Drugged Driving Car Accident
Berenson Injury Law has focused exclusively on auto accident recovery for almost 40 years. During that time, we have seen firsthand the increasing numbers of drugged driving accidents and the devastating effects these crashes have on victims and their families. We find this horrific trend unacceptable and are passionate advocates for people injured by drugged drivers and the families of those who have been killed in drug-related crashes.
Attorney Bill Berenson is personally committed to impaired driving prevention and victim advocacy. He supports Mothers Against Drunk Driving and is the annual sponsor of the Fort Worth Walk Like MADD event that raises awareness and funds for this important organization. He has also given speeches and published articles on impaired driving and the rights of victims. Most importantly, he has been a compassionate, effective representative of the victims of these wholly preventable accidents.
If a drugged driver ran into you, we are here to help. We seek justice against the impaired driver and pursue the maximum possible damages for you. Because driving while on drugs is grossly negligent conduct, you may be entitled to punitive damages in addition to compensation for your economic losses.Enforcement of Drugged Driving is a Challenge
As drunk driving deaths decline, drugged driving deaths have increased rapidly. A 2015 study found that 43 percent of drivers in fatal crashes tested positive for either legal or illegal drugs.
The full extent of the problem is impossible to know because there is no roadside test to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs. Only after an accident is the driver usually tested. In many cases, somebody was hurt or killed before law enforcement is able to make an arrest.
The DUI laws are clear. A person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher is considered too impaired to drive. The Breathalyzer test results provide conclusive, admissible evidence of the driver’s BAC. The breath test is easy to administer and is routine in law enforcement. Testing for drugs is more complicated and intrusive. The police officer must obtain a warrant and transport the driver to a medical facility where a professional can draw blood.
If prescription or over the counter drugs are detected through blood analysis, whether the driver was impaired is often in dispute. The law does not establish a legal level of impairment, like BAC percentages. Even doctors disagree on what level is safe for a patient drive.Over the Counter and Prescription Drugs Can Impair Drivers
About 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Another 80 percent take over the counter medications. Even when used as directed, certain medications can severely impair drivers. Abuse of prescription drugs further exacerbates the potential risks. For example, 38 percent of U.S. adults were legally prescribed an opioid, such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin or Demerol, and five percent abused the prescription opioid pain medications.
Prescription pharmaceuticals for anxiety, depression, pain, high blood pressure, diabetes and other common ailments often have serious side effects, including sleepiness, blurred vision, dizziness and fainting. Over the counter cold, allergy and sleep aids typically come with similarly dangerous side effects. Many of these drug reactions are similar to or worse than alcohol.
Because over the counter and prescription drugs are legal, patients falsely assume they can drive safely with the medication in their systems. Warning labels offer little guidance, with soft language, such as, “You may get drowsy,” or “Be careful when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.” Doctors generally do not adequately advise patients about the risks, and may actually be reluctant to suggest chronically ill patients give up independence for safety.
The driver may not be criminally liable for driving while on medications and yet be liable under civil law, which has a lower standard. That is why you should explore your legal rights regardless of whether the driver was charged with a crime.Recover for Injuries You Sustained in a Dallas-Fort Worth Drugged Driving Crash
Schedule a free consultation with Berenson Injury Law to discuss your right to recover from a drugged driver who ran into you. We take your drugged driving accident claim on contingency, so you do not pay our lawyers’ fees until we recover damages on your behalf.