If you were hurt in a car crash caused by a drugged driver, you need an experienced Oklahoma City drugged driver accident lawyer. You can file an insurance claim or lawsuit for financial compensation. Car accidents can potentially cause severe injuries that require expensive medical treatment. At Abel Law Firm, we care about our clients and will ensure you get the justice you deserve.
Drugged driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. It impairs your abilities when you’re behind the wheel. You have a slowed reaction time, reduced coordination, and trouble making decisions. If you encounter a hazardous situation, you may not know how to handle it safely.
Unfortunately, when someone drives after taking drugs, severe injuries and fatalities are often the result. According to a Governors Highway Safety Association study, 44% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for drugs in 2016.
Our Oklahoma City drugged driver accident attorneys are ready to discuss your case and advise you on how you should move forward. Call us today at (405) 239-7046.
Drugged Driving Includes More Than Just Illegal Drugs
DUI (driving under the influence) refers to more than just alcohol. Under Oklahoma law, it’s illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle:
- While under the influence of drugs that prevents them from driving safely; or
- With a controlled substance in their system.
Even if the vehicle isn’t moving, they could still get charged with DUI if they’re in actual physical control of the car.
While many people assume illegal narcotics, such as cocaine, are the only drugs that can impair someone’s driving abilities, an over-the-counter antihistamine could also cause adverse and dangerous side effects. The four main types of drugs that can lead to a drugged driving accident include:
- Controlled substance
- Prescription medication
- Over-the-counter medicine
These could impact a driver mentally or physically and increase the chance of a crash. Drugged drivers often experience the following:
- Reduced reaction time
- Slowed or loss of muscle coordination
- Altered sensory perception
- Drowsiness or loss of consciousness
- Blurred vision
- Decreased concentration
- Erratic behavior
You Deserve Compensation From the Drugged Driver
Auto insurance is crucial in pursuing financial compensation from the at-fault driver after a crash. Oklahoma’s fault system allows the injured victim to hold the other party liable for resulting damages. You could file a claim with their liability insurance company. Every liability policy includes limits to cover expenses related to bodily injury and property damage, such as:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Car repair or replacement costs
- Out of pocket expenses
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Even though state laws require motorists to carry liability insurance, some don’t. If you discover the drugged driver doesn’t have insurance, you could file a claim with your insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM) compensates injured parties after an accident if the at-fault driver doesn’t hold liability insurance or their limits aren’t high enough.
With a UM claim, you could recover the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Vehicle repair or replacement expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
Damages, such as medical costs, are easy to monetize since they usually come with a receipt or invoice. It’s more difficult to place value on something like physical and emotional pain. When an insurance adjuster reviews a claim, they’ll consider the following factors to come up with a fair number:
- Type of injury and how serious it is
- The total cost of medical expenses
- Impact of the injury on daily routine
- Availability of evidence proving fault
- Effect of the injury on the ability to perform job-related duties
- Length of the recovery period
- Disability or impairment resulting from the accident
- Future medical care required
Seeking Compensation From a Lawsuit
You might consider suing the drugged driver for their careless actions. Many accident victims begin with an insurance claim and file a lawsuit if the insurance company denies their claim or offers a low settlement. In this situation, the other driver completely disregarded anyone else’s safety and should be held accountable for their actions.
To file a lawsuit in Oklahoma, you must follow the state’s statute of limitations. You have a two-year deadline after a car accident to sue the liable driver for compensation. If two years pass, you’ll lose your right to pursue legal action against them in the civil court system.
You’re entitled to seek the standard bodily injury and property damage coverage you would in an insurance claim. However, there’s something known as punitive damages you could also pursue. Rather than compensating you for your expenses and suffering, it penalizes the other driver and discourages similar misconduct in the future.
Juries will only award punitive damages under aggravating circumstances. The injured party must provide clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with negligence, recklessness, or willful disregard for another person’s safety. There are five elements of negligence you must show exist to recover damages in a lawsuit:
- Duty: The drugged driver owed you a duty to act or not act in a certain way that prevents you from harm;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty:
- Cause in fact: If it weren’t for their actions, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt;
- Proximate cause: You suffered injuries because they breached their duty; and
- Damages: You incurred damages from the accident.
Contact Abel Law Firm
Our Oklahoma City drugged driver accident lawyers will help you pursue the compensation you deserve. You suffered a traumatic experience and have the right to hold the other driver accountable. They chose to get behind the wheel while drug-impaired, and they should pay for the consequences.
At Abel Law Firm, we have an experienced team that provides excellent customer service to our clients. We’ll guide you through the complicated legal process when you hire us. You can depend on us to be there and help you get through this devastating experience. You won’t be alone in this fight.
We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t recover legal fees unless we win the case. If we don’t win, you won’t have to pay us.
To schedule your free consultation with a dedicated Oklahoma City drugged driver accident lawyer, call today at (405) 239-7046.