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I Was Hit by a Drugged Driver. What Are My Rights?

In 2014, about 10 million people over the age of 11 reported they drove under the influence of illegal drugs the year before. This number doesn’t include individuals driving under the influence of legal prescriptions, which can be just as dangerous. For some people, such as older adults, prescription drugs can take longer to break down or can have adverse reactions when mixed with other substances. If a senior takes 5 medications, for example, one of which is new, he or she may not expect adverse reactions from the new medication. While doctors should know not to prescribe drugs that may interfere with each other, errors in prescription are more common than you think.

So, if you get into a car accident, and the other driver is clearly under the influence, what are your rights as the injured party?

Actually, you have many of the same rights you would if the other driver was inebriated and caused the crash.

At-Fault States

As the drugged person is the at-fault driver in this situation, you have the right to make a claim with their insurance company. However, this option is only available in states that have at-fault driving laws. Any injuries or medical problems caused by the accident will be paid for by the other driver’s insurance. Likewise, any damage to your vehicle will be covered. Consider contacting an excellent personal injury lawyer before negotiating any settlements with the insurance company. They will likely offer you quite a bit in order to avoid going to court in front of a jury, which, theoretically, could award you more compensation as the victim of a DUI.

No-Fault States

More states are at-fault rather than no-fault. However, if you live somewhere with no-fault laws, you do not have the right to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. In these states, your own auto insurance pays the damages to your car and pays for your medical bills. You do have the right to pursue a liability claim or personal injury suit against the drugged driver if your costs exceed what your policy can pay. If you have “serious injuries,” according to your state’s definition, the no-fault system doesn’t apply.

If you’re ready to make a claim or begin a lawsuit, contact one of our car accident attorneys at Shook & Stone, Chtd. Let us get you the settlement you deserve.

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