Accidents Caused by Smoking Marijuana
A number of states, along with the District of Columbia, have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, according to Vox.com. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with legalization, it is important to be responsible in whatever activity you decide to engage in. This means that if you smoke marijuana and get behind the wheel of a car, you are putting yourself and others at risk.
Every motorist who uses the roads and highways in and around Houston owes a duty of care to be vigilant and responsible on the road. If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by a driver under the influence of marijuana, you may have a valid personal injury claim for compensation.
Generally, in order to succeed in a car accident claim, you would need to show that the other driver was at fault for the accident. If you were partly at fault, the highest compensation you can receive for the accident would be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
For instance, if the jury finds that you were 30% at fault, this means that you would only get 70% of any amount of compensation the court would have awarded.
Showing fault in a case of driving under the influence of marijuana is a bit tricky. This is because there is no medical certainty as to the effects that marijuana has on a driver. The studies have shown conflicting results.
In a controlled study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the reports showed that there was no significant link between marijuana use and fatal car crashes.
However, in another study on the risks of driving while under the influence of marijuana, researchers concluded that the risk of being in an accident after smoking marijuana is doubled. It was found that drivers under the influence were impaired in a number of ways:
- Their reaction times were affected;
- Many of them slowed their vehicles to compensate for their impairment;
- They veered into other lanes more frequently;
- They failed tests involving critical thinking;
- Many demonstrated impaired cognitive function
Obviously, the issue of proving fault in a marijuana induced accident is not cut-and-dried. Recent statistics also show that about 7% of drivers involved in fatal automobile accidents are found to have marijuana in their system.
Compensation You May be Able to Obtain
If you are able to show that the other driver was at fault, you would be entitled to claim and obtain several types of compensation. These include:
- Reimbursement for medical bills for treating your injuries;
- Compensation for lost wages due to absence from work;
- Compensation for partial or total disability arising from the accident;
- Loss of future wages caused by future inability to work;
- Compensation for scarring, loss of limbs, etc.
Injured in an Accident Caused by a Motorist Under the Influence of Marijuana?
Speak to a Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a collision caused by a marijuana-intoxicated motorist, you need to get in touch with the skilled and experienced Houston personal injury lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. today 713-221-6800.