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The effects of medication can affect truck accident litigation

Many New York residents take medications for both chronic and acute ailments. Truck drivers are no exception, but unlike people who work in other industries, truckers need to be particularly careful with how their medications affect them because they need to remain vigilant behind the wheel. Truck accident litigation could involve an assessment of whether the medication was a factor in the crash.

It might be easier just to take the medication prescribed without asking questions. However, doing so could ultimately spell disaster for a truck driver who could be involved in an accident here in New York or elsewhere because he or she was not aware of the drug’s effects. Before leaving the doctor’s office, it would be advisable to ask several questions — not the least of which is how it might affect the trucker’s ability to drive.

If a driver will be taking more than one medication, it is important to understand whether any potential interactions exist. Some medications could cancel out the advantageous effects of others. Food can also change the way a medication works.

For example, people taking certain blood pressure medications are cautioned not to consume grapefruit products because doing so can nullify the intended effects of the drug. Blood pressure could spike, heart rate could increase and other adverse effects could occur, which make driving hazardous. All of these reasons and more are also why no one should ever take another person’s medications.

During truck accident litigation, plaintiff’s counsel typically scrutinizes every aspect of a truck driver’s life — searching for information that could suggest negligence. A truck driver might not consider taking a medication would be part of that inquiry, but it more than likely will be. Doing some research prior to taking a medication and ensuring that its effects will not alter one’s ability to drive safely before getting behind the wheel of a truck could combat any speculation about medication being a factor in the crash.

Source: fmcsa.dot.gov, “Medication Issues“, Nov. 18, 2016

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