Recreational marijuana is legal in California. Proposition 64 become effective on January 1, 2018. Even though a person may legally use recreational marijuana, driving under the influence of cannabis remains illegal. A person can face serious criminal penalties for drugged driving or driving under the influence of marijuana. However, can a person be held liable for injuries caused by a drugged driving accident if the person legally ingested the cannabis?
Does Marijuana Affect Driving Abilities?
Some studies suggest the use of marijuana by drivers increases the risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents.[i] Laboratory tests and driving studies revealed that cannabis could impair a person’s driving-related skills, but the studies are not conclusive.[ii]
The fact that there was an increase in injuries and arrests related to driving under the influence of marijuana during the first nine months following the legalization of recreational cannabis seems to support the research.[iii] According to the CHP, arrests for driving under the influence of marijuana increased by 31 percent. Injuries related to drivers operating vehicles under the influence of marijuana increased by 102 percent.
Can I Sue a Person for Damages for Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis?
Yes, you can sue a driver who causes a traffic accident while driving under the influence of cannabis. You must prove that the driver caused the crash to hold the driver responsible for your financial damages and non-economic damages. The fact that the driver was charged with a crime is a factor, but it is not the only factor in proving liability. For example, did the driver cross the center line, fail to yield the right of way, or rear-ended your vehicle? Once you establish that the driver caused the crash, you can seek compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.
In a drugged driving accident case, you may receive compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability and impairment
- Other out-of-pocket losses and expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
Even though the driver was under the influence of cannabis at the time of the crash, the driver’s liability insurance should still pay if the driver caused the crash. The insurance company may deny the claim or attempt to undervalue the claim. A Sacramento drugged driving accident attorney can be a huge asset as you fight to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for More Information
Our California drugged driving accident lawyers have experience handling cases involving drivers who caused a traffic accident while under the influence of drugs. Our legal team investigates the accident to determine fault and gathers evidence to prove the drugged driver is responsible for your damages.
contact The Tiemann Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of
our lawyers by calling (916) 999-9000
or by visiting our website.
[i] Mu-Chen Li, Joanne E. Brady, Charles J. DiMaggio, Arielle R. Lusardi, Keane Y. Tzong, Guohua Li, Marijuana Use and Motor Vehicle Crashes, Epidemiologic Reviews, Volume 34, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 65–72, https://doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxr017
[ii] Sewell, R Andrew et al. “The effect of cannabis compared with alcohol on driving.” The American journal on addictions vol. 18,3 (2009): 185-93. doi:10.1080/10550490902786934, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/
[iii] CHP hosts summit on cannabis traffic safety as DUI arrests, injuries rise. ABC7News. Matt Keller. https://abc7news.com/chp-hosts-summit-on-cannabis-traffic-safety-as-dui-arrests-rise/4068487/
The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are called the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers. During 2016, an average of 10 individuals was killed each day in traffic accidents involving teen drivers. The number of traffic deaths during this period is 14 percent higher than the rest of the year. As we begin the 100 Deadliest Days, it is important for parents to review safe driving behaviors with their teen drivers and take steps to reduce the risk of their teen driver being involved in a traffic accident.
Review of Safe Driving Behaviors for Teen Drivers
Some topics that parents may need to review with their teen drivers before summer begins include:
Teen drivers are easily distracted by cell phones, passengers, eating, grooming, and number other distractions. Parents should review the dangers of distracted driving, common types of distractions, and how to avoid distractions while driving. AAA has several distracted driving videos that parents may want to watch with their teen drivers and discuss the information in the videos.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Speeding and reckless driving are extremely dangerous driving behaviors. In addition to receiving a traffic ticket with a large fine, a teen driver can cause a serious traffic accident. Parents may want to explain how speed increases the risk of traumatic injuries and deaths.
