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The United States Department of Transportation makes clear that different substances can impair driving, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs. A driver’s judgment and reaction times can be affected by alcohol, marijuana, and other medications that can cause extreme dizziness or drowsiness. Throughout the nation, it is illegal to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, but many drivers continue to drive while impaired. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a crash involving a drugged driver, we may be able to help. Washington, D.C. car accident attorney Roger Gelb personally handles all of our firm’s cases and maintains direct communication with clients. Over 10,000 clients have relied on the tenacity and capabilities of Attorney Gelb to hold reckless or careless drivers legally accountable for injuries they have caused. Together with his team at Gelb & Gelb, Attorney Gelb has secured over one hundred million dollars in legal compensation for injured victims and their families throughout Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.Pursuing Legal Action Following a Drugged Driving Accident
Individuals that drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose a danger to themselves, their passengers, and others on the road. In the majority of legal claims following a vehicle collision, injured individuals set forth evidence of the at-fault driver’s negligence. Demonstrating negligence entitles the victim to recover costs associated with the accident, including property damage, medical care, and lost wages from work, and emotional pain and suffering.
To successfully prove negligence after an accident, the injured plaintiff must show that the defendant’s conduct failed to meet the standard of care required for the situation, and that this failure led to the accident. In other words, the defendant’s actions or a failure to act must have directly caused the plaintiff’s harm. Reckless driving, including speeding and distracted driving, can lead to a crash. Drugged driving is also an example of negligent conduct, as impaired driving arguably fails to show the level of care all drivers owe to others. A breached duty of care may therefore be shown by evidence that at the time of the collision, the defendant was impaired and could not properly operate their vehicle.
In Washington D.C, Virginia, or Maryland, there may be a presumption of liability under the legal doctrine of negligence per se if the defendant has violated a law against drugged driving or driving while impaired and then caused an accident. This rule applies when a defendant violates a law establishing a standard of care, and the victim is part of the group intended to be protected under that law. In a civil action, the injured plaintiff may assert negligence per se, and this claim would proceed separately from any criminal charges against the defendant driver.
In the event that the rule of negligence per se applies in a lawsuit arising out of a drugged driving car accident, the plaintiff will nevertheless be required to show causation. Proximate cause is an essential element in an injury claim that must be demonstrated in order to prove that an intervening cause did not lead to the crash and resulting harm. A seasoned car accident lawyer can evaluate the facts of your case to determine whether you may have difficulty proving causation.Available Damages
Damages associated with a drugged driving accident must be set forth as the final element of an injury claim. Victims may recover damages that are designed to place them in the position they would be in had the accident not occurred. These amounts can include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to medical bills, lost wages from missed work, and other quantifiable costs. Pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and a decreased quality of life are considered non-economic damages. In some cases, punitive damages may be assessed against the defendant. These are designed to be a punishment, and to deter reprehensible conduct.
Wrongful death claims may follow the tragic death of a loved one in an accident arising from negligent conduct. Legally specified persons, including family members, may pursue a wrongful death claim to recover medical costs, burial fees, and loss of earning capacity, among other costs.Discuss Your Claim with a Skilled Car Accident Attorney in Washington, D.C.
If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a drugged driving accident, Washington, D.C. lawyer Roger Gelb can help. At Gelb & Gelb we provide a free, confidential case evaluation and can be reached at 202-331-7227 or through our online form. Our office assists people throughout MD, VA, and Washington, D.C.