Many people who voted ‘no’ on recent attempts to legalize recreational marijuana usage in their home states did so out of concern that “high” drivers would cause more car accidents. A recent Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study seems to confirm those fears.
The study looked into motor vehicle accident reports from Colorado, Oregon, and Washington collected after each state legalized marijuana usage in small amounts. In particular, it studies non-fatal car accident rates and compared them to states with similar populations that chose not to legalize marijuana. Researchers concluded that there was an unexpected 3% rise in the number of collisions in those three states, which could be attributed to marijuana use. It is worth noting that the study did not conclude that any of the crash data it collected was verified to have been caused by a driver impaired by marijuana.
HLDI researchers also focused on Colorado’s crash statistics. Colorado has had legal marijuana and cannabis laws for longer than any other state in the country. Interestingly, it found that it has had the largest steady increase in non-fatal car accidents throughout recent years, compared to Washington and Oregon. Once again, the data could not be directly linked to crash reports that cited drug use as the cause.
(For more information about this study and its conclusions, you can click here to read a full article posted by CNBC.)
Collecting Evidence of Drug Use for Your Car Accident Claim
The HLDI study inadvertently highlights but does not speak about an important aspect of car accidents caused by drivers impaired by drugs and marijuana: the difficulty of proving that impairment. It is one thing to have reasonable suspicion that the other driver in your car accident was impaired, but it is something else altogether to be able to back that suspicion with convincing evidence. If you want to receive maximum compensation for your injuries and damages after being struck by a drug-impaired driver, you will need some proof, such as police reports.
Sico Hoelscher Harris & Braugh LLP and our Corpus Christi personal injury lawyers can assist you with managing a car accident claim, including the proper use of circumstantial evidence that shows the other driver had been using marijuana shortly before the crash. With the right argument and our support and guidance, an insurance adjuster or judge may place total liability on the impaired driver. Contact our firm at your first opportunity to learn more about what to do next for your claim and how we can help.