Prescription drugs can help treat medical conditions like mental illness and life-threatening diseases. They are most effective when people take them according to their doctor’s orders and in the proper dosage, but drivers should not use prescription drugs if they are driving. Driving after taking medications may result in side effects that can be severe.

If you have been in an accident where the driver was using prescription drugs, their medication could have played a role in the accident. You shouldn’t have to pay for the negligent actions of another driver. Our lawyer can examine your claim and see if you are eligible to receive compensation for your damages.

How Prescription Drugs Affect the Ability to Drive

Prescription drugs often cause side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, and blurred vision, making driving dangerous. Some medications can also cause allergic reactions like skin rashes and difficulty breathing. If a person has not previously taken the prescription, they may be unaware of how it will affect them. The worst way to discover this is while driving.

Blurred vision, for example, is one of the most dangerous side effects that can affect your driving because seeing clearly is essential to driving safely. Blurred vision can distort road lanes which can cause confusion of where lanes are.

When you start a new medication, you should talk to your doctor about potential side effects and how they may affect your driving. Your doctor may advise you not to drive until you know how you will react to the prescription. It’s best to wait a few days to see how your new medication affects you and discuss it with your doctor. 

Prescription Drug Laws in Arizona

According to A.R.S. § 28-1381 it is illegal to drive under the influence of prescription drugs which may cause even the lowest level of impairment. Additionally, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher is a crime in Arizona and every other state. 

Some prescription drugs will register on a BAC test, while others may not. But police officers have other ways to determine if a driver is under the influence, such as erratic driving, delayed reaction times, and strange behavior.

How Is Fault Determined in an Accident Involving Prescription Drugs?

To determine fault in an accident where one of the drivers is under the influence of prescription drugs can be difficult. It can be a challenge to know if the accident was a direct result of the medication or if the driver made a driving error but happened to have prescription drugs in their system. 

While the other driver might be under the influence of prescription drugs, that does not mean they are automatically at fault. A police report can help determine fault because it details the other driver’s actions and may even have witness interviews to make a clearer picture of the accident. Usually, insurance companies have a claims adjuster who will examine the accident and decide fault from the evidence they have. 

Medications can affect different people in different ways depending on: 

  • Genetic Variations: How medication affects someone can depend on their liver’s ability to break down drugs in their system. If a person’s liver doesn’t break down the prescription drugs enough, they will have more intense side effects. This can be different for every person.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI): BMI is how much someone weighs divided by their height, and it affects how a person experiences side effects.The higher the person’s BMI is, the less likely prescription drugs will cause impairment or side effects. The lower their BMI is, the more they will feel side effects. This is because depending on the BMI, the body absorbs the drug differently.

Depending on these factors, side effects are more severe or nonexistent for each driver. It’s important to keep in mind that other factors such as dosage and type of prescription can affect side effects. Some prescriptions can result in side effects regardless of the person’s genes or BMI.

Statute of Limitations for Prescription Drugs Car Accidents

In Arizona, A.R.S. § 12-542 states that you have two years to report a car accident from the day of the accident. The amount of time does not change because the accident resulted from prescription drugs. If you do not file a claim within the two years, you decrease your chances of winning the maximum settlement or even receiving a settlement.

When you report an accident immediately, it gives you two advantages: it can increase your amount of compensation and increase your chances of winning your case. Reporting an accident soon after it occurs will create a record that will improve the accuracy of determining who was at fault in the accident.

When you are quick to report an accident, it shows genuine intentions and that the accident affected you. In some cases, defendants may not trust the plaintiff’s intentions if they waited for a while before filing a claim. 

Prescription Drug Use-Related Accidents: What Damages Can I Recover?

When you’re hit in an accident, you may be injured, or your car may be totaled. Either way, an accident means unexpected bills, which can be stressful. If the driver that hit you was under the influence of prescription drugs, you might be able to recover compensation for your losses. Based on the details of your case, you could recover damages such as: 

  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vehicle repair or replacement
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Property damage

As dedicated lawyers, we work to get you the compensation you deserve. When we receive your case, we’ll examine it to make sure we find all the damages you can recover, so you can have the money you need to recover from the accident. 

Zanes Law’s Lawyers Can Help You If You Were in a Prescription Drug Use-Related Accident

If you were in an accident and the other driver may have been on prescription drugs, we can help determine if their medication played a role in the crash. At Zanes Law, we strive to get the compensation you deserve so you can recover from your injuries and return to living your life. 

Call us or fill out the form on our contact us page to start your free case evaluation today. We fight for your rights to get the settlement you deserve. 

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