It is illegal to operate a vehicle if you are impaired. This is why it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering drugs—both legal as well as illegal—since doing so can put you and others in considerable harm. This rule applies to alcohol, opioids, marijuana, methamphetamines, prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter drugs that can impair your ability to control your vehicle, drive safely, and make the right driving decisions at the right time.
Unfortunate as it is, truck and car accidents occur every day as a result of illegal drug use and abuse, leading to considerable losses in terms of bodily injury, lost time from work, property and vehicle damage, and death. Every accident is a reminder to those who are affected that the dangers of illegal drug use and driving are real. A Lafayette illegal drug use lawyer from our team may be able to help you with your accident case involving illegal drug use. Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers at (337) 777-7777 for help with your case.
Illegal Drug Use and Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds everyone on the road that “if you feel different, you drive different.” Many substances can impair driving, and they are not restricted to illegal drugs. The use of marijuana has recently been decriminalized in many states, but research has shown that it can still impair driving, making its use while driving or before driving illegal.
Other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines can lower a driver’s inhibitions, causing them to drive faster and more recklessly. You should never consume alcohol and drive, but many people do so, and many do so without knowing that the combined effects of alcohol consumption and other drugs can have amplified effects and unwanted consequences. Even prescription drugs and various over-the-counter medications come with clear warnings about driving after consuming them.
Additional details on some of these drugs are as below.
- Marijuana: marijuana use is high—and is growing. It has a higher involvement in driving accidents than other illegal recreational drugs even though it is legal in many states. Marijuana can lead to distorted time and distance perception and drowsiness, as well as paranoia and an inability to focus.
- Cocaine: cocaine is known to cause euphoria, irritability, and aggression, all of which can lead to harsh and maliciously dangerous driving. It can also cause confusion and disorientation, making it easier for an unstable driver to cause an accident.
- LSD: LSD can cause hallucinations and change your mental state, and these are symptoms that are unquestionably dangerous to have while driving.
- Morphine and heroin: these are illegal drugs that can cause sedation, drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea.
- Prescription drugs: Xanax, OxyContin, Valium, and Vicodin are legal prescription drugs, but if a driver takes an incorrect dose or combines their drug use with other substances, they may become impaired and unable to safely operate a vehicle.
- Over-the-counter drugs: sleeping pills, cough medications, and certain anti-inflammatories can lead to dizziness and sleepiness as well as impaired coordination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug use is involved in about 16% of all motor vehicle crashes. The cost of damages is huge, especially if you account for lost productivity, property damage, long-term medical costs, insurance overheads, and the legal and law enforcement costs associated with these accidents and violations.
Some of the more common reasons why illegal drugs can cause an accident are as follows:
- They can significantly slow your reaction time
- They can impair your ability to make sound decisions
- They hamper coordination, which affects the hands, eyes, and feet
- They can impair depth perception, making it difficult to drive properly and correctly assess distances and dimensions and identify road objects
- They have been connected to memory loss and sleep issues
A Lafayette illegal drug use lawyer from our team may be able to help you if you were struck by an illegal drug user. Call us today at (337) 777-7777 for a free case evaluation at no upfront cost.
For a free legal consultation with a illegal drug use accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Damages and Penalties
Accidents of any type—whether they are caused by human error, negligence, illegal drug use, or otherwise—can be life-changing. They can lead to catastrophic injuries and damages, including:
- Broken bones
- Brain trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Lacerations and bruises
- Internal organ damage
- Vehicle and property damage
- Lost income
- Surgery and therapy costs
- Medication and assistive device costs
- Diagnostic testing costs
- Wrongful deaths and burial/funeral expenses
These damages and injuries are devastating on their own. If they happen by chance or by negligence, you can seek compensation for them. If they are caused by the willful and intentional use of illegal drugs, you can still seek compensation, but the case can also lead to felony charges and harsher penalties against the at-fault driver responsible for causing them.
We are here to help you overcome the physical and financial challenges that you face from an accident caused by an illegal drug user. We will help you:
- Identify the at-fault party or parties responsible for your injuries and damages
- Determine how and why an accident occurred
- Obtain the official police report on your accident
- Obtain the health records and prior convictions, if any, of the at-fault motorist
- Obtain dashcam or surveillance footage to prove negligent or maliciously reckless driving
- Gather proof and evidence that the other driver was driving under the influence
- Handle your insurance company and the insurance agents of the at-fault driver
We provide legal services on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means you pay nothing until we win your case for you. It is not uncommon for illegal drug users to not have insurance, so unless you can seek compensation using your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy, you may be left with little recourse in winning compensation for your accident. Criminal charges against the other driver can help, but you should still seek financial compensation wherever the law entitles you to it.
A Lafayette illegal drug use lawyer from our team is here to help you do just that, so please call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777.