Drunk driving puts everyone’s lives at risk, not just the others on the road. Drugged drivers are similar; the only difference is the method of intoxication. What can you do if you think you were intoxicated because of a medication that you didn’t know would affect you that way?
A car accident that took place in New York has made the national news following information about the alleged dangerous driver being reported. The driver, a woman who had recently had an intravenous injection of anti-anxiety medications and an opioid narcotic, caused an accident when she crossed a double line and struck an oncoming bus, injuring the driver. While the accident may seem relatively straightforward, it’s not as black and white as it seems. In fact, the woman didn’t even know the medications she took could affect her ability to drive, according to the bus driver’s claim.
The lawsuit filed by the injured bus driver states that the drugged woman wasn’t told by her medical team that the medications she was taking could make it dangerous for her to drive or impair her driving skills. It’s commonly known that anti-anxiety medications and opiates can make it hard to concentrate, can make you tired and may cause other issues for those who want to drive or participate in activities. Because of this, the state’s court of appeals has reported that it’s a medical provider’s duty to warn patients about the hazard of driving while drugged and the effect it could have on other people.
Because this situation was complicated by potential medical malpractice, New York’s highest court reinstated a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and physician’s assistant who had treated the woman.
Source: Connecticut Post, “NY court reinstates medical malpractice suit in car crash,” Dec. 17, 2015