While federal and state laws conflict when it comes to the lawful use and possession of marijuana in California, drivers in the state should be aware that, like alcohol, marijuana can affect one’s ability to drive. This was evidenced by one recent case. There, a deadly car accident occurred on a state highway that left one victim dead and a driver arrested for causing the preventable tragedy.
The victim, a 20-year-old man, crashed into a concrete divide on Highway 180 and the incident disabled his vehicle. When it came to a stop on the highway, the man got out of his car. While outside of his vehicle, another vehicle driven by a 23-year-old woman collided with him and his car. The impact of the secondary crash killed the man.
Investigators discovered that the driver of the second vehicle was under the influence of marijuana when she hit the victim and his disabled vehicle. She was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and other crimes. Law enforcement officials are educated on how to tell whether drivers are affected by drugs and alcohol and how to recognize the difference between the different types of impairment.
The loved ones of the victim in this story will never again enjoy his company and will never witness the accomplishments he was set to achieve in his life. The potential criminal liability of the responsible driver, however, may not preclude them from seeking compensation for the loss of their loved one. Wrongful death claims based on personal injury events like car accidents can often serve as the grounds for the recovery of victims’ damages.