Houston Attorneys for Drugged Driving Accident Victims
If you’ve been hurt, our car accident lawyers will fight for full compensation
Whatever your feelings on drug use in general, we can all agree that drugs and driving shouldn’t mix. People who choose to get behind the wheel have a responsibility to be awake, alert, and attentive at all times, and those who can’t do that can choose not to drive. Unfortunately, some motorists don’t take that responsibility seriously, and too often, it’s someone else who pays the price. A crash caused by a drugged driver can change your life, and you have the right to compensation under Texas law.
We’re proud to represent injured victims and fight for accountability for dangerous drivers. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident caused by a drugged driver, Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law can stand up to the insurance company on your behalf. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney today.
Many substances, legal and illegal, can impair driving
Driving is a complex task that requires physical reflexes, mental awareness, and emotional stability. Some drugs affect a driver’s ability to perceive and respond to changing road conditions, while others affect judgment and make it difficult to drive defensively.
Marijuana: While many people see marijuana use as largely benign for adults over 21, that’s not the case when someone under the influence of marijuana gets behind the wheel. THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, has been shown to impair motor skills, reduce cognitive function, and make it difficult to multitask. Drivers under the influence of marijuana may have impaired judgment and slower reaction times, which can contribute to serious accidents.
Cocaine: Cocaine and other stimulants, such as methamphetamine, create a sense of euphoria and a sharp increase in energy, which may make people under the influence think they’re perfectly okay to drive. However, these drugs can also make drivers more aggressive and reckless, leading to dangerous behaviors like weaving through traffic, ignoring signs and signals, speeding, and drifting off the road or into the oncoming lane. Conversely, people experiencing withdrawal symptoms from these drugs may be extremely fatigued and more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
Medications: Both prescription drugs and over the counter (OTC) medications can have side effects that impair someone’s ability to drive, most commonly drowsiness and dizziness. There’s a reason many medications include a warning against “operating heavy machinery” – remember, a car is a heavy machine.
Also remember, the impairing effects of any drug (whether legal or illegal) can be amplified when mixed with alcohol or other drugs.
The key takeaway: if you feel different, you drive different. No one should get behind the wheel after using any impairing substance, and those who do put both themselves and everyone else on the road at risk.
Proving drugged driving can be a difficult task
Under Texas law, victims of drugged drivers have the right to pursue damages (financial compensation) through the civil justice system, just like people hurt in any other type of car accident. To hold that driver responsible, though, you must prove that their carelessness caused the wreck, and that can be tricky. The police report may show that the driver who hurt you failed a drug test, but as compared to drunk driving, it can be harder for a test to prove drugged driving depending on the substance(s) used. Unlike alcohol, marijuana, for example, remains in the body for some time after the effects have worn off, so a failed drug test doesn’t prove that the driver was actually impaired when the accident happened.
Fortunately, we don’t actually have to prove that the driver who hurt you was under the influence of drugs – we just have to prove that they behaved in a careless manner and their carelessness caused the accident. Your civil claim for damages is distinct from any criminal charges the State of Texas may pursue in response to the same incident, and because the standard of proof is lower in civil court, you may be able to recover even if the drugged driver is acquitted or the criminal charges are dropped.
Remember, while the police play a vital role in investigating accidents and holding motorists accountable for DUI, their job is ultimately to deal with the offenders. In this situation, you need someone standing up for your interests and fighting for the compensation you deserve. That’s our job.
We will advocate for full compensation for your injuries
Drugged drivers can do serious damage, especially when they drive at high speeds or drift into the oncoming lane and cause head-on collisions. The cost of a serious accident is much more than the initial medical treatment – it’s the lost past and future income, the pain and suffering, and the ripple effects on your family, your future, and your quality of life.
We will build a strong case for the full compensation you deserve for everything you’ve lost due to the accident. Our attorneys will pore over police reports, talk to witnesses, review physical evidence, and get to the bottom of what happened and why. Throughout the process, we will deal with the insurance company on your behalf while you focus on getting better. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us a cent throughout the process – we only get paid if we win your case.
The key is to contact us quickly, because time can weaken your case. Witnesses forget what they saw. Evidence disappears. Important legal deadlines expire. The insurance company for the at-fault driver is already working on their case, and you need to do the same. Speak with an experienced drugged driving accident attorney at Smith & Hassler today.