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Marijuana Usage and Car Accidents

Federal legislation update for marijuana usage and car accidents: 7-21-22

  • On July 21, 2022, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to federally decriminalize marijuana
  • Though unlikely to pass the senate, some provisions may show up in future legislation
  • A key provision  of the bill requires the Department of Transportation to develop standards for driving impairment testing

End update.

Driving Under the Influence

No one lawyer can say he or she is the best car accident injury attorney Indianapolis has to offer. However, Ward & Ward has some of the top car accident injury attorneys that are licensed to protect the rights of injured people throughout the Hoosier state. 

Each car accident is at least a little bit different, if not a lot different than others, but one thing most car accidents have in common is that they are scary. They are especially scary when people are injured. Getting injured through no fault of your own is bad enough but when you find out that the person who caused your accident and injuries was under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, and/or drugs, it can be especially frustrating.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Indianapolis that was not your fault, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a reputable personal injury attorney that is experienced with successfully defending the rights of injured Hoosiers.

Marijuana Usage and Car Crashes

According to national statistics, people who have used marijuana are 25 percent more likely to be involved in a car accident than drivers who don’t use marijuana. These statistics can be alarming since more and more states are legalizing both medical marijuana usage and recreational usage and this puts everyone in danger.

At Ward & Ward Law Firm, each car accident attorney is dedicated to helping car accident victims get the financial compensation they deserve for the injuries they have suffered. If you were injured in a crash caused by a driver under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, contact our Indianapolis, IN office today. What Are Common Car Accident Injuries.

How Prevalent Is Marijuana Use in Drivers?

It may surprise many people to discover just how much of an increase marijuana use has had over the past several years. As more states legalize recreational and medical marijuana, its use has become more popular. And it is not just teens who use the drug. Many baby boomers and other adults who began using the drug as teens still do today and the stigma marijuana once had is no longer there.

Notorious Driving Days

Unfortunately, this popularity has also led to poor choices. Studies show that almost 15 percent of nighttime drivers have marijuana in their system while they are driving. Proof of this increased danger also exists in the addition of another national “Notorious Driving Day.” Over the past several decades, both December 31st (New Year’s Eve) and July 4th have been designated the most dangerous two days of the year to be on the roads because of the high spike in car crash fatalities that are caused by drivers who are operating under the influence.

Unfortunately, as marijuana usage grows in popularity, a third day has been added to that list, April 20th, which is considered the unofficial marijuana holiday (420 is slang for marijuana, hence the date 4/20). The federal government compiled 25 years of data and found that there is a 12 percent increase in the number of car accident deaths on April 20th compared to other days of the year. This calculates out to more than 140 car accident victims killed each year on that date.

The Effects of Marijuana on Driving

People who use marijuana often do not think their driving is affected because the effects of marijuana are different than the effects of alcohol. However, there is a significant impact that using pot has on a driver’s ability to drive. Some of the more common effects include slower reaction time to what is occurring on the road, a longer time to make decisions, distorted perception, and impaired coordination – all factors which can lead to a deadly crash. The danger becomes even greater if the driver also has alcohol in their system.

What to Do After a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault

We cannot be in control of other drivers when sharing the road. We can only do our best to lessen our chances of an accident by driving safely and being aware of those around us. In the event of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, it is important to know what to do so you can protect your rights and finances. Having to deal with your insurance company, finding a replacement car, submitting evidence, attending doctor’s appointments, and losing pay to stay home from work and rest, can be too much stress to handle alone. Many victims of car accidents may seek legal representation from a car accident attorney Indianapolis, IN trusts, so they have someone to protect them while recovering from injuries.

When someone is injured because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, they may be entitled to compensation for expenses related to their injury as well as for property that has been damaged. It can be complicated to do this even when the negligent driver and you both have car insurance. Car insurance companies are notorious for making it difficult for accident victims to get the compensation they deserve and are entitled to. One of the best ways for victims of Indianapolis car accidents to try to get the compensation they need is to let a good personal injury attorney deal with their legal issues so that they can focus on healing. The sooner they do this the sooner their attorney may be able to start protecting their rights.

Immediately After an Accident

Q: What information do I need to gather from the other driver?

A: If possible, report the car accident to your insurance company the same day as the crash happened. There is certain information your insurer is likely to need in order to process your car accident claim. Gather the other driver’s name, address, insurance company name, policy information, driver’s license number, and vehicle description. If the driver is being reluctant in providing any of these details, wait until an officer has arrived so he or she can handle this step for you.

