Prescription drugs are not the same as illegal drugs or alcohol. Yet, legally prescribed medications can still impact a driver’s ability to drive safely and avoid a crash.
People who take medications prescribed by their healthcare providers do so to maintain or improve their health. There are many different types of medications, and they do not all impact drivers the same way. Additionally, the same drug impacts people differently. Therefore, there is no practical way to pass laws that apply to driving under the influence of all prescription medications the way that there is for driving under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. Yet, the absence of a specific legal standard does not prevent the fair recovery of people who are hurt by drivers under the influence of prescription drugs.
Dangers of Driving While Taking Prescription Drugs
Some prescription drugs contain substances that have a direct impact on a person’s ability to drive safely. These medications include but are not limited to:
- Antidepressants and sedatives
- Antihistamines to combat allergies
- Anti-nausea and motion sickness medicines
- Medications to prevent seizures
- Narcotic painkillers
- Cough syrups
- Blood pressure medicine
- Ulcer medication
Before taking a new medication, drivers should talk to their doctors and read drug labels carefully to find out if the medication could cause:
- Impaired perception
- Inability to focus
- Coordination or balance problems
- Slower reaction times
Sometimes, a single medication may cause more than one side effect that makes a driver dangerous behind the wheel.
What to Do After an Accident With a Drugged Driver
You likely won’t know what caused the accident immediately after it happened, and we do not recommend asking the other driver any questions about medications at the accident scene. However, you can find what caused the accident and take the necessary steps to protect your recovery. For example, you can:
- Make note of what happened right before the crash. Was the driver swerving out of their lane? Did the driver brake suddenly or too slowly?
- Write down anything the driver says after the crash. Did the driver apologize for the crash? Did the driver note that they were tired or dizzy? Did the driver mention any medications?
- Hire an attorney. Your car accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate all potential causes of your car accident, including whether the other driver was taking prescription medications and whether those drugs could have caused your car crash.
Additionally, you should take all of the steps that you would take to protect yourself after an accident, including but not limited to calling the police, taking pictures at the accident scene, and getting medical attention.
Now Is the Time to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
The other driver made a choice to take medication and drive. It may have been a difficult decision, but the choice was still made and you were the one who was hurt. You deserve to make a fair recovery for all of your accident injuries, including but not limited to:
- Medical costs. These costs include hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctors’ visits, rehabilitation therapies, medical devices, and other healthcare expenses.
- Lost income. If your injuries keep you from earning your wages, bonuses, raises, benefits, or income from self-employment, then you deserve to recover for the income you’ve lost.
- Out-of-pocket expenses. Any property damage, transportation costs, or other out-of-pocket costs should be part of your recovery.
- Pain and suffering. You deserve financial compensation for your physical pain and emotional suffering.
Our experienced Wisconsin car accident lawyers will fight for your fair and just recovery. Insurance companies know that our attorneys mean business and that we will go above and beyond the call of duty to get our clients the fair recoveries they deserve. Often, these lead to fair settlements, but if not, we will be ready and willing to go to court to get you the recovery you deserve.
We invite you to contact us any time for a free, no-obligation consultation in any of our laws offices, in your home or hospital room, or by phone or video conference. One of our car accident attorneys would be happy to explain your rights, your possible recovery, and our Win, or It’s Free Guarantee!