When Denver drivers operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs, severe and often fatal accidents can occur as a result. The very real consequences of these people's choice to drive while "high" can impact your future and the future of your family for years to come. When a drugged driver is the cause of your injuries, or the death of a loved one, you have the right to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in order to receive compensation for your damages.
Drugged driving can occur as the result of:
- Illegal narcotics
- Prescription drugs (whether or not prescribed to the driver)
- Over-the-counter medications
If you or someone you care about has been injured or killed as the result of a drugged driver in Denver or the greater Denver metropolitan area, an experienced personal injury attorney at accidentdenver.com can fight for the financial compensation you deserve. You do not have to fight this battle alone.
Drugged Driver Accident Lawyers in Denver, Colorado
When you are involved in an accident caused by a drugged driver driving under the influence (DUI) in the greater Denver, Colorado area, you need an experienced legal team to go to bat for you. Damages resulting from a drugged driver can affect your life for many years to come. If you suffered an injury because another driver was under the influence of drugs, you may be entitled financial compensation.
No matter how small or how big your case may be, the accidentdenver.com team will keep you informed every step of the way throughout the process and they will handle every detail seamlessly to put you on the road to recovery. Our team at accidentdenver.com pride themselves on clear, honest, and open communication with each and every one of their clients.
Our attorneys at accidentdenver.com take cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay nothing until your case has reached a favorable resolution. Let us put our years of experience to work for you and your loved ones.
Drugged Driver Statistics in the Denver Area
In the State of Colorado, deaths and serious injury related to drugged driving have increased significantly over the last few years. This is especially true now that recreational and medical marijuana have been made legal. From the mid-2000s to the year 2010, deaths and injuries related to drugged driving actually decreased, and significantly so, but over the last six or so years, the numbers have again started to rise.
Over 150 people were killed as the result of a "drugged driver" in 2015, a number that rose steadily until that time. A total of 546 vehicle fatalities occurred in that same year, meaning that approximately one in every five accident-related deaths occurred as the result of drugged driving.
These numbers can change drastically from year to year, but for those affected, even one drugged driving accident can forever change a person's life, as well as that person's family. Every person injured by a drugged driver is entitled to seek compensation for his or her injuries, with the help of an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
When most people think of "drugged drivers," they picture a person under the influence of illegal drugs. While of course, that is very common, all too often it is the person under the influence of legal prescription drugs that can cause serious injury or death to other drivers on the road.
Different Circumstances, Same Result
Drivers under the influence of prescription drugs typically obtain their prescription drugs in one of two general circumstances. First, a person may have illegally taken a legal prescription drug. For example, if a person buys otherwise legal drugs from a dealer, but does not have a valid prescription, that person is committing an illegal act, even though the pills themselves may not be illegal. When that person gets behind the wheel and is intoxicated by the drug he or she has taken, that driver is now a serious danger to others on Denver roads.
Others may actually have been validly and legally prescribed their medication. For example, if a person gets a legal medication from a doctor, taking the prescription is perfectly legal, even if it has an intoxicating effect. However, as soon as that person gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, they have committed a crime, and endangered others on Colorado roads. Even a person under the influence of a validly prescribed medication can be held responsible for the injuries they cause while intoxicated and behind the wheel.
Common Prescription Drugs That Cause "Drugged Driving" Accidents
Many legal prescription medications can have an intoxicating effect. When these medications are taken, cause intoxication, and the driver chooses to get behind the wheel anyway, others are at risk. Common medications that can cause this situation include, but are not at all limited to:
- prescription decongestants
- cough medicines
Prescription drugs can cause a variety of side effects that may render a person unable to safely drive. These can range from mild to severe, but even mild intoxication that is the cause of an accident is sufficient to warrant a personal injury lawsuit if you are damaged by a drugged driver.
Side Effects of Prescription Medications
Every medicine is different, but of those that can cause an intoxicating effect, there are certain common side effects (or intended effects) that would render a person unable to safely and legally drive on Colorado roads and highways. If a person knowingly gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, or is negligent in doing so, he or she should be held responsible for your damages.
Intoxicating effects of prescription medications include, but are not limited to:
- drowsiness or sleepiness
- euphoria (feeling ecstatic or "high")
- loss of consciousness
- decreased reaction time
- slow heart rate
- overdose and death
- inability to concentrate or focus
- poor decision-making ability
Many other side effects can occur depending on the medication, but those listed above can have a significant and negative effect on a person's ability to drive.
