Chicago Drugged Driving Accident Lawyer
Operating a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs pertains to more than just alcoholic beverages and marijuana. Many controlled and illegal substances used by drivers could impair their ability to operate a car.
The police could hold the driver on criminal charges if they take any medication or substance, altering their abilities behind the wheel.
Innocent victims could hold the impaired drivers civilly accountable for any damages, injuries, or wrongful death if the accident could have been prevented.
The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC know how the law applies to these situations and might prove negligence if you are injured by a driver who irresponsibly used any substance.
Our Chicago car accident lawyers currently represent clients throughout Illinois and the Chicago area, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Chicago, Cicero, Elgin, Naperville, and Schaumburg..
Drugged Driving is a Serious Safety Problem
Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (excessive blood alcohol levels) gets most of the attention in impaired or drunk driving accidents. However, drugged driving presents the same risks and hazards to public safety.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about twenty-two percent of drivers have at some point driven while under the influence of some mind-altering substance.
Illegal drug use like cocaine, heroin, or LSD and prescription drugs or over the counter medications may alter their mental state.
The effects of medications before operating may alter the way you handled power machinery in motorized vehicles. Most drivers who find themselves liable for drugged driving were taking medications prescribed to them.
They underestimated the impact that the meds had on their ability to safely operate a car before injuring innocent victims in the process.
Illinois Law Applied to Drugged Driving
According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501, nobody may operate a car if under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of compounds that impact their motor skills.
Some medications cause severe drowsiness, affect depth perception, cause dizziness, or reduce reaction time in a manner like alcohol. Street drugs have even more pronounced effects, and there is no excuse for drivers who place others at risk by getting high and operating a vehicle.
However, it's most alarming that some drivers seem to be oblivious to how common medications impact their abilities. Almost half of the motorists tested for substances following a drunken driver accident had some form of prescription medication in their systems.
In some cases, their abilities were impaired due to medication interactions, while in others, it was due to deliberate drug misuse.
Types of Medications that Impact Driving Ability
To prevent causing an accident while under the influence of mind-altering substances, it is crucial to understand what medications are most likely to impact your mental state.
Before you operate a vehicle while taking any drug, you should take it at home and determine its effects on your body. Here are the types of medications and drugs that can affect your motor abilities.
Prescription pain relievers and medications for anxiety – Some medications like Vicodin, OxyContin, Valium, or Xanax can be an effective medical treatment for numerous conditions.
However, the drugs can impair your ability to drive by causing drowsiness or blurring your vision. If you need to take these drugs, you should consider alternate forms of transportation in Chicago, IL.
- Street drugs – Drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, morphine, and methamphetamines all have marked effects on our mental state. These drugs never mix well with the operation of machinery and motor vehicles.
- Over the counter medications – These drugs are most likely to surprise drivers who never suspect that a dose of cold or allergy medication can impair their ability to drive. Always make sure that you take the correct dosage and avoid operating equipment if you feel drowsy or dizzy after taking an over the counter drug.
Seeking Compensation Following an Accident With a Drug-Impaired Driver
Are you, or a family member, or a loved one, an accident victim involved in drug-impairment or DUI car accident with property damage, injuries, or wrongful death? If so, our car accident injury lawyers can help.
Our law firm can work on your behalf and talk directly to the insurance company to resolve your car accident case.
After a free case evaluation, we can build a strong compensation injury claim to ensure you will receive funds to pay for your medical expenses, hospitalization costs, property damage time away from work, pain-and-suffering.
The Best Way to Stop Drugged Driving
The Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) Organization recognizes that deterrence and detection strategies are best utilized for stopping drug-impaired motorists and avoiding an auto accident.
Many local communities use high visibility enforcement tactics, including saturation patrols of police enforcement and alcohol/medication checkpoints.
These tactics catch drunk drivers consuming too many alcoholic-beverages or drugged drivers taking legal and illegal drugs. These efforts help stop plenty of car accidents that could result in personal injury or wrongful death.
Drugged Driving Car Accident FAQs
What Are the Three Impairing Effects of Drugs on Driving?
According to the National Safety Council, a motorist behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs and over-the-counter medications could suffer specific impairments that include:
- Decreased reaction time
- Lack of concentration
- Difficulty in focusing
- Challenges in processing information
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Doing more than a single task at one time
Can You Drive with Anxiety Medication?
Individuals take benzodiazepines to manage anxiety levels. However, the medication is known to affect a motorist’s ability to operate the vehicle safely and avoid a drug-impaired accident, much like an alcohol-related accident.
Benzodiazepines are especially dangerous when combining the medication with other sedative medicines and alcohol, creating a drugged induced impairment. The medication presents the greatest danger when it is first taken and is less hazardous in the waning hours of the prescription drug’s effectiveness.
How Do Over The Counter (OTC) Drugs Affect Driving?
Many over the counter medications at the local pharmacy or grocery store cause drowsiness. Some of these medications include sleep aids, allergy medicines, cold and flu remedies, and other OTC drugs available at supermarkets and pharmacies.
The labels on many over-the-counter drugs list the side effects that lead to drowsiness and other conditions that could affect driving, including blurred vision, nausea, and sleepiness. It is best to avoid using any OTC medication or remedy when operating heavy equipment or driving.
Law enforcement will check for impairment in a drugged driving accident, even if the crash was caused by driving under the influence of over-the-counter medications. Chicago drugged driving accident victims suffering injuries by a drowsy driver can seek financial compensation to recover damages.
These Chicago drugged driving accident cases are handled much like a lawsuit filed against a drunk driver. The victims can obtain compensation for hospitalization costs, medical bills, time away from work, pain, and suffering.
Contact us now. Your accident lawyers can help you get justice for your injuries. Tell us what happened and let our accident attorneys get the compensation you deserve.
What Is the Most Common Drug Found in Drivers?
Illegal levels of alcohol and marijuana are found in many motorists tested while operating a car while impaired. Local law enforcement can identify THC levels (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), known to alter the driver’s mind while active in the bloodstream.
However, other legal drugs are commonly found in motorists operating a car impaired, including over-the-counter flu and drug remedies, allergy medicines, and sleep aids.
Can I Drive on Antipsychotics?
Antipsychotic medications are known to drastically affect a driver’s level of concentration when feeling tired or drowsy. Sleepiness from the medication could make it especially difficult to operate a vehicle safely, especially when first prescribed the drug.
To ensure your safety and the safety of others and avoid a car crash with serious injuries, it is best to stop driving until you are not affected by the antipsychotic drug.
Is a Chicago Drunk Driving Accident Worse than Drugged Driving?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), nearly 4000 people lost their lives in Illinois between 2003 and 2012 by drunk drivers. Some estimates reveal that approximately 18% of all drivers operating a vehicle on the weekend at night are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In Chicago, drunk driving injured and killed more victims than driving under the influence of drugs. Of all the Illinois driving accidents, Chicago has the highest statistics than any other location statewide.
Hiring a Chicago Drugged Driving Injury Accident Lawyer Can Help
Our award-winning Chicago car accident injury attorneys have extensive experience handling drugged and drunk driving accidents cases and a strong record of successful monetary recoveries for clients with cases like yours.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to arrange a free consultation.
A car accidents lawyer at our law offices can provide immediate legal advice on how to move your case forward. Every Chicago car accident lawyer works on a contingency fee basis, so you are assured that you will never be required to pay an accident attorney fee unless we secure compensation on your behalf.
For information on Illinois law, drunk driving accident injuries, and distracted driving cases involving injuries, look at our Drunk Driving Accident FAQs.