Marijuana remains an illegal substance in the state of South Carolina, as S.C. Ann. Code §44-53-470 notes the various penalties that can come with possessing marijuana. Civil courts may therefore be inclined to see the presence of marijuana in the bloodstream of a motorist as a form of impairment. This may be true of an accident that you or a loved one were involved in.
If marijuana impairment was a factor in a collision causing injury to you or a loved one, then a Charleston marijuana use accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation about our services.
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Marijuana Could Impede Someone’s Driving Ability
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that, while it is difficult to gauge the direct effect of marijuana use on driving, it can have a negative effect on the skills you need to drive well. Some of the negative effects on driving behaviors caused by marijuana use include:
- Slowing your reaction time, which may be a factor in whether you brake or swerve in time to avoid an accident
- Impairing your decision-making process, which may lead you to make a choice resulting in an accident
- Harming your perception, which may include your ability to process vehicles, pedestrians, and objects on and near the road
- Negatively affecting your coordination, which is necessary to control a vehicle safely
- Impair your ability to solve problems
- Negatively affecting your memory
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states clearly that there is a correlation between the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, in your blood and impaired driving. The impairing nature of marijuana could mean that, if you are involved in an accident with somebody believed to be under the influence of marijuana, you could be entitled to compensation.
It Is Illegal to Drive While High in South Carolina
While the legal landscape involving marijuana is evolving in several states, the current law in South Carolina is clear. Per S.C. Ann. Code §56-5-2930, it is against the law to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs that impair your driving abilities.
Considering published findings on the capacity of marijuana to interfere with essential driving behaviors, an impaired driver may be considered to be at fault for your accident. You may know or suspect that the driver involved in your accident was under the influence of marijuana at the time of your collision if:
- They have bloodshot eyes but do not appear ostensibly drunk
- They smell of marijuana
- Police officers find marijuana on the person or in the vehicle of the person involved in your accident
- The driver performs poorly in a field sobriety test but does not show other signs of alcohol-caused impairment
- Blood tests show that the driver had levels of THC in their system at the time of the accident
- The driver admits to being under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident
If you have reason to believe that you or a loved one were injured or killed in an accident involving a driver under the influence of marijuana, then a Charleston marijuana use accident attorney can help you seek compensation for your losses. Call today for a free consultation regarding your accident.
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Seeking Compensation After a Motor Vehicle Collision
You may have several costs and other losses as the direct result of your collision. Some possible losses from your accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Time away from work for recovery, which could mean forfeiting your usual income
- The cost of rehabilitating your injury
- Pain and suffering caused by your accident and the losses caused by your accident
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Let Your Lawyer Help You Handle the Insurance Company
You may have more losses stemming from your collision, and the driver responsible for your accident may be accountable for some or all of said losses. The initial route that you pursue compensation through may be insurance. A marijuana use accident lawyer in Charleston can help you explore an insurance settlement by:
- Reviewing the policy status of the driver responsible for your accident
- Determining whether insurance coverage is sufficient for the losses that you have suffered
- Corresponding with insurance companies on your behalf
- Negotiating an insurance settlement on your behalf
There are several possible reasons why an insurance settlement may not be your path to compensation. You may believe that insurance is not a sufficient form of justice if a driver put you at risk of serious injury or death because they were impaired by marijuana. In any case, you may prove to bring a lawsuit rather than settle for an insurance payment.
Bringing a Lawsuit After a Marijuana-Related Accident
A lawyer can head your lawsuit should you choose to bring one. Some of the steps that a lawyer will take to obtain justice through a lawsuit include:
- Collecting and organizing evidence that the driver in question was under the influence of marijuana at the time of your accident
- Documenting your injuries
- Documenting your non-injury losses
- Consulting experts and witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Handling all administrative aspects of your lawsuit
- Negotiating a settlement
- Completing a trial if necessary
Your lawyer will defend your rights and take much of the responsibility for your lawsuit off of you. Their goal will be to obtain the compensation that you deserve for a marijuana-related accident.
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Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today
A marijuana use accident attorney in Charleston will help you seek compensation through the route you deem most appropriate. Contact the team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation about seeking awards after a marijuana-related accident.
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