The Role Of Medication In Car Accidents
If you are in a car accident, you may look to the other driver, the one who caused the accident, for compensation for whatever injuries you suffered. That may seem pretty obvious. But have you ever thought about drug manufacturers as being liable for car accidents?
It sounds almost silly, but more and more, drug manufacturers are being blamed for accidents that happen on our roadways.
When you look at the list of side effects for popular medications, or you watch a commercial for a medication, you often see or hear of the long list of possible side effects. A common side effect of many commonly prescribed medicines is drowsiness.
Certainly, we all need to be aware of this possible side effect, and it is all of our responsibility to keep ourselves from getting behind the wheel of a car, when and if we are on any medicine that could cause drowsiness.
Ambien Gets Sued
But the manufacturer for the sleep medication Ambien was recently sued for a side effect that had a dangerous side effect that was like drowsiness, but actually went beyond drowsiness. Users of the medication reported that it put them in a “sleepwalking” type state. They reported that they were almost half conscious; able to get up and move about, but not fully conscious such as to appreciate what they were doing.
Many Ambien users reported that they would not only walk around in their sleep, but that they would eat, even binge, and importantly for safety some even reported getting behind the wheel of their cars and driving, without even being aware that they were doing so.
This is not an isolated incident. It was, and is, so common that there is even something called an “Ambien Defense,” used as a defense by some criminal defendants who are charged with DUI, but who say that they were on Ambien at the time, and thus, did not know or appreciate what they were doing.
Of course, it’s not just sleepwalking that is a problem; many sleep drugs like Ambien take time to leave a user’s system. The user may wake up in the morning, and need to get to work. The user gets behind the wheel of a car, possibly unaware of how impaired they still are from the remnants of the drug remaining in their system.
Drug Manufacturers Can be Liable
Ambien was sued, and denied the claims, but in the end, the lawsuits forced the government to place stronger warnings on the medication.
If you are on any type of sleep medicine, or any medicine that can cause drowsiness, or sleepwalking, and you are in an accident, it may be worth checking to see if you were suffering from the side effects of a medication that you took. Drug manufacturers can be sued for the defects in their medicines, especially when they fail to provide adequate and complete warnings of the dangers of the medicines on their packaging.
Were you in a car accident? Let us help you look at who may be liable for your injuries. Call the Knoxville car accident lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.