The legalization of marijuana is a hot-button topic in the political arena. Numerous states have legalized marijuana use and reformed related laws, and Kentucky is debating the issue. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the implications it may have beyond the medical and judicial spheres. One of these places is the road. Here is what you need to know about the relation between marijuana and car accidents, and how it affects you as a driver.
Driving under the influence of marijuana
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is the second most common drug present in drivers who crash (alcohol is the first). When drivers intake other drugs alongside marijuana, the risk of getting into an accident significantly increases. However, it is unclear what the risk is with just marijuana alone.
Often, drivers responsible for crashes have multiples drugs in their bloodstream, especially alcohol, making it difficult for law enforcement to determine which substance is responsible or what role each played in the accident. Sometimes there are no further drug tests if the driver has a high enough blood alcohol level for a DUI conviction, and there is no good-quality roadside test for drugs besides alcohol anyway.
Protecting yourself in the event of an accident
Whether or not Kentucky decides to legalize marijuana, you need to know how to protect yourself if you get into a crash with a drugged driver. The first thing to do before you worry about insurance or car repairs is to get medical treatment so your chances of recovering are greater. Also, this allows for immediate and accurate documentation of your injuries, which is vital for a legal case.
The next step is to consult a personal injury attorney who can help you in dealing with the auto insurance companies. You do not have to accept the settlements they offer you. You have the right to get the financial compensation required to pay for medical bills and lost wages. An experienced attorney can help you with:
- Filing the claims
- Determining an appropriate settlement
- Offering guidance if the other party was uninsured or underinsured
You do not need to worry that you will be suing the other driver. Rather, you are holding the driver’s insurance provider responsible for reimbursing the costs of the accident as per the driver’s policy. Law enforcement and the courts will decide what happens to the drugged driver. You only need to focus on your financial situation with the help of your legal representative.