As opioid use and abuse has steadily increased in the past two decades, so, too, have the number of serious car accidents involving drivers who are under the influence of these powerful drugs. Research from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health shows that the use of prescription opioids is a significant contributing factor in fatal, two-vehicle collisions. In fact, even after adjusting for driving history and demographics, researchers found that using prescription opioids more than doubled drivers' risk of initiating a deadly car accident.
Prescription Opioids Can More Than Double a Driver’s Risk of Initiating a Car Wreck
Considering that the side effects of prescription opioid medications can include drowsiness, and impaired memory and thinking skills, it's easy to see how drivers taking these drugs might have difficulty piloting their vehicle safely. Opioid-impaired drivers may have a particularly hard time staying in their own lane, as drifting over the center line was a factor in a shocking 54.7 percent of fatal, two-car crashes caused by drivers who tested positive for opioid use.
There's no question that taking opioids and driving can have devastating—or even deadly—consequences. Fortunately, opioid-impaired drivers who cause accidents, injuries, and deaths can be held liable for their actions. Filing a personal injury lawsuit allows crash victims to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Additionally, surviving family members of someone killed in such an accident can file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue a financial recovery for reasonable funeral and burial expenses, mental anguish, and more.
Hurt in an Opioid-Related Car Crash? Our Delaware Car Accident Lawyers Can Help!
Driving under the influence of powerful medication is forbidden, but it doesn't stop dozens—if not hundreds—of Delawareans from getting behind the wheel while impaired by opioids. If you were injured in an accident caused by someone who tested positive for opioids, the skilled Wilmington, DE car accident attorneys with the Morris James Personal Injury Group can help you understand your legal rights and options, and fight for whatever compensation you're owed. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.