Was Your Car Accident Caused by a Driver Impaired by Prescription Medications?

In the aftermath of your car accident, you learned that the driver of the other vehicle took prescription medications. Their impairment made it difficult for them to operate the car correctly, leading to your accident. Does this make a difference in your accident claim? How does the other driver’s impairment impact the claim process?

The Impact of Driving While Taking Prescription Medications

Many medications come with warning labels instructing those who must take them to exercise care when driving or operating heavy machinery—and with good reason. Prescription medications can cause drowsiness or dizziness, increase fatigue, or leave the person taking them struggling to concentrate. Medications may lead to blurred vision or memory loss. All of these symptoms may significantly impact the patient’s ability to drive. For example, driving on prescription medications may cause:

  • Difficulty focusing on the road. Because of those medications, patients may struggle to keep their attention on the road or not see it clearly. They may not pay attention to other drivers or may miss their turns.
  • Poor coordination. Some medications may slow response time or make it difficult to operate the vehicle safely. Drivers on prescription medications may fail to remember how to follow street signs or traffic signals, or they may find it difficult to complete even familiar maneuvers in the vehicle.
  • Poor decision-making. Under the influence of prescription medications, drivers may struggle to make appropriate decisions when driving, including keeping themselves and other drivers safe.

Prescription Medications Versus Nonprescription Drugs: Is There a Difference?

Following an accident, the other driver may attempt to argue that they didn’t drive under the influence of nonprescription drugs. Medication prescribed by a doctor, however, can still impede a driver’s ability to safely operate a car. If the driver behaved erratically behind the wheel, fell asleep, or failed to correctly observe traffic laws due to the influence of prescription medications, they still hold liability for their own actions.

Most states, including Florida, indicate no difference between driving after drinking alcohol and driving while using drugs. Prescription medications, with their significant list of potential side effects, can cause serious issues for drivers on the road. While most drivers can still drive safely after taking most prescription medications, drivers should pay careful attention to the medications they take and their potential side effects. If they note prescription medications causing problems with coordination, attention, or decision-making, someone else should operate the vehicle.

The type of medication the driver took may or may not influence your claim. In many cases, you may still receive compensation for your injuries, and a lawyer can help you file your claim as normal. The legal consequences suffered by the other driver, however, may increase if they took prescription medications with known side effects prior to driving.

Do You Need Legal Help After Your Car Accident?

Whether your car accident involved a driver using prescription or nonprescription medications, you may need a lawyer to help you file your claim and obtain the compensation you deserve. If you need legal help, contact Meldon Law online today or call at (954) 334-1276 to schedule your free consultation.

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