Driving Under the Influence of Over-the-Counter Drugs
Even over-the-counter drugs can cause a person to become intoxicated. When that intoxicated person then gets behind the wheel, the danger is very real. If you or someone you care about were harmed as the result of an intoxicated driver, even over the counter medications can justify a personal injury lawsuit. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
Just because over-the-counter drugs do not require a prescription, and are legal to use, does not mean that when someone is under the influence of those medicines they are necessarily allowed to drive. Many over-the-counter medications can cause a person to become intoxicated, and when they do, the person must not make the choice to drive.
If that person does choose to drive, he or she can be liable for any injuries caused as a result of the accident.
Common Over-the-Counter Drugs That May Cause Intoxication
There are a great many over-the-counter medications that can cause intoxication, even ones you may not necessarily expect. When they do, it is illegal to get behind the wheel.
Over-the-counter drugs that can cause intoxication include, but are not limited to:
- Dextromethorphan (DXM)
- Cough Medicines
- Over-the-counter sleep medications
- Allergy medications
Even a normal does of certain medications can cause a person to become intoxicated, but over-the-counter medication intoxication is most typical when:
- drivers combine multiple medications
- a driver takes over-the-counter medications with alcohol (even a small amount of alcohol that, itself, would not cause intoxication)
- a person takes too high a dose of an over-the-counter medication
Driving Under the Influence of Illegal Narcotics
When a person drives under the influence of illegal drugs, also known as narcotics or controlled substances, the danger to others on the road can be even higher. Many illegal drugs have incredibly dangerous side effects, that greatly impair a person's ability to drive a motor vehicle safely. When this happens, innocent drivers are very likely to be in the line of fire.
Illegal drugs that commonly cause intoxication in Colorado drivers includes, but is not limited to:
- Methamphetamine (Meth)
- "Bath Salts"
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
- psilocin ("magic" mushrooms)
- phencyclidine (PCP)
Any one of these illegal narcotics can cause a driver to lose control and cause an accident. When that accident results in injury to yourself or loved ones, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help.
Side Effects of Illegal Narcotics
Most illegal narcotics create a "high" in the person using them. This high is an intoxicating effect, which nearly always has a detrimental effect on a person's driving ability. The effects of these drugs, or side effects depending on the situation, can play a major role in causing a major car accident.
Side effects of illegal narcotics include, but are not limited to:
- hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)
- aggressive or violent behavior
- loss of consciousness
- heart attack
- twitching or loss of motor control
- unorganized thinking
- decreased reaction time
These are far from the only possible side effects of illegal narcotics use, but these that are listed here are some of the most common. As is easy to see, when these are present, a person's ability to drive safely and legally is greatly impaired. When this causes an accident that leads to injury, the injured party can file for financial compensation with the help of a knowledgeable attorney.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
The State of Colorado, like nine other states, has legalized the use of recreational and medical marijuana within its borders. This has significantly increased the use of the drug, as well as its availability. Because of this, there has also been an increase in the number of drivers on Colorado roads who are driving under the influence of marijuana.
Although marijuana is legal, as is its use in private, driving under the influence of marijuana is still strictly illegal. Marijuana has many intoxicating effects, and when a person gets behind the wheel after having injected or smoked "pot" the consequences may be fatal.
Side Effects of Marijuana Use
When a person uses marijuana, whether through smoking it, eating it, or in any other way, it will have an effect on that person's mind and body. Those effects can greatly affect a person's ability to safely drive.
These side effects include, but are not limited to:
- may cause mild hallucinations (more severe hallucinations can occur if the marijuana is "laced" with other substances)
- decreased reaction time
- distorts sense of time
- decreases motor skills
- lower inhibitions and raises risk-taking choices
- alter a person's sensory perception (louder noises, brighter colors, etc.)
- poor decision making
- loss of consciousness
- sleepiness or drowsiness
Any of these side effects can have a major impact on the driver, and ultimately those around the driver. Marijuana use, although legal, is not legal or safe when combined with the operation of a motor vehicle (or even non-motor vehicles such as bicycles).
If you or someone you love were injured as a result of another person's choice to drive after using marijuana, or any other drug, you have a right to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering. You should not have to bear the financial burden when it was not your fault.
Consult an Experienced Denver Drugged Driving Accident Lawyer
The injuries you suffer from a drugged driving accident can change your life forever. You should not have to be responsible for the incredible costs that will add up after the accident. Instead, the burden of paying for your injuries should be on the responsible party.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any sort of drugged driving vehicle accident in the greater Denver metropolitan area, please do not hesitate to contact accidentdenver.com today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation. We are here waiting for you.