Weed, Car Crashes and Wrongful Death
The marijuana industry reached $9.7 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow to $57 billion by 2027. Eight states and the District of Columbia have now joined Colorado in legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, and medical marijuana is legal now in more than half of the states in the union.
The number of car crashes involving marijuana use across the nation is on the rise as is the amount of marijuana they seem to be using.
While the jury is out whether legalization of marijuana leads to more use and, in turn, more deadly accidents, according to federal and state data, the number of drivers involved in fatal car crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has doubled since 2013. Recreational use of marijuana became legal in Colorado in December 2012, and in January 1, 2014, sales of marijuana to anyone over 21 became legal. In addition, data show that among the drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana, a significant number had used levels five times the amount allowed under the law.
What Can You Do if a Loved One Dies in a Stoned Driver Accident?
The impaired driver who is responsible for an accident where fatalities occurred can be held liable for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, regardless of whether the substance was taken legally or not.
Close family members, like parents of minor children, spouses, and children who lost their parents, can bring a wrongful death lawsuit, as can others if they were receiving financial support from the deceased. It is up to the survivors to show that the stoned driver performed a negligent, wrong or illegal act and that this act was a direct cause of death.
Showing the link between marijuana intake and a fatal accident can be more challenging than in cases of DUI involving alcohol where the driver tested at a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. There is no set limit for how much marijuana in a person’s system constitutes impairment, even though a jury can presume that the driver was DUI of marijuana if a DUI chemical test showed 5 nanograms or more of THC per milliliter in their blood. There are a variety of factors that can go into showing that the driver was stoned and that the driver’s actions were a direct cause of the fatality.
How a Colorado Springs Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
If you suspect that a loved one was killed in a car accident by a stoned driver, you should call a Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney to assess your case. An experienced accident attorney can prove your wrongful death case by investigating the accident, gathering evidence, consulting with experts, and interviewing witnesses.
While it is impossible to put a price on your loved one’s life, an experienced wrongful death lawyer can also help to make sure you and your family are fully compensated for your loss. Not only will your attorney advocate for compensation for damages like loss of income, but he or she can also help you recover for other damages, like loss of companionship.
For a free consultation about your case, please call the attorneys at Levine Law at 719-471-3000 or contact us online.