Drugged Driving Accidents
Everyone is familiar with drunk driving and its dangers, but there is another type of impaired driving that is just as risky, albeit less publicized: drugged driving. Missouri treats drugged drivers much as it treats drunk drivers, imposing criminal liability and civil liability against someone who injures another person as a result of drugged driving. The injuries that may result from a drugged driving accident are often serious and life-changing, ranging from broken bones to more serious afflictions like paralysis and head trauma. For victims and their families, coping with the sudden and unexpected injuries may be highly stressful, and retaining a car accident lawyer is important in protecting their rights. Columbia drugged driving accident attorney Matt Uhrig can assist you with seeking the compensation that you deserve during your time of need.Holding a Drugged Driver Liable Under Missouri Law
Missouri law makes it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of certain drugs and narcotics. In most cases, this includes controlled substances as defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA is in charge of deciding which drugs qualify as controlled substances, and it maintains a list of these substances on its website. The drug in question must be a substance that impairs a person’s normal faculties. Simple over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen may not fall into this category, but prescription painkillers and other medications may lead to a drugged driving charge. In many cases, a driver will think that they cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for drugged driving because they have a prescription for the substance in question. However, Missouri courts have rejected this argument. Additionally, if the medication includes warnings against operating heavy machinery while under the influence, the defendant will have little excuse for getting behind the wheel after using it.
After suffering injuries in a Missouri drugged driving accident, a victim may bring a personal injury claim with the assistance of a drugged driving accident lawyer in Columbia or the surrounding area. In this type of case, the plaintiff must first show that the defendant was negligent in the operation of their vehicle. The general standard of negligence requires each of us to use the same reasonable care that an ordinary motorist would use when faced with similar circumstances. This includes obeying traffic laws and taking into account driving hazards like severe weather and traffic. It also includes observing any prohibitions against driving while taking medications. Also, a prudent driver would refrain from operating a vehicle if they knew that the substance in question would undermine their ability to drive safely and with the appropriate care.
After establishing negligence, the plaintiff will need to prove that the crash was the cause of their injuries. Finally, the plaintiff will need to offer evidence supporting the injuries that they suffered and the related costs. A commonly requested category of damages is medical expenses, which may include everything from ambulance bills to physical therapy appointments. The plaintiff may also request compensation for lost wages and diminished earning capacity, especially if the accident results in permanent injuries that will affect the plaintiff’s ability to return to their normal occupation.
In the unfortunate event that an accident results in a victim’s death, their surviving heirs may bring a wrongful death claim against the defendant, seeking compensation for the loss of their loved one as well as reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses.Consult a Dedicated Drugged Driving Accident Attorney in Columbia
At the Law Offices of Matt Uhrig, we take pride in offering each client the personalized, compassionate, and aggressive legal counsel that they deserve. We have handled a wide range of auto accident cases, including not only car accidents but also motorcycle crashes and truck crashes. As a result, Columbia drugged driving accident lawyer Matt Uhrig knows what it takes to put together a successful claim and to ensure that our clients’ rights are protected at each stage of the legal process. We serve injured people throughout Missouri, including in Ashland and Jefferson City. Call us now at 573-657-2050 or contact us online to set up your free consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.