A deadly crash last week claimed the life of one person in Madera Ranchos. The traffic accident was caused by a driver running a stop sign and colliding with another vehicle according to a report by ABC30 News.

The driver of an SUV ignored a stop sign before colliding with another vehicle that was stopped at the intersection. The driver of the other vehicle was killed in the collision. According to the report, the driver of the SUV that caused the accident was transported to the hospital and arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. The driver faces multiple charges related to the accident.

Marijuana-Related Traffic Accidents

Drugged or buzzed driving is illegal. Many people do not think about drugged driving in the same way they do drunk driving. It is well established that driving under the influence of alcohol increases your risk of causing a traffic accident. However, reports show that driving under the influence of marijuana can be just as deadly as drunk driving.

A 2015 report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area reported that during 2014, the pot-related traffic deaths increased by 32 percent in Colorado.  This is the same year that Colorado allowed retail stores to sell marijuana for adult recreational use. Research conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that fatal traffic accidents in Washington involving drivers under the influence of marijuana doubled after the state legalized marijuana for recreational use. In addition, a study conducted by The Highway Loss Data Institute showed that collision claims in Oregon, Colorado, and Washington increased by 2.7 percent in the years since those states legalized marijuana.

Holding Drugged Drivers Responsible for Damages

AAA Foundation reports that setting legal limits for marijuana-related traffic accidents can be difficult for several reasons:

  • A lack of evidence confirming that drivers become impaired at a specific level of marijuana use;
  • THC levels can drop below a legal limit before a test can be administered to a suspected drugged driver; and,
  • Because marijuana can affect people in diverse ways, writing laws and guidelines that are universal and fair to everyone is challenging.

However, just because it is challenging does not mean we should not continue to explore the question. Drugged driving injuries and kills thousands of people each year in the United States. A driver who is impaired by drugs must be held accountable for his or her actions, both in the criminal court and in the civil court.

If a drugged driver injures you, you have the right to be compensated for your losses. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, physical pain, property damage, emotional suffering, and other losses. However, you must prove the driver caused the collision, and the crash resulted in your injuries and damages.

Proving a driver was impaired by marijuana a the time of the crash is a factor; however, you must prove that the driver “caused” the crash. For this reason, you should contact an experienced Central California Valley car accident attorney to discuss your case. Do not rely on the fact that the driver received a traffic citation for drugged driving. If the insurance adjuster for that driver believes he can put the blame, or some of the blame, on you, then your claim could be denied.

Central California Valley Marijuana Accident Attorneys

Call Torem & Associates by telephone at 1-800-954-4444 for a free legal consultation with a California marijuana accident attorney. You may also contact our office by using the contact form on our website to request more information or schedule a free appointment with an accident attorney.

Source: Driver causes deadly crash after blowing stop sign in Madera Ranchos, police say,” ABC30 News, July 15, 2017