Drunk and Drugged Driving Accidents
If a drunk or drugged driver is responsible for your personal injury because they caused an auto accident, call a motor vehicle accident lawyer Montgomery County MD victims turn to for help. The attorneys of Cohen & Cohen have represented many victims who suffered personal injuries through no fault of their own. We may be able to help you recover your losses from the person or persons responsible. If you were injured by a drugged or drunk driver, our legal team wants to fight for your rights.
Below is some general information about the law and how it applies to drivers who are drugged or drunk while driving. Please contact us at Cohen & Cohen if you would like to discuss your personal injury case with a qualified attorney experienced in representing victims of drugged or drunk driving accidents.
A driver may considered to be driving under the influence of drugs whether the drugs are legal or illegal. If they affect a person’s ability to maintain focus and control, the drug is considered a banned substance when operating a motor vehicle as the driver is a risk to others on the road including passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in 2008, more than 10 million drivers admitted they had driven under the influence of drugs. Thousands of people die every year across the country due to drugged or drunk drivers causing automobile accidents. In addition to these avoidable deaths, many innocent people are injured, sometimes permanently, as a result of these accidents. As an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer Montgomery County MD relies on might explain, they could also responsible for costly and extensive property damage.
In a 2013-14 roadside survey, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found a significant increase in the proportion of weekend nighttime drivers who tested positive for marijuana or other illegal drugs compared to their 2007 survey. One in five drivers tested positive for at least one legal or illegal drug. The largest increase was attributed to marijuana. Marijuana use among weekend nighttime drivers increased from 8.6 percent in 2007 to 12.6 percent in 2013-14.
If a driver was under the influence of marijuana when he or she caused your car crash, a Montgomery County MD motor vehicle accident lawyer may be able to introduce the driver’s drug and alcohol test results into court as evidence. The test results may also be valuable during settlement negotiations.
How Drugs Can Impair a Driver’s Ability to Safely Operate a Vehicle
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that when it comes to impaired drivers, they test positive for marijuana more than any other illegal drug. Additional drugs that are consistently an issue include:
When it comes to marijuana, its main ingredient is tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly referred to as THC. THC affects the part of the brain that controls balance, coordination, movement, sensation, judgement, and memory. Those are all important when it comes to being a safe driver. In addition, marijuana can affect how well a driver maintains attentiveness and perceives speed as well as time.
A driver’s reaction time can be slowed if they are using anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax. These medications can also decrease driver alertness. A motor vehicle accident lawyer Montgomery County MD respects may be able to prove that the at fault driver acted negligently by operating a motor vehicle while taking the medication. Most packaging and instructions include a written warning advising against operating machinery while taking the medication.
Proving the At Fault Driver was Under the Influence of Drugs
Though various studies have shown that drugs may cause more automobile crashes than alcohol, there is no standard measurement used like there is for alcohol. It can be challenging to accurately measure drug impairment because the body doesn’t break down the drugs as fast as it does alcohol. That makes it difficult to determine when a drug was introduced into the system and how or if it will affect a person’s ability to drive. A motor vehicle accident lawyer Montgomery County MD offers can tell you what laws apply if the driver tested positive for a drug that may have contributed to causing the accident.
A motor vehicle accident lawyer Montgomery County MD provides can request access to any post-accident test results that will indicate if the driver was drunk. Eyewitness testimony may also be helpful in proving that the other driver was at fault for causing your personal injury due to driving under the influence. If the driver was too young to purchase the alcohol, that will further prove they were acting negligently. They may be held responsible not just for your personal injury, but also for damage to your vehicle. If you’ve lost wages due to your injury, the driver may be held responsible for those costs too.
Drivers whose blood alcohol content is below the legal standard for driving under the influence are not necessarily off the hook. If a motor vehicle accident lawyer in Montgomery County MD can prove that the driver’s judgement, alertness, or coordination was impaired then it doesn’t matter at what level their blood alcohol content measured.
Third Party Defendants In a Drunk Driving Case
If your personal injury was caused by a drunk driver, a qualified motor vehicle accident lawyer Montgomery County MD counts on may be able to pursue damages from third parties who can also be held responsible. This may include:
- The liquor store clerk who sold the driver alcohol
- The owner of the liquor store
- The bartender who served the drunk driver
- The bar owner where the drunk driver was served
A statute of limitations may exist that can affect the timeframe during which you can file your claim or lawsuit. When consulting a motor vehicle accident lawyer Montgomery County MD recommends, inquire whether your case is still eligible. It may be advisable to contact an attorney as soon as possible to reduce the chance of missing any critical deadlines. Our attorneys at Cohen & Cohen can review your case during a free consultation and determine a timeline strategy. Don’t delay; contact a motor vehicle accident lawyer Montgomery County MD drivers prefer and do it today.