation.
Prescription medications usually come with warnings. Most of these drugs have warning labels that warn drivers against operating heavy machinery soon after taking the medication. Even physicians usually warn motorists against operating vehicles soon after taking the medication. In most cases, it is recommendable for a motorist to wait at least 48 hours after taking a new prescription drug before operating a vehicle. Unfortunately, many motorists choose to drive their cars immediately or shortly after taking new prescription medication despite the warnings and physician recommendations. Ignoring a physician’s advice or the warning labels on prescription medications is never worth it.
Prescription drugs often cause side effects that can impair a motorist’s ability to drive safely. Hence, it is because of these side effects that physicians and prescription drug companies warn motorists against operating vehicles soon after taking prescription drugs.
Below is a look at some of the dangerous side effects caused by prescription drugs.
Drowsy driving is one of the major causes of vehicle collisions. If a motorist falls asleep behind the wheel, they risk losing control of their vehicle. A brief episode of drowsy driving can cause an accident.
Dizziness can make a motorist misjudge important things such as the distance between them and the other motorist. When a motorist cannot tell the exact distance between them and the other driver, it becomes easy for them to cause an accident.
If a prescription medication interferes with a motorist’s vision, it can become hard for them to make out signals or traffic signs when driving. A driver who can’t make out traffic signs or signals is a danger to themselves and other motorists, pedestrians, and passengers.
Impaired Cognitive Function
Firstly, cognitive impairment can affect a driver to the extent that they cannot remember how to follow traffic laws. Secondly, when a driver’s cognitive function is impaired, they might find it hard to concentrate on things they would easily focus on under normal circumstances. Additionally, a motorist whose cognitive function is impaired might have trouble making some crucial decisions.
Can You Sue the Motorist That Caused Your Car Accident if They Were Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs at the Time of Your Accident?
Floridians know that the law considers driving under the influence (DUI) an offense. However, most don’t know that driving under the influence of prescription drugs is an offense, just like driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs.
So, can you sue the motorist that caused your car accident if they were driving under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of your accident? Simply put, yes, you can. The motorist that caused your accident can be held accountable for causing your accident because of the side effects that led to the accident.
When a driver gets prescription medication, they are usually made aware of the potential side effects of the drugs. You can hold a driver liable for your injuries if they chose to operate their vehicle under the influence, knowing fully well that the side effects they were experiencing are dangerous.
A driver can face liability if an impairment causes an accident, regardless of how much medication they are found to have taken.
How Will the Other Driver’s Impairment Impact Your Claim?
You might be awarded several compensatory damages if the court finds that the other driver was driving under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of your accident. You might be awarded, among many others, the following compensatory damages:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
In the case of a motorist who was driving under the influence, you might even be able to convince the court to award you punitive damages. Such damages are rarely granted, but since a DUI case involves intentional misconduct, you might be able to obtain an award of punitive damages.
Contact a Naples Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a car accident by a motorist who you suspect was driving while impaired by prescription drugs, reach out to a skilled attorney immediately. Contact a Naples car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., today to receive the help you need and deserve.