The use of marijuana and prescription medications that alter mood is increasing among U.S. drivers. While driving under the influence of alcohol is prohibited in the United States, drugged driving may appear more ambiguous. Several substances, including alcohol, some over-the-counter and prescription medications, and illegal drugs, can impair driving. If a driver gets behind the wheel after consuming or taking these substances, he or she can be held negligent and liable for the resulting accident.
If you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
What is Drunk and Drugged Driving?
Every drug has a unique impact on the brain. Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs impair driving because they slow reaction time, coordination, and judgment. Cocaine, on the other hand, can cause people to drive more aggressively than usual, whereas sedatives can cause dizziness and extreme drowsiness, which can result in accidents. When alcohol is combined with a number of different medications, the sedative effects can be intensified.
Marijuana is the second most common substance found in the blood of drivers involved in accidents, after alcohol. Blood tests for detecting marijuana in drivers measure the level of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana. Marijuana impairs driving-related psychomotor skills and cognitive functions, including alertness, drowsiness, perception of time and distance, reaction time, divided attention, lane tracking, coordination, and balance.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that, in addition to marijuana, prescription medications are also frequently linked to drugged driving accidents. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 43.6% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for drugs in 2016, and more than half of these drivers tested positive for two or more substances.
Liability For Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Even if a person has a legal, valid prescription for a prescription drug or medical marijuana, this does not exonerate them from liability or fault in a car accident. For example, technically, most drunk drivers have the legal right or permission to consume alcohol, but they also have a 'duty of care' to the general public. This obligation requires drivers to operate their vehicles in a manner that prevents accidents and injuries to others. Frequently, drugged drivers are deemed negligent and therefore liable for the resulting injuries.
Drugged Driving Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
Whether you were a pedestrian, a passenger in the same vehicle as a drugged/drunk driver, or in another vehicle, you can file a lawsuit to seek financial compensation for your injuries or a wrongful death claim if you lost a family member. Your personal injury lawsuit will seek to recover sufficient compensation to cover all of your expenses associated with the drunk driving accident.
This amount includes the following items:
- Bills that you receive for emergency medical treatment at the scene of the accident and at the hospital afterwards
- Any related follow-up visits
- Any type of rehabilitative care that you may need to regain your health or abilities
In addition, you will need funds to support you during the time you must leave work in order to recover completely from your injuries. Your drugged driving accident attorneys will argue for punitive damages to compensate you and your family for the pain and suffering they have caused.
Drugged Driving Accident Attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick are Ready to Help You Today
Drivers under the influence of drugs should be held entirely accountable for the accidents and severe injuries they cause. At the law firm of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our legal team takes great pride in our mission to protect the rights of those who have been injured as a result of negligence or reckless disregard for human life. We will conduct an in-depth consultation with you to determine the most effective compensation strategy.
You deserve the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, and we will fight to obtain substantial compensation on your behalf. Simply contact us today, and we will get started on helping you right away.