On the surface, the matter seems cut and dried. However, according to a report in Insurance Journal, a drugged driving accident case that recently passed through the New York Court of Appeals reveals the importance of investigation in car wreck claims, because liability may not always be quite as obvious as it seems.
Doctors Must Warn Patients When Drugs May Impair Driving
In this case, Lorraine Walsh went to a hospital and was given intravenous painkiller medication. After treatment, she got behind the wheel and crashed into another vehicle, causing serious injuries to the other driver. Unfortunately, the doctor and physician’s assistant who had administered the medication had not warned Walsh that the painkiller could impair driving. For this reason, the car crash victim filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and the medical providers, an unusual move as the target in these cases is typically only the driver who caused the accident.
The defendants challenged the lawsuit, but the New York Court of Appeals has allowed it to move forward on the basis that medical providers have a duty to third parties to warn a patient when medications may impact the ability to drive safely.
This case demonstrates how important it is that a lawyer never take anything for granted. While it may appear as though the driver who caused the car wreck was liable, an investigation should be conducted to determine what exactly happened.
At the law office of Leonard B. Gabbay, P.C., we take pride in carefully investigating every case we handle to ensure that the negligent party is held accountable.