When we think of impaired driving, driving under the influence of alcohol generally comes to mind, but motorists who are under the influence of marijuana represent another significant concern. It is more difficult to identify motorists who are high, which makes accurate statistics more difficult to come by. What we do know with clarity, however, is that the problem is on the rise. If you have been injured by a motorist who is high, drunk, or both, it’s time to consult with an experienced Texas vehicle crash attorney.
What’s In This Guide
- Driving while High Statistics
- Impaired Drivers Are Dangerous Drivers
- Your Car Accident Claim
- How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Driving while High Statistics
According to USA TODAY, people’s increasingly relaxed views about and acceptance of marijuana – coupled with its ready availability – has increased the number of drivers on our roads who are under the influence of marijuana. In their research culled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA TODAY found all of the following:
- In a four-year span, the number of motorists who acknowledged driving while under the influence of marijuana shot up by 47 percent.
- In 2014, 3.2 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 acknowledged driving while under the influence of marijuana, while in 2018, this percentage had risen to 4.7 percent, which translates to 12 million motorists.
- CDC finds that motorists who use marijuana in one form or another are 25 percent more likely to be involved in traffic accidents than those who do not.
- The National Conference on State Legislatures reports that, while there is a downward trend in the number of drivers who are impaired by alcohol (from 1973 to 2013/2014), the number of drivers testing positive for marijuana rose from 8.6 percent in 2007 to 12.6 percent in 2014.
- Drug use among drivers who were fatally injured in car accidents and who also tested positive for any kind of illicit drug rocketed from 25 percent in 2007 to 42 percent in 2016, and in this same timeframe, the presence of marijuana more than doubled.
These numbers do not come close to comparing with the number of motorists who drive while under the influence of alcohol, but the trend upward is seen as concerning.
Impaired Drivers Are Dangerous Drivers
According to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), both alcohol and marijuana significantly impair driving skills, but the effects of marijuana are more varied in relation to all the following:
- Different methods of usage
- Different levels of absorption of THC (the active ingredient)
While alcohol is more likely to affect more complex driving tasks that require conscious control, marijuana is more likely to affect those driving functions that are more highly automatic. Any kind of impairment behind the wheel, however, is an exceptionally dangerous proposition. Driving is an immense responsibility that requires motorists to be alert and responsive, and both alcohol and marijuana interfere with this responsibility.
Your Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured by an impaired motorist, you face a difficult path forward, which includes crafting a strong claim that outlines the losses you’ve experienced as a result of the other driver’s negligence and negotiating fair compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Even a relatively minor car accident can lead to expansive physical, financial, and psychological losses that begin with property damage to your car and grow exponentially from there.
The medical bills associated with a car accident are likely to be high right from the beginning, and if your injuries are serious, you will be facing ongoing costs. When complications or secondary health concerns arise, the expenses are that much more daunting.
Recovering from the injuries you’ve sustained can be a lengthy process, and while you make your way through, you will very likely also experience an attendant loss in earnings. If your injuries affect your ability to continue doing your job or affect the advancement of your career, your losses will be even more considerable. The close connection between how we view ourselves in the world and our career development can also lead to significant emotional losses.
Pain and Suffering
While your financial losses are fairly easy to tally, the matter is much more complicated when it comes to your physical and emotional pain and suffering. These losses, however, can have a profound effect on your life moving forward and should not be overlooked.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
The best way to help ensure your most complete recovery is by protecting your claim from the outset, and the best way to do that is by working with an experienced car accident attorney. Your seasoned car accident attorney will ably take on all the following critical tasks in defense of your legal rights:
- Ensuring that you have all the evidence available, including any eyewitness testimony
- Hiring expert witnesses and having accident models created in support of your unique claim
- Communicating with the insurance company for you and skillfully negotiating with the insurance company for a settlement that fairly addresses your complete loses.
- Preparing for trial along the way (in the event that the insurance company does not engage in fair negotiations)
- Helping you understand the claims process and helping you make decisions that support your best interests throughout the process
Having an experienced car accident attorney in your corner can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.
Consult with an Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured by a motorist who was impaired by marijuana, protecting your rights and your rightful compensation is paramount. The capable car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm have ample experience successfully guiding claims like yours toward beneficial resolutions that honor our clients’ best interests, and we are here for you too. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 361-400-2036 for more information today.