In a report released in October of last year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found an increase in the number of car accidents after states legalized the use of marijuana. While the use of marijuana isn’t legal in the state of Georgia, the report is an important reminder that impaired driving isn’t limited to people who have been drinking. As public sentiment becomes more lenient toward the use of marijuana and leads to further legalization, we need to recognize its effects on people when they get behind the wheel. Marijuana not only impairs the user’s judgment and perception, but it also slows reaction time and reduces coordination. Driving while impaired can lead to serious car accidents that result in severe injury and even death.
Criminal Charges vs. a Civil Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone who was driving while high, the other driver is most likely facing criminal charges. However, it’s important to understand what those charges mean for you. While it’s satisfying to think that the other driver may go to jail, you should realize that the criminal charges may not result in compensation to you for your injuries. The court can order restitution, but this isn’t guaranteed, and it’s up to the court to determine how much to award.