What happens if you get in a car accident with a marijuana user? As the push to legalize cannabis continues across the nation, some are concerned about drivers behind the wheel while under its influence. After all, certain cannabis products can dull the senses and slow reaction times, so it is unwise (and illegal) to get behind the wheel when using them. On the other hand, some cannabis derivatives, such as CBD, claim to have no psychoactive effect. Medical marijuana has been available in the state since 2016, yet some say the laws have not kept up with the times.
However you feel about marijuana, medical marijuana and Ohio’s OVI laws, they could have an effect on your personal injury case.
What Constitutes ‘Under the Influence’ When it Comes to Marijuana?
Ohio Rev. Code Section 4511.19(A)(1)(j)(vii) says that if a driver has “a concentration of marijuana in the person’s urine of at least ten nanograms of marijuana per milliliter of the person’s urine or has a concentration of marijuana in the person’s whole blood or blood serum or plasma of at least two nanograms of marijuana per milliliter of the person’s whole blood or blood serum or plasma,” they are considered to be driving under the influence.
However, some criminal defense attorneys point out that Ohio’s method of testing for marijuana means that every medical marijuana patient will likely be over the limit—no matter when they last used cannabis, and even if it was used according to medical advice.
How an OVI Charge Affects Your Personal Injury Suit
OVI charges are criminal charges, while car accident lawsuits are civil cases. However, if the driver who hit you is convicted of an OVI, that could go a long way toward establishing fault. Typically, when you’re hit by someone under the influence, you and your attorney will file a claim against their insurance. A pending OVI charge can encourage them to settle quickly. However, if the settlement offer is too low to cover your expenses—past, present and future—your attorney may encourage you to file a civil lawsuit.
Keep in mind that an OVI charge for driving under the influence of marijuana may not guarantee your civil suit is a slam dunk, especially as marijuana laws change. The state government may refine their OVI standards, making it easier for defendants to prove they were not impaired while driving. However, you should still file a claim to recover appropriate compensation.
Discuss Your Case with an Ohio Accident Attorney Today
Have you been injured due to someone driving under the influence? I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.944.4373 today to find out who we can hold responsible for your pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills and more.