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Cannabis Consumption, Car Crashes, and Compensation

 Posted on July 19, 2022 in Blog Post

IL accident lawyerYou probably hear a lot about serious car wrecks caused by drunk drivers. It is very true that drunk drivers are startlingly common and incredibly dangerous. Drunk drivers are ten to fifteen times more likely than sober drivers to cause an accident. Drivers who are high on cannabis are less dangerous than drivers who are drunk, but they are still twice as likely to crash as sober drivers. Sometimes it is abundantly clear that the driver who just hit you is under the influence of marijuana. A disturbing amount of drivers are willing to risk actively smoking cannabis while they are behind the wheel. In other cases, it may be less clear that cannabis use was a factor in the crash. While cannabis itself may be perfectly legal in Illinois, driving while high is not. An attorney may be able to help you further investigate to determine whether the driver who hit you was high.

The Negligence Per Se Rule in Illinois

When a law is enacted for safety reasons, and a person breaks that law and causes exactly the type of harm the law was trying to prevent, they are automatically liable for the harm they caused. Driving while intoxicated is illegal because intoxicated drivers tend to cause car crashes and hurt people. If a person who is high on marijuana decides to drive anyway and hits you, they are automatically declared negligent. This rule is called “negligence per se,” and it serves as a shortcut to establishing liability.

Is There a Way to Measure Cannabis Intoxication?

Measuring whether a driver is under the influence of cannabis is not as easy as determining whether they are legally drunk. The rule in Illinois is that a driver is under the influence if they have more than ten nanograms of THC per milliliter of a bodily fluid such as urine or saliva, or more than five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. However, this test is designed for the purpose of issuing DUIs, not proving liability in a car accident.

If police do not arrest the driver, you may need to rely on less concrete evidence to show their intoxication. Things like the smell of cannabis, half-closed and red eyes, being unusually “giggly” after the accident, or an inability to focus on simple tasks such as providing insurance information may help. If you can find witnesses to support your observations, this can help.

Contact an Illinois Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured by an intoxicated driver, Quinn Law Group, LLC wants to help you recover compensation from this irresponsible individual. Our skilled Park Ridge car accident lawyers will leave no stone unturned in our investigation. Call 847-232-7180 to receive a free consultation.




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