Driving Under the Influence
Teenagers are under an immense amount of pressure to fit in with their peers. In some cases, this pressure might include drinking. On average, 30 people die in DUI-related accidents each day in the United States. Parents can use the information provided by the NHTSA on its website to begin a conversation about drunk driving with their teen drivers. In addition to discussing the risk of a drunk driving accident, parents should also review the criminal penalties for a DUI.
Driving at Night and on Interstates
Driving at night and on busy roads, such as interstates, can increase the risk of teen driving accidents. Teen drivers typically do not have enough experience driving at night or in extremely busy traffic at higher rates of speed. The lack of experience can result in a traffic accident.
What Can Parents Do to Decrease the Risk of Teen Driving Accidents?
Each parent must decide how he or she wants to approach the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers. Some suggestions that parents might find helpful include:
- Using apps that cut cell phones off when the teenager is driving. Teenagers under the age of 18 years cannot use any electronic device while driving, including a hands-free device.
- Limit the number of passengers who may ride in the vehicle at any given time. Limiting passenger also limits distractions.
- Limit nighttime driving and driving on interstates. Practice driving under various situations and conditions to help your teen driver to gain more experience.
- Driving apps can monitor a vehicle’s speed and other movements. A parent can monitor how fast the teenager is driving to determine if the parent needs to act to prevent continued risky driving behaviors.
- Make sure that teenagers know they can call for a ride without any questions. Even if your teenager does not drink, he or she may be in a situation in which another person has been drinking. Your teenager needs to know you are a safety net.
Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
If your teenager is injured in an accident, please call The Tiemann Law Firm for a free consultation at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.
Boating is a popular form of recreation and relaxation in California. Residents enjoy California’s lakes, rivers, and beaches. It is understandable when you see the beauty of our bodies of water why so many people would want to spend time on the water. However, accidental injuries are possible when operating a boat or other water vessel. Below are several boating safety tips that can help reduce the risk of a boating injury.
Obtain Your California Boater Card
As of January 1, 2019, persons 25 years of age or younger are required to obtain and carry a boater card to operate certain water vessels in California. Each year, additional age groups are added on January 1 for the boater card requirement until all individuals are required to carry a boater card by January 1, 2025. As a requirement to obtain your card, you must complete a boating safety course. Even though you may not be required to carry a boater card yet, it is a good idea to apply for your card because taking a boating safety course teaches important skills and safety tips that reduce the risk of boating injuries.
Inspect Your Boat Before Each Outing
Always conduct a pre-departure check to ensure that your boat is in good working order. If there is a problem, do not take your boat onto the water. Discover Boating has a printable version of its pre-departure checklist available on its website.
Always Check the Weather
Before leaving the dock, check the weather conditions. Make sure you have a weather radio on your boat and sign up for weather alerts on your cell phone. If you notice clouds, high winds, or changing weather conditions, it is best to head to the dock and get off the water.
Never Drink and Boat
Boating DUI is against the law. It is also dangerous and potentially deadly. No one should operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Obey All Boating Laws
Speeding, reckless driving, and other infractions of boating laws can lead to accidents on the water. Boat operators should be aware of the boating laws in California and obey those laws at all times. In addition to putting yourself and others at risk, you could also receive a costly fine for breaking boating laws.
Designate a Lookout
A boat operator must remain alert at all times. Distracted boating is a serious problem that results in tragic accidents. However, an operator should have a designated lookout who also watches for dangers and hazards on the water.
Be Careful in the Water
Do not allow passengers to swim near the motor, even when the boat is off. If you are going to get into the water, turn the boat off to avoid an accident. Always monitor passengers who are in the water for signs of distress. Everyone should wear a life jacket when in the water, water-skiing, or tubing, even if they are strong swimmers.
Contact a California Boating Injury Attorney
If you are injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A thorough investigation of the incident is required to identify the cause of your injuries and identify the responsible parties. Our Sacramento boating injury attorneys understand laws related to boating accidents and injuries.
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm for a free consultation with a California boating injury lawyer by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury in Sacramento and throughout the United States. Each year, thousands of people in our area are injured in automobile accidents. We often discuss the long-term consequences of a car accident and how to protect your rights. However, it is also important to discuss how to keep yourself safe immediately following a car crash.
