Cases of drivers under the influence of drugs in Tampa Bay have been increasing exponentially in recent years. Illegal drugs as well as legal prescription drugs can all inhibit a driver, from slowing a driver’s reaction time to affecting coordination and motor skills. A drugged driver is a dangerous driver.
Fatal crashes caused by drivers under the influence of drugs are up 47% in the past three years in the Tampa Bay area; 465 crashes have been reported since 2014, according to ABC Action News.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GSHA) has found that opioids and marijuana were the most common drugs found in fatally-injured drivers.
How Common are Drugged Driving Crashes?
It’s hard to tell how many crashes are caused by drivers under the influence of drugs for a few reasons. Drivers in Florida can refuse a blood test which would prove intoxication, whereas in several other states, simply having a driver’s license serves as “implied consent” for drug and alcohol tests.
The recent investigation by ABC Action News also determined that some drivers who are charged with driving under the influence never get prosecuted, and some don’t even lose their driving privileges.
Who is at Fault?
It would be easy to assume the at-fault party would be the impaired driver, but sometimes it is not that simple to determine, especially if prescription drugs are involved. Fault could be found with:
• The impaired driver – Clearly the driver has taken something to diminish his or her driving skills, and caused an accident. This is the most common case, and easiest to determine.
• The doctor or hospital – If the doctor of the impaired driver failed to sufficiently warn the patient of a medication’s side effects, or prescribed the wrong dosage or the wrong drug, the doctor may face liability.
• The pharmaceutical company – If the prescription drug taken may be defective, or perhaps the label or instructions fail to disclose certain side effects, the pharmaceutical company could be at fault.
• The other party involved in the accident – Even though the driver in this scenario was impaired, it is still possible that the impaired driver did not cause the accident.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer at Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured by someone driving under the influence of drugs? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately either put you on the phone with one of our attorneys, or set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you. Call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, FL 33707