Drugged driving is rampant. The Governors Highway Safety Association found that, in 2016, 44% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for drugs. That number was 28% just ten years ago.
If you got hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by drugged driving, you have legal options for pursuing financial compensation. At OnderLaw, LLC, we have experience seeking justice for our clients and holding people responsible for their negligent actions. You deserve a monetary award for the suffering you’ve had to endure.
Each day, motorcyclists travel on the roadways in St. Louis. They ride alongside motorcycles, cars, trucks, and other vehicles. When someone gets behind the wheel under the influence of drugs, it poses a risk to everyone. Whether it’s an illegal substance or a prescription medication, it can slow a person’s reaction time and interfere with their decision-making skills.
The knowledgeable motorcycle attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC will skillfully spearhead your claim, ensuring that every step is taken to maximize the compensation you receive. To find out about the legal services we offer and how we can assist you in your drugged driving motorcycle accident case, call us today at (314) 963-9000.
What’s Considered Drugged Driving?
Missouri defines drugged driving as the operation of a motor vehicle by an individual under the influence of a drug, controlled substance, or any combination thereof. Someone who drives after drinking alcohol can get charged with DWI or DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08; however, any amount of drugs that impair a person’s driving abilities can lead to a DUID conviction.
Four main types of drugs could inhibit someone’s ability to drive safely: prescription drugs, illegal narcotics, marijuana, and over-the-counter medication.
Most people think that illegal drugs like cocaine are the only type of drug that can create a dangerous situation on the road. Unfortunately, many people get behind the wheel after taking prescription medications. Whether someone obtains it illegally or gets a written prescription from their doctor, taking prescription medication can cause blurry vision, decreased reaction time, and drowsiness.
Examples of prescription drugs that can result in a motorcycle accident include:
- Cough medicine
Controlled substances, also called illegal narcotics, are extremely dangerous drugs. When someone gets behind the wheel after consuming an illegal narcotic, they’re unable to make good decisions. It impairs their ability to react to adverse conditions, slows reaction time, can cause them to fall asleep, and, in some instances, increases aggression.
Examples of illegal narcotics that can cause a motorcycle accident are:
- Methamphetamine (Meth)
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
- Phencyclidine (PCP
Various states have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, and many more allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Although many states around the country decriminalized the drug, it’s illegal to drive under its influence everywhere.
No matter how you ingest marijuana, it can affect your mind and body. People react differently to it, but it can lead to impaired motor skills, slowed reaction time, poor decision-making, and altered sensory perception. It could also cause drowsiness and result in a person falling asleep while driving. It’s dangerous to smoke, ingest, or eat any amount of marijuana before operating a vehicle.
Most people believe taking an over-the-counter medicine could never interfere with someone’s ability to drive a car. However, it can cause adverse reactions, just like illegal narcotics. Some create a feeling of being intoxicated, while others can lead to drowsiness and impaired abilities. Over-the-counter medications become more dangerous when combined with alcohol or other drugs.
Some of the most common OTC drugs that can cause a motorcycle accident include:
- Sleep aids
- Allergy medicines
Pursuing a Drugged Driving Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident due to drugged driving, you can file an insurance claim or sue the negligent driver. Missouri is a fault auto insurance state. That means the person responsible for the crash is automatically financially liable for resulting damages, such as the injured party’s medical expenses.
Liability insurance is a requirement for all owners and operators of motor vehicles. If the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs, and that’s what led to the crash, you could file a claim with their insurance company. The settlement amount you receive would depend on the coverage listed on their policy. You could use the money to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Another rule you should know about that dictates the amount of compensation a motorcycle accident victim is entitled to is the pure comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, your financial award gets reduced by the percentage of blame you share. For example, if you have $100,000 in total damages and were 20% at fault for the crash, you could only pursue a maximum of $80,000 in compensation.
Determining How Much Compensation a Drugged Driving Motorcycle Accident Victim Deserves
OnderLaw, LLC understands what insurance companies and juries look for when they’re reviewing the details of an accident case. They will consider all relevant evidence and documentation to decide how much the victim deserves in compensation. Some of the crucial evidence we’ll obtain includes:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Video surveillance footage
- Photos of the accident scene
- Motorcycle repair estimates and bills
- Medical records
- Copies of auto insurance policies
- Lost wage reports
We know the financial burden you’re facing because of the motorcycle accident. This type of crash often causes debilitating injuries and fatalities. Motorcycles offer minimal protection to the rider. When you collided with a car, you probably got ejected from your bike. Most people suffer injuries from the initial impact and additional injuries from sliding across the pavement or landing on a stationary object. It’s our job to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available to cover your damages.
Damages in an accident claim are the losses incurred from an injury. They fall under two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are actual expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as pain and suffering. Damages may include:
- Ambulance services, ER bills, and medical treatment
- Prescription medications
- Loss of income
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Mental trauma
- Property damage
- Motorcycle repairs
- Disfigurement or disability
Drugged driving is a form of negligence. Anyone who takes a drug before getting behind the wheel should know it could result in an accident. When someone puts another person’s safety at risk, it’s careless and irresponsible. You deserve compensation for the injuries you sustained and resulting damages. We’ll protect your rights and fight to ensure the negligent driver is held accountable for their actions.
Filing a Lawsuit for Damages
An insurance claim isn’t your only option for recovering compensation. You could also file a lawsuit against the drugged driver and seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of punishment against someone who causes harm to another person as a result of a particularly egregious action.
Drugged driving is a serious offense and could result in criminal charges against the other driver. If you want to pursue a lawsuit, you could. There’s a statute of limitations you must follow to sue someone for their negligence. In Missouri, the statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident is five years. That means you have five years from the date of the drugged driving crash to seek legal action.
While most states impose a limit on a victim’s damages, Missouri does not, though an insurance claim prohibits the amount of compensation you can pursue based on the coverage listed on the at-fault driver’s policy. OnderLaw, LLC will help you determine the monetary value of your case to demand from the drugged driver.
What Are My Legal Options If a Loved One Died in a Drugged Driving Motorcycle Accident?
If you lost someone in a motorcycle crash caused by a drugged driver, you could pursue a wrongful death claim. The legal definition of wrongful death in Missouri is the death of an individual caused by an act, conduct, transaction, occurrence, or circumstance which, if death wasn’t the result, would entitle the victim to compensation of their damages.
There are only a few people who can file a wrongful death claim, in this specific order:
- Surviving spouse, child, or grandchild
- Surviving parents
- Surviving sibling
If there are no surviving relatives, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may pursue a wrongful death case.
When a drugged driving motorcycle accident results in the motorcyclist’s death, a surviving family member can seek the following damages:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical bills related to the fatal injury
- Wages the victim would have earned if they survived the crash
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased right before their death
- Value of the victim’s companionship, services, comfort, guidance, consortium, or support they would have provided to surviving family if they lived
If you choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit, there’s a three-year statute of limitations. The clock starts on the date your loved one passed away. If three years pass and you don’t file suit with the civil court, you will lose your right to compensation.
Choose OnderLaw, LLC
At OnderLaw, LLC, our St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyers dedicate their time, attention, and resources to every client. We believe in seeking justice for victims of motorcycle accidents and will fight hard to ensure the drugged driver is held accountable for their actions.
We know how much you’re struggling. You’re in pain and need a way to pay for your medical care. We’ll work hard to get you the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
No amount of money can change what happened to you, but we hope it will relieve your financial burden and help you move forward. You deserve the maximum monetary award available, and we’ll work tirelessly to get it for you.