Q: What evidence can I gather while at the scene?

A: Along with the other driver’s information, evidence to gather can be things like photographs of vehicle damage and witness contact information. It may be a good idea to jot down a summary or make an audio recording on your phone of how the accident happened while it is still fresh in your mind and so that you can pass the details on to your car accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN. After the state of shock has worn off hours later, you may accidentally forget to include key details in your insurance claim.

Q: Do I need to contact the other driver’s insurance company?

A: You may not want to rely on the other driver to report the accident to their insurance company, especially if they were at-fault for the collision happening. While at the scene, the other driver may come off as cooperative, but then fail to report the accident or try to blame you for it later on. When informing the other driver’s insurer about the collision, stick to facts only without stating blame or sharing personal opinions. Using a car accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN could make this process simpler than you trying to do this on your own.

Q: If I was innocent, do I need to contact my insurance company?

A: Even if you were not responsible for the accident, it is recommended that you reach out to your insurance company. This helps establish good faith and trust, and can aid you if the other driver’s insurer denies responsibility for the accident.

Q: What if this all seems complicated, what can I do to get help?

A: Those who have become victims in car accidents may turn to an experienced car accident attorney from Indianapolis, IN for advice. It can be difficult to navigate insurance companies and advocating for your side of the story without assistance from a legal professional. You can focus on healing, while your Indianapolis, Indiana car accident attorney handles the legal aspects of your situation and works on your behalf.

What to Do if I Am a Victim of a Drug-Related Crash?

If you have been the victim of a drug-related crash in Indianapolis, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a car accident injury attorney who knows how to defend the rights of innocent car accident victims. 

After being injured in a serious accident that wasn’t your fault, you may not be aware of your legal options. An Auto accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm can help make sure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible from the person responsible. We have helped protect the rights of thousands of victims in the Indianapolis community. Call us to find out more about how we might be able to help you too.

The Aftermath of a Car Accident

Car accidents tend to be very stressful and if you sustained a severe injury, the pain and uncertainty of your condition can make you feel even more stressed. Many people find it challenging to make important and timely decisions when they are feeling stressed and/or suffering from a painful injury.

If they are taking painkillers, it can make it even more difficult to make informed decisions. At Ward & Ward Law Firm, our car accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN is compassionate and understanding of how victims may feel. One of our attorneys can gently guide you through the process of seeking compensation from the at-fault party. We will keep you up to date on your case and help you to make informed decisions. You can trust Ward & Ward Law Firm to always have your best interests in mind.

The Importance of Seeking Compensation for Your Damages

After sustaining a serious injury in a car accident, you may have already sought medical treatment. However, you may not yet know when you will heal completely or if you will heal completely. It’s important to consider your doctor’s diagnosis of your injury. As well, it is usually best to discuss the future of your finances in the aftermath of an Indianapolis car accident injury with an attorney who is experienced with helping accident victims avoid the financial hardships that often come with accidents. An attorney who is experienced with defending the rights of Indianapolis car accident injury victims can help you to try to get you the compensation you deserve now, as well as make projections about what you may need in the future to make sure you and your family do not suffer financial hardship down the way.

Underestimating Your Claim

One of the reasons for this is that you may feel as if you will recover sooner than the doctor anticipates, if you do not and those future medical costs are not included in your claim, you will probably have to pay for them out of your own pocket. A car accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm can help you avoid that scenario. Possible future medical care is a serious consideration as it can be costly.

Common Forms of Medical Treatment for Car Crash Injuries

Every victim’s circumstances are different because of the many variables involved including, the type of injury, its severity, and their overall health. However, some of the most common forms of medical treatment that aid in the patient’s recovery include:

  • Physical therapy.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Mental counseling (this is especially common among victims who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder due to a car accident).
  • Pain management, antibiotics, and other medications specific to the patient’s injuries.
  • Modifications to your home for a wheelchair, crutches, etc.
  • Follow-up visits to your physician throughout the duration of your recovery.
  • Additional surgeries and post-operative care.
  • Time off from work until such time as you are able to return to your job on a full-time basis. Lost wages might also include a loss of benefits, stock options, vacation time, and bonuses.

8 Things To Do After an Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, there are many things you need to do afterward to protect yourself. Some of these actions need to be done immediately after the accident, while others are a little less time-sensitive. This guide will explain the basics of what you may need to know. Should you have any further questions, please consult a car accident attorney Indianapolis, IN has to offer as soon as possible.

What To Do After a Car Accident


  • Seek medical help – Your first priority should always be to confirm that everyone is safe. If anyone is injured, focus on getting him or her the medical attention they need before anything else.
  • Call 911 – It is recommended that you call 911 after any accident, no matter how minor you may think the collision is. Sometimes you will not realize how serious an accident is until the adrenaline wears off.
  • Get off the road – It is important that you get your car off the road as soon as you can. If possible, it is a good idea to clear debris as well. Only attempt to clear the road if you are completely confident that it can be done safely. If you cannot, simply get yourself and any other people off the road.

Once Things Have Calmed Down:

  • Exchange contact and insurance information – Insist on getting the phone number and insurance account number of everyone involved in the accident. Remember not to discuss who is at fault for the accident.
  • Take notes – Knowing the position of street signs, the layout of lanes, the placement of cars, and other factors can help the insurance claim process, but they can be hard to remember later.
  • Talk to witnesses – If you notice any witnesses to the crash, ask them for their contact information and if it would be okay to contact them if necessary.

Bear in mind that the more information you can collect, the more beneficial it will be for your car accident attorney Indianapolis, IN respects. In the event you choose to retain an Indianapolis car accident injury attorney, it is usually best to discuss your situation with them as soon as possible. 

As Soon as Possible:

  • Contact your insurance company – The sooner you contact your insurance company, the better. If it is at all possible, you should make the call the same day as the accident.
  • Contact a car accident attorney Indianapolis, IN has in its midst – If you have any reason to think things might not go smoothly, such as the other party not being agreeable, contact a car accident attorney Indianapolis, IN drivers rely on at your earliest convenience. This is especially important if you sustained an injury in the accident. Once again, the earlier you contact a legal professional, the better.

In general, it is recommended that you get advice from a car accident attorney Indianapolis, IN families can count on before you talk with your insurance company or accept a settlement offer. You risk nothing by doing so, and it takes just a small amount of your time.

Many of the best car accident injury attorneys in Indianapolis offer free case evaluation. As well, many of them work on contingency, which means that you do not have to pay for their fees if you do not win your case.

What You Should and Should Not Do After Being Hit by an Uninsured Driver

Being hit by an uninsured driver makes an already difficult situation worse. As someone who obeys the law and has the proper insurance coverage, you’re unfortunately not protected from someone else not taking the same precautions as you. If you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver, the following are some things you should and should not do.

The Shoulds

Before you find yourself in a situation in which you are dealing with an uninsured driver and have no idea what to do, consider the following and do it.

  • Call the Police – To the possible dismay of the other driver, you should always contact the police. Having a police report will help you when it comes time to file a claim to get your medical expenses covered.
  • Exchange Information – You won’t have insurance information to collect from the other driver, but exchanging contact information could be helpful as well. In addition, write down a description of the other car, the license plate state and number, and possibly the VIN number if it’s accessible.
  • Take Photographs – If a picture paints a thousand words, you’ll want lots of pictures to help you with your case. Be sure to capture an overall look at the scene as well as smaller details. Get pictures of your injuries, the damage done to your car, different angles of the accident and other important details.

The Should Nots

Things you should not do following an accident with an uninsured driver are extremely important, so pay attention to the following.

  • Claim Responsibility – Do not try to save the day by claiming responsibility for the accident and admitting fault to something that you did not do. You’re not saving the other driver at all. Instead, you’ll end up with a citation from the responding officer, higher insurance premiums and possibly too much out of pocket costs.
  • Accept Money – The other driver might try to convince you to just take some money so you can both move on. It could sound tempting, depending on the extent of damages, but you should not take the money. You don’t know what the end costs will be, and you could end up putting yourself in a tough situation.

Getting Started With an Attorney Today

When you’re in an accident, it’s important you have the legal guidance of an attorney, especially when you’re hit by an uninsured driver. Contact a qualified car accident attorney today to get started.

Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Who Cares

If you were severely injured in a collision caused by another driver, contact us at Ward & Ward Law Firm for a free consultation with a car accident attorney Indianapolis, IN victims trust. The best car accident injury attorney Indianapolis has to offer is going to differ for different people and the particulars of their situation but a good place to start looking for an Indiana car accident attorney you can trust is by contacting Ward & Ward Law firm.

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