Denver Drugged Driver Car Accident Attorneys
A drugged driver is a very real danger to everyone on the road. Depending on the drug they take, a drugged driver may have impaired thinking and judgment, a slow reaction time, decreased coordination, increased drowsiness, or even increased aggressiveness and recklessness.
A drugged driver may be impaired by drugs such as prescription drugs, illegal narcotics, marijuana, and over-the-counter medicines.
When a drug-impaired individual drives a vehicle, tragic accidents involving severe injuries or fatalities often result, and these accidents occur more frequently than most people realize. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 44% of fatally injured drivers with known results tested positive for drugs in 2016. Ten years prior, that number was 28%.
If you were harmed in an accident caused by a drugged driver, you shouldn’t be left to pick up the pieces alone. You deserve compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages, your property damages, your pain and suffering, and more.
The attorneys at The Bourassa Law Group have been helping clients just like you secure the maximum settlement in injury claims. We have the resources, experience, and knowledge to ensure victims of drugged driver car crashes get the justice they deserve.
If you were the victim of a car accident caused by a drugged motorist, call (303) 331-6186 for a free consultation with one of our Denver drugged driver accident lawyers.
What Is a Drugged Driver?
A drugged driver is anyone impaired by a legal or illegal drug while behind the wheel. While many people picture someone using an illegal substance before driving, there are circumstances where a legal, OTC medication can affect a driver’s ability to drive safely. Any type of drug that has a list of possible side effects could impair the motorist’s abilities and lead to an accident. Some of these drugs include:
A person may access prescription drugs from their doctor for a valid medical issue or by illegally stealing them from a friend or buying them from a drug dealer. Many prescription drugs have labels warning users not to operate heavy machinery, including vehicles, after taking it. Unfortunately, some people ignore the warning labels and get behind the wheel of their car anyway, putting other people in danger.
Prescription drugs that can impair a driver’s abilities include:
- Cough medicine
You might think OTC medications are harmless. After all, you can pick them up at the store without a prescription or physician’s approval. However, there are many types of over-the-counter medicines that could impair your driving ability. Some create a feeling of intoxication and could decrease reaction time when behind the wheel.
OTC drugs that can impair a driver’s abilities include:
- Sleep aids
- Allergy medications
Combining any of the above with other medications or alcohol could make the side effects worse. It’s also possible for someone to take too much of an OTC medicine and overdose.
Illegal narcotics, also called controlled substances, increase the risk of an accident significantly. The side effects of this type of drug are dangerous and can impair a driver’s ability to react to adverse conditions, make the right choices, or even stay awake.
Illegal narcotics that can impair a driver’s abilities include:
- Methamphetamine (Meth)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
Colorado legalized recreational and medical marijuana. Despite it being legal for people to use, it’s not legal to drive under its influence. Whether someone smokes marijuana, eats food with the drug in it, or ingests it any other way, it affects the body and mind. It can cause a variety of side effects, such as:
- Reduced reaction time
- Increase in risky activities
- Decreased motor skills
- Poor decision-making abilities
- Sleepiness or loss of consciousness
- Altered sensory perception
You Have the Right to Legal Action After a Drugged Driving Accident
If you got hurt in a car crash caused by a drugged driver, you could pursue financial compensation from them either in an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Colorado follows fault rules when an auto accident occurs. If the drugged driver was mostly to blame for the crash and resulting injuries, they automatically become financially responsible.
It’s crucial that you don’t share any fault for the accident if you want to recover the maximum compensation available. The modified comparative negligence rule dictates your compensation based on shared blame. If you’re more than 50% at fault for the crash, you won’t be allowed to seek any compensation.
As an example, if you incur $100,000 in damages and the insurance company determines the other driver was 80% at fault for drugged driving, and you were 20% at fault for texting behind the wheel, the most you could receive is $80,000.
What’s the Value of My Case?
To determine the value of your case, you should speak with a Denver drugged driver accident lawyer from The Bourassa Law Group. We’ll collect evidence that proves the other driver was at fault and shows the extent of your injuries and losses. Evidence may include:
- The police report
- Photos from the accident scene
- Security video footage
- Car repair estimates and photos of the damage
- Statements from witnesses
- Copies of your medical records and medical bills
- Lost wage reports from your employer
We know you suffered physical, financial, and emotional harm from the crash. Medical treatment is expensive, and if you’re unable to return to work because of your injury, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to afford all your expenses. We understand the burden you’re facing, and we will work efficiently to resolve your case and get you the money you need to cover your damages.
