Drugged Driving Accidents
When a driver misuses prescription drugs or uses controlled substances before driving, they may not be able to drive safely. The effects of these drugs can vary dramatically. For example, taking benzodiazepines before driving can make a driver sleepy and dizzy, slowing their reaction time. Taking cocaine, on the other hand, can lead to a driver being extremely aggressive on the road. If you were hurt in a drugged driving accident, the knowledgeable Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm may be able to bring a lawsuit for compensation on your behalf.Establishing Liability for Drugged Driving Accidents
Under California Vehicle Code § 23152, it is unlawful for someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, to drive a vehicle. In most cases, someone who is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs would be considered negligent per se, or negligent as a matter of law. Negligence per se means that the defendant violated a statute, regulation, or ordinance, the violation of this law was the legal cause of an injury or death to someone else, and the death or injury was the type of occurrence that the law was intended to prevent.
Negligence per se may be easier to establish if a defendant has received a citation for a violation of a statute, regulation, or ordinance after an accident. After any type of accident, you should make sure the police come out to the scene and create a report, but this is especially true if you suspect drugs or alcohol were the cause of the defendant's negligent driving.
In most cases in which negligence per se applies, the primary point of contention is not liability but the scope of the damages. You can potentially recover a broad range of compensatory damages. In California, damages are either general (noneconomic) or special (economic). Special damages include tangible losses like medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and the cost of household services. General damages often include loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering, among others.
In addition, after a drugged driving accident, you may be able to pursue punitive damages, similar to when drunk driving is involved. In order to justify punitive damages, you will need to show that the defendant was aware of the probable dangerous consequences of their actions and that the defendant willfully and deliberately decided to engage in the behavior regardless.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a Los Angeles Attorney
After a drugged driving accident, you may be contacted by an insurer for the at-fault driver. You should not talk to the insurer without first consulting an attorney about your case. Even when liability is obvious, insurers may try to obtain admissions of fault in order to reduce the amount of damages they need to pay you. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced Los Angeles lawyers are available to help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses as a result of a drugged driving accident. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. Our firm also represents people in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Riverside, and other Southern California cities.