Driving under the influence of over-the-counter, prescription, or illicit drugs is just as dangerous as driving drunk; and just as illegal. Drivers who take to the roads in-and-around Savannah while high—intentionally or otherwise—put themselves and the public at extreme risk. When drugged driving accidents happen and cause injuries and fatalities, the accident victims need skilled, aggressive legal representation to protect their rights and recover maximum damages.
Hasner Law is your Savannah-area injury law firm for drugged driving accident injuries. If a drug-impaired driver’s actions leave you injured or cause a tragic death, or if you suffered injuries after an unexpected drug side-effect caused you to crash your vehicle, contact us right away.
About Hasner Law – Your Injury Law Firm
Stephen Hasner, Judy Blackwell, and the team of hard-working professionals at Hasner Law help Georgians injured by other people’s negligent and reckless conduct recover the compensation they need for their injuries and losses. Personal injury law is all we do because we believe innocent victims need lawyers as strong and sophisticated as the ones big insurance companies and corporations hire to defend them. With offices in Atlanta and Savannah, our team fights on behalf of injured clients throughout the Peach State.
The Epidemic of Drug-Impaired Driving
You might think the only people who drive drugged are those who take illegal drugs. We understand why that might be your impression, but you’d be mistaken. Drug-impaired driving frequently happens when otherwise law-abiding citizens get behind the wheel after taking over-the-counter or prescription medications that have severe, sometimes unexpected, side effects. These days, driving under the influence of opioids and/or marijuana poses a particular problem, but hundreds of legal and illegal drugs can cause symptoms like:
- Slow reaction times;
- Impaired judgment;
- Dizziness; and
- Blurred vision.
If these symptoms sound similar to the effects of alcohol, that’s because they are. A drug-impaired driver tends to make the same poor and dangerous driving decisions as a drunk driver. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), drug-impaired driving has grown into a problem at least as significant as drunk driving. Although testing for drugs in drivers remains less extensive and uniform than testing for alcohol, GHSA reports that approximately one-third of all drivers killed in traffic accidents who were tested for drugs had known, impairment-causing drugs in their systems at the time of the accident. Since only 57 percent of drivers who died in accidents were even tested for drugs, it’s possible that figure is much, much higher.
The Dual Tragedy of Drug-Impaired Driving Accidents
Like drunk driving accidents, drug-impaired driving accidents cause serious injuries and fatalities. Oftentimes, the accident represents what we’d call a “dual tragedy.” Not only do the drug-impaired driver’s actions hurt other, innocent motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, but it’s also frequently the case that the drug-impairment, or its severity, takes the impaired driver by surprise. (Of course, that’s not always the case. Some drivers intentionally get high and get behind the wheel, which is a criminally dangerous act.)
Drug-impaired driving is a major problem precisely because drugs have widely differing effects depending on a range of variables. The same medication that you metabolize just fine one day, without feeling dizzy or out-of-sorts, may knock you off of your feet another day, depending on what other drugs you’ve taken, what you’ve eaten, and how tired you are, to name just a few factors. A slight change in dosage or drug formulation, or switching from brand-name to generic, can have huge, unexpected, impairment effects, too.
At Hasner Law, we represent all victims of drug-impaired driving accidents: the innocent victims of a drug-impaired driver, and drivers who never intended or expected to drive while drug-impaired, but did so anyway, causing harm to themselves and others.
Legal Liability for Drug-Impaired Driving Injuries
Partly because of the wide variety of side effects caused by legal and illegal drugs, drug-impaired driving accidents can result in a wide variety of parties having legal liability. Among those are:
- The drug-impaired driver, if the driver knew or should have known drugs would cause impairment and drove anyway;
- The driver’s medical providers and pharmacists, if they failed to warn the driver of the dangers of operating a motor vehicle while taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs, or if they prescribed or supplied inappropriate dosages or formulations;
- Drug manufacturers, if their products caused a foreseeable, unreasonable risk of harm to people taking the drug and to others; and
- The driver’s employer, if the employer knew or should have known the driver operated a motor vehicle on the employer’s behalf while under the influence of impairment-causing drugs, legal or illegal.
This is not a complete list, of course. One of the jobs of an experienced personal injury attorney is to investigate the circumstances of a drugged driving accident to identify all parties whose actions contributed to the accident and who may have legal liability. When the evidence a lawyer uncovers proves liability for a drug-impaired accident, victims may have the right to recover damages including:
- Current and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages and lost earning ability;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Punitive damages in cases of extreme conduct.
There is no guarantee that any legal claim will result in a damage award. Every case is different, and it is often difficult to predict what a case is worth at the outset. That said, at Hasner Law, we commit to fighting for every last dollar the law allows our injured clients to recover. In past cases, we have recovered substantial settlements and jury awards on our clients’ behalf.
Savannah Drug-Impaired Driving Attorneys
Don’t wait to seek legal representation after a drug-impaired driving accident leaves you injured or mourning the tragic loss of a loved one. The sooner you call a lawyer, the sooner you can recover the compensation you deserve. If you wait too long to call a lawyer, however, you may lose your rights to compensation altogether.
The team of skilled, compassionate legal professionals at Hasner Law offers a free, confidential consultation for anyone seeking legal help after a drug-impaired driving injury. Call our Savannah office at (912) 234-2334 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.