Be Careful if You Must Get Out of Your Vehicle
Some people are injured because they exit their vehicles in heavy traffic. If you are in an accident on a busy road, you may want to avoid getting out of your vehicle unless it is unsafe to remain in your car. Passing vehicles can pose a significant threat, especially when traffic is moving at high rates of speed. A driver may not stop in time to avoid a collision with vehicles that are already stopped for the accident.
Move to a Save Location When Possible
In most cases, it is advised to pull to a safe location on the side of the road if possible. However, you must use your own judgment to do what is best to keep yourself and others safe depending on the conditions at the time of the crash. If you are on the side of the road, stay in your vehicle if it is safe to do so. Otherwise, move as far away from traffic as safely possible.
Trust Yourself About Your Pain and Limits
If you feel something is wrong, it may be best to stay where you are until help arrives. Moving after an accident could cause injuries to become worse. Pay close attention to your pain and do not attempt to push yourself beyond your limits. Call for help and wait for help to arrive.
See a Doctor After an Accident
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, it is usually best to have a physical after an accident. If you continue to experience pain or stiffness a few days after an accident, you need to discuss your symptoms with a doctor to determine if you have sustained an injury in the car crash.
Protecting Your Legal Rights After a Car Crash
After you take care of your physical needs, it is time to take care of the legal aspects of a car crash. If another driver caused the crash, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. An insurance adjuster may approach you to discuss the claim and may even offer to settle the claim.
To protect your legal rights, you can discuss your case with a Sacramento car accident attorney during a free consultation. The attorney can review the facts in your case and advise you of your legal rights and the steps you should take to increase your chance of receiving a full and fair settlement for your claim.
Call a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
Alcohol-impaired driving accidents caused hundreds of thousands of injuries and deaths each year in the United States. In 2017, DUI accidents resulted in 10,874 fatalities, which totaled 29 percent of all traffic deaths that year. California had the second highest number of fatalities related to DUI accidents in 2017 (1,120 deaths).
If you or a family member has been injured in a DUI accident, there are some very important things that you should know about DUI accident claims.
DUI Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
In many cases, the occupants of the other vehicle or the passengers of the drunk driver sustained traumatic and life-threatening injuries in a DUI accident. Some of the injuries sustained in a drunk driving crash can result in long-term consequences for the accident victims, including ongoing medical care and substantial lost wages.
Common injuries sustained by accident victims in a DUI accident include:
- Brain and head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries, including complete and partial paralysis
- Amputation of one or more limbs
- Severe burns, scarring, and disfigurement
- Broken bones and fractures
- Damages to internal organs
- Neck and back injuries
- PTSD and other emotional disorders
Drunk Driving is a Crime
Driving under the influence of alcohol in California is a crime. Drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher are assumed to be too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle safely. A driver can be charged with DUI even though his or her BAC is below .08 if the police officer determines that the driver was impaired by alcohol.
However, a DUI charge and a civil claim for a car accident are two separate matters. A driver does not need to be convicted of a DUI to be held liable for damages caused by a DUI accident. Likewise, a driver can be guilty of DUI but not held liable for damages caused by the accident.
Investigating DUI Accidents
You must prove that the driver caused the accident to recover damages for your injuries and losses. The fact that the driver was drunk may be an element of the case, but you must still show that the driver did something to cause the crash. For example, the driver crossed the center line causing a head-on collision, or the driver turned left in front of your vehicle when you had the right of way.
A Sacramento DUI accident attorney can investigate the crash to determine the cause of the crash and gather evidence to prove that the drunk driver was responsible for causing the accident. Your attorney can also help you document your injuries and damages, so that you can maximize the chance you receive full compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Sacramento DUI Accidents Attorney for Help
You may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, pain, suffering, and other damages. Our Sacramento DUI accident attorneys are here to help you as you struggle to recover from injuries caused by a drunk driver.