The damages available in a drugged driver accident case include both economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Ambulance and hospital services
- Physical therapy, home health care, surgery, prescription medications, and other necessary treatment
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Vehicle repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
When someone gets behind the wheel after taking a drug, knowing the side effects could cause an accident, that’s a form of negligence. The other motorist’s reckless actions led to your injuries, and you deserve to pursue punitive damages. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages don’t compensate the injured victim for these losses. Instead, it’s a punishment against the at-fault driver for their wanton disregard of another driver’s safety.
Colorado law doesn’t place any limits on economic damages, such as medical treatment; however, pain and suffering damages have a cap of $250,000. Under exceptional circumstances, the cap could increase to $500,000 if evidence shows a valid reason. If there’s a permanent impairment from the drugged driving accident, there’s no limit to the amount of the financial award for pain and suffering.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against the Drugged Driver?
Yes. Driving under the influence of any type of drug, whether illegal or legal, is careless. When someone makes the conscious decision to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by a drug, the likelihood of a crash occurring increases. That behavior is unacceptable and deserves consequences.
If you sustained an injury in a drugged driving accident, you could file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. There’s a statute of limitations in Colorado you must follow if you want to sue the other party for a monetary award. That statute is three years. That means you have three years from the crash date to file a lawsuit with the civil court.
Instead of receiving a settlement strictly from the driver’s liability auto insurance, the compensation may also come directly from the driver. A lawsuit could also get you more money than an insurance claim because insurance policies have maximum coverages injured individuals can collect. In a lawsuit, no policy dictates the amount of money you could pursue.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim if My Loved One Died in a Drugged Driver Accident?
If you lost someone in a drugged driver car crash, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim. In Colorado, you must be one of the following family members to pursue this type of case:
- Within the first year of death: a surviving spouse
- During the second year: surviving spouse and children
- Surviving parents if there are no spouse or children
To file a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado, you have to follow a two-year statute of limitations.
Some of the damages available to surviving family members include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Wages the deceased would have earned if they survived
- Benefits, such as life insurance, lost because of the death
- Medical bills related to the fatal injury
- Loss of companionship, love, assistance, affection, or protection
Why Choose The Bourassa Law Group?
Our experienced Denver drugged driver accident lawyers have experience seeking justice for injured victims. The situation you’re in is overwhelming, and we want to help you get the monetary compensation you need to take care of yourself and your family. We know the stress you’re under, and you can depend on us to handle all the legal aspects of your case on your behalf so you can focus on healing.
We take cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about upfront costs or legal fees. We won’t charge any fee unless we’re able to secure a settlement or favorable jury verdict. We don’t get paid unless you get paid. And if we don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay us anything.
We also offer a free initial consultation. There’s no risk or obligation to meet with one of our Denver car accident lawyers for advice on your case. We’ll discuss your options and determine if we’re able to help you.
When you hire us, we’ll maintain open communication, so you always know your case’s status and understand what to expect next. Our legal team is available 24/7 to take your call.
If you or a loved one were the victim of a drugged driver accident in Denver, call us today at (303) 331-6186, and we’ll begin fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Frequently asked questions
The legal definition of a personal injury is when someone’s failure to use reasonable care in a particular situation results in another person’s physical, emotional, or psychological injury. Personal injury cases often rely on the elements of negligence to prove the responsible party’s actions were the cause of the other party’s injuries.
The length of a personal injury case depends on the type of case and various factors, such as the severity of the injury sustained and the duration of necessary treatment. A car accident case might take six months to resolve, while a wrongful death lawsuit could take two years. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the case.
No. Whether you got hurt in a car accident or on someone else’s property, you should never speak with their liability insurance company about the claim. They try to save money whenever possible and could attempt to trick you into accepting a low settlement amount or intimidate you into dropping the case. Your Denver personal injury lawyer will handle all communication on your behalf.
It depends. A vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. When we file a claim with the insurance company, we’ll submit evidence that proves you deserve compensation for your injuries. Sometimes the insurer is willing to settle. Other times, they deny the claim or provide a settlement much lower than you deserve. Under those circumstances, we will file a lawsuit and take the case to court.
Mediation is a step during a lawsuit where both sides meet to try to reach an agreement. The mediator listens to the arguments on both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s sides and attempts to resolve the issue. If they can reach an agreement, they will settle out of court, and the case will get dismissed. If they can’t resolve the matter, the case will proceed to trial.