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Marijuana Use Car Accident Lawyer

BIG AUTO

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The majority of U.S. states have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, and around half allow recreational use. Although using marijuana may be legal, no state authorizes driving while under its influence.

Marijuana can produce many effects that make driving dangerous. That doesn’t stop some people from doing it, though. If you are hurt in an accident caused by someone who was under the influence, you may qualify to seek compensation for your damages. Big Auto explains.

Driving safely requires a complex combination of concentration, dexterity, judgment and awareness. The psychoactive properties of a marijuana high impair all those skills and more, producing:

  • Delayed reaction times
  • Blurred vision and distorted distance perception
  • Difficulty focusing and making good decisions
  • Problems with motor coordination

Generally, the higher the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in the system, the more pronounced these issues become. Using marijuana with alcohol or other substances usually increases the level of impairment.

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    What to do after the accident


    Marijuana Use Car Accident Lawyer
    01
    Call us for a FREE initial case review.
    1 (844) BIG-AUTO
    02
    We get to WORK on your case
    03
    Our team will FIGHT to get you the settlement you deserve.

    Why Choose Big Auto?

    Big Auto represents the best of both worlds. Our size and nationwide reach give us vast resources and negotiating power to use on your behalf, while our co-counseling attorneys have local experience and provide you with deserved personal attention. We have handled many marijuana-related car accident claims successfully, and we would like to add yours to that list.

    Hiring Big Auto presents no risk to you. You don’t pay if we don’t win. Request your free case evaluation today.

    To learn more about your rights after an accident, call us today at 1 (844) BIG-AUTO

    How much does it cost to start my case?

    If we don’t win, your case is free. When we take on your case, we’re confident we can obtain a recovery you’re entitled to. In fact, we won’t charge you anything if we don’t win for you.

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    Table of Contents

    What Are the Dangerous Effects of Marijuana?

    Marijuana comes in many strains that produce varying physical reactions, and these affect every user differently. Users may feel:

    • Paranoid
    • Disassociated or numb
    • Sleepy
    • Invincible
    • Relaxed, carefree or euphoric

    While medical marijuana use can help patients and many people find recreational use fun, driving while high significantly increases the risks of causing an accident.

    What Laws Govern Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?

    Every state sets its own laws, THC concentration levels and definitions of “under the influence”, and these vary from state to state. As of March 2023, 18 states had zero-tolerance or per se laws that address marijuana specifically.

    Zero-tolerance states make driving with any measurable amount of THC in the system illegal. Per se laws set limits for THC levels, making driving with levels over these limits illegal.

    What Tests Prove THC Concentration Levels?

    When law enforcement officers suspect drivers of alcohol use, they can conduct field sobriety tests. Alcohol can completely leave the body in a few hours, so positive blood alcohol concentration levels prove recent ingestion.

    Unlike alcohol, THC can remain in the body for several days or weeks. Standard urine tests that show positive THC results don’t prove when the person used marijuana. This fact can complicate accident claims.

    How Can Marijuana Use Complicate Your Accident Claim?

    Negligence is the basis for most car accident claims. Someone who drives while actively under the influence of marijuana is negligent. However, the lack of conclusive tests that prove when a driver last used the drug presents challenges.

    Police officers who respond to accident scenes can typically smell marijuana smoke if present, but people may also ingest the drug by vaping or taking edibles. Behavioral observations aside, proving that drivers are currently impaired is challenging.

    In states with zero-tolerance policies, the presence of any amount of THC makes winning your claim easier. In per se states, however, drivers who aren’t visibly impaired may claim they had not ingested marijuana recently.

    Proving that marijuana use contributed to causing your accident may require an in-depth investigation. Most people don’t have the resources to investigate properly, but the knowledgeable car accident lawyers from Big Auto do.

    How Do Lawyers Investigate a Car Accident?

    Attorneys search for evidence proving how and why your accident happened from multiple sources during our investigation. The applicable laws in your state will determine some of our parameters. Our search may include:

    • Speaking to witnesses: Although eyewitness accounts may differ, interviewing all available witnesses and compiling their observations provides invaluable information.
    • Examining photos and videos: With the growing prevalence of smartphones and video surveillance cameras, there is often footage of the accident as it happens. Many people also take photos at the accident scene. Both can provide crucial evidence.
    • Obtaining copies of police reports and medical records: Law enforcement officials responding to accidents must document lots of data pertaining to your accident, including their observations and conclusions. Medical records confirm your condition, diagnosis, treatments and progress. All this information serves as valuable evidence for your claim.
    • Tracing the at-fault party’s actions: With few options to prove unequivocally that the driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time of your accident, we can investigate what they were doing in the hours before the crash. We may uncover proof of marijuana use.
    • Recreating your accident: Without video footage, how an accident happened is sometimes unclear. If necessary, we will commission an accident reconstruction and use the results as proof in your case.

    Accident-specific circumstances may suggest other sources of evidence. Your attorney must prove that your degree of fault is minimal while gathering evidence that other parties bear the blame. Our thorough investigation will search every possible source to find the evidence we need.

    Can You Handle Your Claim Without an Attorney?

    You can file an insurance claim on your own. However, there are several potential challenges to successfully obtaining fair compensation. In addition, you need to focus your efforts on recovering from your injuries instead of navigating the claims process alone. You should consider hiring an experienced car accident lawyer for assistance for many reasons.

    Shared Fault

    More than one party shares the fault for many car accidents. Laws specific to each state govern who is eligible to seek compensation and how much they can obtain.

    Each party involved in an accident receives an assigned percentage of fault. If applicable laws allow you to file a claim, this percentage reduces your potential payout. For example, if your fault is 25%, the most you can recover is 75% of total damages.

    Ensuring that your assigned degree of fault is fair is one of the most important tasks your car accident lawyer performs. Hiring a local attorney means they know the state’s laws and legal requirements.

    Insurance Company Reluctance

    Insurance companies are not your friends. They do not want to pay more than minimal amounts of compensation, and they often use underhanded tactics and strategies to trick or discredit you.
    When you have legal representation, we can require that all communications from insurance companies come directly to us. We know how to combat their tactics, and we won’t let them take advantage of you.

    Higher Payouts

    Injured accident victims who have a competent car insurance lawyer on their side typically obtain significantly higher payouts than those who handle claims alone. We can:

    • Accurately assess your case’s monetary value
    • Gather evidence to support your claim
    • Hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf
    • Negotiate with insurance companies to recover the maximum compensation you deserve
    • File a civil lawsuit and take your case to trial if necessary

    An attorney’s knowledge, resources and experience can significantly increase your chance of obtaining a favorable outcome.

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