San Antonio auto accidents are routinely caused by drunk drivers and occasionally caused by the driver’s abuse of prescription medication. Driving an automobile while under the influence of prescription medication is illegal and is considered a DWI with the same penalties as driving while under the influence of alcohol. When a serious motor-vehicle accident is caused by someone’s alcohol intoxication our San Antonio car accident lawyers routinely investigate to determine whether it is possible to bring a dram-shop case against the establishment that served the alcohol.
In cases where a driver under the influence of prescription medication causes an accident there is an emerging theory of liability that will need to be pursued by a San Antonio injury lawyer. In cases where the over medicated driver causes a serious accident it may be possible to hold the pharmacy or pharmacies liable for providing the drugs to someone who is clearly abusing the medication.
Texas is among the 35 States that collect information about narcotic drugs and track drug prescriptions. The availability of patient information will increase as Texas and other States move towards electronic records. As a result many parties including pharmacies are considering what are their legal obligations and duties when filling prescriptions for potentially drug abusing patients.
Recently, a 35 year old doctor’s office receptionist in Las Vegas bought 4,500 doses of a prescription painkiller in one year. That receptionist was in a fatal car accident that killed one person and seriously injured another. In the driver’s car the police found prescription bottles and 167 hydrocodone pills. Prior to the accident the State Board sent letters to 14 pharmacies in the area warning them of the potential drug abuser.
It would make Texas roads safer if the State would warn pharmacies when a patient’s purchases of narcotic drugs rise to the level indicating abuse. Also, imposing liability not just on the driver of the car but also on the pharmacy would encourage pharmacists to being vigilant about reporting abusive drug use.