Drugged Driving Motorcycle Accidents
Alcohol is not the only substance that interferes with a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle properly. Medications and drugs, both legal and illegal, can impair a driver’s judgement, reaction time, and decision-making capabilities, leading to significant injuries as well as fatalities, especially for motorcyclists. Miami motorcycle accident attorney Robert Dixon and his staff at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon assist victims injured by drivers under the influence of drugs with personal injury claims arising out of collisions. Motorcycle riders are more at risk of serious, life altering injuries or death when involved in a crash, and often need compensation from the at-fault party to aid in their rehabilitation or cover other related costs. Our firm helps victims injured in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties as well as across South Florida. If you have questions about your legal options following a drugged driving motorcycle accident, please contact our office today to speak with an attorney and find out more about how we can help.Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost twenty-two percent of drivers have driven a vehicle while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. Not all these substances were illicit drugs, but included prescription and over-the-counter medications that can impact a driver’s ability to act reasonably on the road. A person might not know the risks of side effects associated with their medications, or may just ignore warnings on labels, thinking they are not a big deal. However, many different kinds of drugs can impair a motorist.
Prescription pain medications as well as those taken for anxiety like Vicodin, OxyContin, Valium, or Xanax are known to cause drowsiness or blurred vision. Even when taken as prescribed, these drugs can impair driving ability. Illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and marijuana all alter a person’s mental state, and therefore driving under the influence of them is not only illegal, but extremely dangerous. Even over-the-counter medications, especially those taken for colds or allergies, can cause drowsiness or dizziness. Riding a motorcycle while taking drugs or coming into contact with another motorist under the influence is extremely dangerous given the exposure a motorcycle lends itself to, especially when colliding with a larger, often fast-moving vehicle.Liability for Drugged Driving Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists injured by a drugged driver can potentially hold that driver responsible in a personal injury suit. Families who have lost loved ones in a fatal motorcycle collision may also be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against a driver responsible. A showing of negligence is required in both actions.
Negligence exists when a defendant has breached the duty of reasonable care that is owed to all road users, causing another’s injury or death and resulting in damages. When a driver is under the influence of drugs, a victim may only have to prove ‘negligence per se.’ Under this standard, it only must be shown that the defendant violated a statute enacted to protect a certain group of people. In Florida, it is illegal for motorists to operate vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a law intended to protect other motorists, including motorcyclists. If a driver is criminally convicted of DUI related to the accident, that driver would be found negligent as a matter of law, and the other elements of traditional negligence would not need to be shown. In incidents involving drivers who have taken prescribed or over-the-counter drugs, it may be more difficult, but not impossible, to show how these medications impaired their abilities. Contacting an experienced attorney as soon as possible is helpful in collecting and preserving key evidence. Compensation for motorcyclists injured by a drugged driver may include past and future medical expenses, any loss of earning capacity, lost income, and pain and suffering damages.Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for Miami Area Residents
Robert Dixon of the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you determine your next legal step in the aftermath of a devastating collision. Motorcycle riders should not have to endure the costs of injuries caused by a driver who has taken drugs or medication before getting behind the wheel. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you seek to hold those responsible for your or a loved one’s harm legally accountable for their actions. If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of a drugged driving motorcycle accident, please call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online today to set up a free, no obligation consultation. We serve clients in areas including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach.