Skip to main content

Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the US. According to the results of the 2019 National Survey, about 18% of Americans, or 48.2 million people, used it at least once in 2019. Smoking marijuana has been shown to affect a number of driving-related skills. Laboratory, simulator, and instrumented vehicle studies have shown that marijuana can impair critical abilities necessary for safe driving.

It is important to note that while recreational marijuana is legal in Missouri, driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal and can result in criminal charges. This means that individuals who are involved in accidents or injuries while under the influence of marijuana may face legal consequences in addition to any civil liability for damages or injuries.

Legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Missouri could have an effect on some personal injury cases, especially if someone gets hurt because someone else was using marijuana when the accident happened. The following elements should be considered to see the effect:

II. Negligence and Marijuana Use in Personal Injury Cases

The plaintiff usually has to show that the defendant was negligent and that this led to the plaintiff getting hurt. If the defendant was high on marijuana at the time of the car accident, it may be possible to show that they were careless and that their carelessness caused the plaintiff to get hurt.

Marijuana use can affect a person’s ability to think and move, making it hard for them to drive, use equipment safely, or take part in physical activities without putting themselves or others in danger. So, if someone gets into an accident or hurts themselves while high on marijuana, they could be held responsible for the damages or injuries they cause.

III. Admissibility of Evidence

Although recreational marijuana is legal in Missouri, it is still illegal under federal law. This could potentially impact how personal injury cases involving marijuana use are handled in Missouri, particularly if there are questions about the admissibility of evidence related to marijuana intoxication.

Cannabis Metabolites: THC, short for its chemical name (tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid), shows up in the blood after being metabolized by the liver and can be measured in the blood.

The problem is that although cannabinoid metabolites establish use, even habitual use, they cannot establish intoxication or establish whether the person is impaired at the time of the injury.

Here, medical science has not caught up to the social decision that states have made to legalize marijuana use. Therefore, it is important to hire a lawyer who can collect other evidence of impairment. For example, observations of the person’s behavior and speech might reveal whether they smell of alcohol or marijuana or whether they drove in a reckless or dangerous manner. Cell phone records, social media posts, and credit card receipts are some ways to establish negligence where the case warrants it.

IV. Comparative Fault

Under Missouri’s “comparative fault” laws, a plaintiff who was high on marijuana at the time of an accident could be found partly to blame. This means that the amount of damages that can be given depends on how much the plaintiff is to blame.

For instance, if a plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for an accident due to their own marijuana use, their damages could be reduced by 20%. Comparative fault laws can make personal injury cases involving marijuana more complicated because both the plaintiff and the defendant may be found to be partly at fault.

V. Insurance Coverage

There may be cannabis-related policies at insurance companies, and the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Missouri could affect insurance coverage or premiums. For example, some insurance policies might not cover injuries or damage caused by using marijuana. Also, if a person is under the influence of marijuana and gets into an accident or gets hurt, their insurance company may be less likely to pay for a personal injury claim. This may result in increased premiums or difficulty obtaining insurance coverage for marijuana consumers.

People who use marijuana shouldn’t drive or do other things that require thinking and movement skills while they are high. Also, if a person is high on marijuana and gets injured in an accident, their insurance company may be less likely to pay for the costs.

The legalization of marijuana for recreational use won’t necessarily change how personal injury cases are handled in Missouri. This will depend on a number of things, such as how the courts interpret and apply the laws and rules that are already in place about marijuana use. People who were hurt in accidents where marijuana was used should talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about their legal options and how marijuana use could affect their case.

What can Wolfgram Law do for you?

Find a lawyer who may be able to help individuals who have been injured in accidents involving marijuana use. Wolfgram Law, has handled a wide range of personal injury cases before and can help you through the whole legal process.

Wolfgram Law may be able to help clients in the following ways:

  1. Evaluating the case: The firm can look at the details of the accident or injury to see if there is a good case. They can figure out if the case is worth pursuing and suggest the best way to move forward.
  2. Collecting evidence: The firm may help gather evidence about the accident, like witness statements, police reports, and medical records. This evidence can be used to support the client’s case and establish liability.
  3. Talking to insurance companies: Wolfgram Law can talk to insurance companies on behalf of their clients to make sure they get fair payment for their injuries and damages.
  4. Representing Clients in Court: If a client needs to go to court, the firm can represent them and present their case to a judge or jury.
  5. Giving legal advice and support: Wolfgram Law can help clients through the legal process by answering their questions and easing their worries.

Wolfgram Law can offer a variety of legal services to assist those who have been hurt in incidents involving marijuana use. By working with an experienced personal injury attorney, people can make sure their rights are protected and they get the money they deserve.