The Effects of Over-the-Counter Medications on an Accident

There are many over-the-counter medications that can alter a driver's state of mind. In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that 43.6 percent of drivers who were fatally injured had drugs in their systems. A particular medication might not affect someone at all  while making it impossible for someone else to safely operate a motor vehicle. However, while the medication may have contributed to the accident, the driver will likely be considered at fault for the accident.

1. Understanding the Effects of Over-the-Counter Medications

Certain drugs are more likely to affect the mental state of a driver than others. These include antihistamines, cold and flu medications, and decongestants. Drivers understand that alcohol can interfere with their ability to drive safely, but many drivers do not exercise the same level of caution when driving after taking over-the-counter medications.

The over-the-counter medication can lead to side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and poor judgment. The driver might not realize that he cannot safely operate the vehicle until after he is behind the wheel and the medication starts to take effect.

When a driver believes that they cannot safely operate the motor vehicle, they should pull over and consider checking into a nearby hotel. If the driver instead chooses to continue driving and causes an accident, this is usually used as a justification to hold the motorist responsible for the accident. Fortunately, with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can gather proof that the motorist was under the influence of an over-the-counter medication.

2. Speaking with the Driver and Calculating Damages

By talking to the driver after the accident, you might notice that they seem intoxicated. Make sure to write this down and also ask any witnesses if they also believe that the driver was under the influence of a medication. If you are lucky, the driver might admit that they were using over-the-counter medication. Contact the police and the officer might also include in the report that the motorist was under the influence.

If the driver was hospitalized after the accident, the doctor who observed the patient might note in medical records that he was under-the-influence. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you may be able to obtain medical records that can be used to show that the other driver was under-the-influence.

Once you have proven that the driver was under the influence and that this contributed to your injuries, you will want to write a demand letter. Work with a personal injury lawyer to calculate the damages you suffered so you can then seek a settlement from the driver or his insurance provider.