Drunk driving can result in serious car accidents, and using marijuana can result in severe collisions. What happens when a motorist combines the two substances and gets behind the wheel? According to a recent article in Psychology Today, extremely severe crashes can result. Anyone who has been injured in a serious car accident in South Florida should get in touch with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer to learn about options for filing a claim.
Combined Use of Alcohol and Cannabis Results in a Higher Rate of Deadly Crashes
As the article in Psychology Today emphasizes, most motorists in Florida and across the country know that it is dangerous to drive a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol, and that it can be dangerous to drive after using marijuana. Yet studies are just beginning to catch up that explore the combined use of alcohol and cannabis, especially as more states are decriminalizing and legalizing recreational marijuana. When motorists use alcohol and cannabis, the rate of fatal accidents tends to increase.
Indeed, according to the article, one recent study showed that “the odds of a fatal accident increased 2.3 times for cannabis alone, 9.4 for alcohol alone, and 14.1 for the alcohol-cannabis combination.” Driving simulators appear to have confirmed that conclusion, showing that “the risk from driving under the influence of both alcohol and cannabis is greater than risk of driving under the influence of either alone.” Why is the combination so much more dangerous? The answer may concern the ways in which the different substances affect the body, ultimately producing differing “patterns of impairment” that affect a driver’s alertness, consciousness, and ability to focus.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Driver Impaired By Alcohol and Cannabis?
If you or somebody you love got hurt in a Florida car crash caused by an impaired driver, you might be wondering if you can be eligible to file a lawsuit.
While personal injury protection (PIP) coverage under Florida no-fault law can allow an injured person to obtain compensation for medical bills and other financial losses, PIP coverage is often insufficient to compensate a person for all of the losses they suffer in a severe crash. In particular, devastating collisions involving a driver impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs can lead to debilitating and life-threatening injuries that require additional compensation beyond what no-fault insurance can provide.
Generally speaking, you may be able to file a car accident lawsuit against the impaired driver if you meet the serious injury threshold in Florida. To meet that threshold, your injuries must be severe enough that they significantly affect your life or have resulted in permanent disabilities. A lawyer at our firm can assess your circumstances and can help you determine your eligibility for filing a car accident lawsuit.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in West Palm Beach
Were you injured by a drunk or drugged driver in West Palm Beach? Our South Florida car accident lawyers can provide you with more information about seeking compensation. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC to learn more about how we can assist you.