The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Every day, Americans overdose on opioid medications and die. Thousands of Americans battle addictions to opioids and other prescription medications every day—and many choose to get behind the wheel and drive. In addition to facing criminal penalties for driving under the influence of prescription drugs, these individuals may also face civil lawsuits.
Many drivers arrested for driving under the influence have obtained illegal prescription drugs. However, it is still possible to face liability for driving under the influence with a valid prescription for a medication, if that medication impairs the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle.
Motor vehicle accident claims are negligence claims. In a negligence claim, the victim must prove the following elements:
- The at-fault driver owed a duty to the victim;
- The at-fault driver breached this duty by a negligent act or omission; and
- Due to this breach, the victim suffered damages.
All drivers have a duty to drive in a manner that is safe and reasonable under the circumstances. A breach of this duty would certainly include driving under the influence of prescription painkillers.
The victim must also prove that he or she was injured as a result of the accident. If a driver under the influence of prescription drugs swerved at the victim, but the victim’s car was not hit and the victim was not injured, there are no damages that could be claimed. However, if the driver did run into the victim, the victim may be able to claim a variety of damages, including:
- Medical expenses, such as emergency room bills, surgical bills, specialist bills, and physical therapy bills
- Lost wages, if the victim had to miss time from work to recover
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- The cost of any future medical care that may be necessary
- The expense of altering a home, such as installing wheelchair ramps or stair lifts
- Loss of consortium
Other types of damages may be claimed, so long as they are directly related to the accident.
Proving that a driver was under the influence of prescription medication requires a thorough investigation into the facts of the case. Your attorney may speak with the police officer who worked the scene of the accident and discuss what evidence was found. Sometimes, a pill bottle is visible in the car, or a drug recognition expert officer may be able to describe how the driver acted during a field sobriety test or after an arrest. If the driver went to the hospital for treatment for injuries, blood test results may show that the driver had prescription drugs in his or her system.
If you were injured by someone driving under the influence, contact Stein & Shulman today
If you are injured in an accident caused by a driver who is driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, medications, or pain pills such as Opioids in Illinois or Chicago, call Stein & Shulman, LLC for your free, instance consultation right now.
At Stein & Shulman, our Chicago attorneys are experienced in driving under the influence accident claims. To schedule your free consultation with our excellent personal injury attorneys, call 312.422.0500 today.
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If you or a loved one have suffered an injury, contact us today for your free consultation with an experienceOpioid accident lawsuit lawyer in Illinois at 312.422.0500 or by filling out a free contact form online. Our legal expertise comes at no cost to you, unless we win or settle your car accident case.