Marijuana Related Car Accidents
What to Do for Marijuana-Related Car Accidents
Getting into a car accident while under the influence is no laughing matter. Unfortunately, human beings are not perfect, and our ability to make wise choices can be easily impaired by alcohol or drugs. While we sometimes wish we could turn back time, it isn’t possible. Instead, finding reliable Tempe Marijuana Accident Attorneys to help navigate your tricky circumstances is your smartest option moving forward. But what about marijuana?
Recreational marijuana became legal in Arizona on November 30, 2020, with state-licensed sales of the product starting on January 22, 2021. This law change has also affected law enforcement’s other aspects, including driving under the influence.
For now, Arizona considers driving while under the influence of marijuana the same as driving while under the influence of alcohol, in the legal sense. In other words, a person can just as easily get a DUI for marijuana intoxication as they can for alcohol intoxication.
Where the difference comes in is police officers’ ability to test intoxication levels. There is no simple Breathalyzer test for marijuana, and traces of the drug can stay in a person’s system for days while not affecting their abilities. Currently, the only way for law enforcement to test someone for marijuana intoxication levels is through a blood sample. And while some police officers are medically trained to draw blood, most are not.
All of this has created a gray area when it comes to marijuana-related car accidents. Because many questions cannot quickly be answered in this domain, law enforcement and the courts are treating marijuana the same as alcohol.
That means if someone is found to be at fault for a car accident, and they were driving under the influence of marijuana, they could be facing the same DUI charges as an alcohol-related accident. If found guilty, they could face jail time, fines, and a suspension of their driving license.
Suppose you are in a marijuana-related car accident and are not at fault. In that case, you may need to consider hiring Chandler car accident attorneys to defend you in a personal injury case and to ensure the at-fault driver’s insurance company covers all of your expenses.
No matter the cause of a car accident, your initial response should always be the same. It’s important to call the police, especially if it’s suspected that someone was driving under the influence. Suppose there are signs of a driver having used marijuana, such as specific smells, seeing smoke, or noticing drug paraphernalia. In that case, it is also essential to share that with the police so they can properly investigate. After calling 911, other helpful steps include taking photos and videos of the vehicles’ involved, checking for injuries, getting the other drivers insurance information and drivers license, and get any witness information, including names and addresses. Also, it is critical to get the medical attention you need quickly after the accident. Other helpful steps include taking photos of the accident if possible and calling your insurance company to report the accident, even if you weren’t at fault.
If you are in a car accident because of someone else driving under the influence, it’s a wise decision to find Tempe car accident attorneys to support your case. Navigating the legal system and all it requires can be overwhelming, especially if you are still recovering from injuries caused by the accident.
Even though the driver was under the influence of marijuana, which is now legal to use recreationally in the state of Arizona, you are still entitled to file a claim or sue for damages, both economic and non-economic ones. Aside from proving up liability, another challenge is providing the proper evidence to show the driver was, under the influence of marijuana.
Securing the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney for a marijuana-related car accident best situates you as a claimant to show how you should be compensated for your losses. Not that recreational marijuana use is legal in Arizona, but demonstrating it was used in an illegal fashion, such as driving while under it’s influence, becomes even more vital in cases that might go to court.
At Escamilla Law Group, we have experienced car accident attorneys who can help with your marijuana-related accident road case. Plus, we won’t expect any payment from you unless we take on your case and win. Reach out to Escamilla Law using our online contact form at any time to learn more about how we can assist you.