Earlier this year in Madison County, and officer was involved in a fatal car accident that took the life of one man and seriously injured a pregnant woman. After the accident, police took the blood of the off duty officer to determine if there was any alcohol or drugs in his system. According to a recent report, those reports recently came back and indicated that the off duty officer may have had hydrocodone in his system at the time of the accident.
It is unclear if the off duty officer was prescribed the drug, or if he was taking it illegally. However, a prosecutor on the case explained that it doesn’t matter whether the drugs were prescribed or not because “If you’re under the influence, you know you’re not supposed to be driving and doing things that impair your ability to drive.”
The driver of the other car was pronounced dead shortly after the accident. A pregnant passenger was taken to the hospital and was required to have an emergency delivery. Police and prosecutors are currently investigating the case while they decide whether to press charges against the off duty police officer.
Prescription Drugs Are Just as Dangerous Behind the Wheel
When most people thing of driving while intoxicated, they think of alcohol or illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. However, the truth is that prescription drugs can be just as damaging to one’s sense of judgment, reaction time, and perception while behind the wheel.
In fact, even with a valid prescription, a driver can still be at fault for causing an accident because it is known that, while the drug may be necessary to the drive’s health, driving while taking the drug is dangerous. The prosecutor from the case above put it aptly, explaining “You can’t operate a motor vehicle under the influence of those medications. You simply can’t do that. This is the possible outcome. The risk of harm to others is just too great for that.”
Establishing Civil Liability Based on Prescription Drug Use
Those who have been injured in an accident where the other driver was under the influence of prescription drugs may be entitled to monetary damages to help compensate them for their injuries and losses. Establishing liability is much the same as in any other intoxicated driving case, because the driver cannot rely on the fact that he or she was prescribed the drug by a doctor. To find out more, contact an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Car Accident?
If you have recently been involved in an Indiana automobile accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages if the other driver caused the accident while under the influence of prescription drugs. To find out more about the Indiana laws that protect citizens from intoxicated drivers, contact an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney today by clicking here, or calling 888-765-7411 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Off Duty Indiana Police Officer Likely Faces Criminal Charges in DUI Death, Indiana Accident Attorneys, April 11, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court Reverses Lower Courts’ Rulings, Allows Malpractice Suit to Continue, Indiana Accident Attorneys, April 4, 2014.