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A drugged driver can be a negligent driver

Massachusetts motorists are well aware of the dangers posed by drunk driving. A drunk driver can have difficulty maintaining his or her lane, yielding to pedestrians and trouble perceiving distances. These issues can result in an injurious or fatal car accident that leaves a victim or his or her family with significant physical, emotional and financial losses. Although a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver may lead to the recovery of compensation, some Massachusetts residents may find themselves wondering if the same rules apply to those who drive under the influence of drugs.

The answer is simple: yes. The only difference is that it may be more difficult to prove that an individual was under the influence of drugs at the time of an accident. There are no Breathalyzers for marijuana use, for example, so obtaining evidence may require extra work, including obtaining the results of a blood test, if possible. But how dangerous is driving while under the influence of drugs?

To serve as an example, we will briefly look at driving while under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana can impair many abilities, including judgment, motor coordination and the time it takes for one to react. However, it can be challenging to decipher exactly how much of an impact marijuana can have on one's driving abilities, as THC can remain in one's blood stream for days after consumption.

So what does this mean for those injured in an accident caused by a drugged driver? It means they need to work harder to prove negligence and causation. Fortunately, experienced attorneys may be able to help these victims navigate the legal waterways and find evidence to support their claim. It may take additional medical evidence, but proving that a car accident was caused by drug intoxication is possible.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, "Does marijuana use affect driving?" accessed on Jan. 27, 2017

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