Nobody is ever prepared for another driver to hit them. And, in those moments after impact, you may experience shock, pain, confusion, or other emotions. The last thing you’re thinking about is whether or not the driver was under the influence. However, if you suspect that the driver was using marijuana or another drug, it’s important to take a few specific steps.
What’s the Illinois Law Say About Marijuana?
Although Illinois allows for both medical marijuana use and recreational marijuana use, there are limitations. According to the Illinois 2021 DUI Fact Book, “Driving Under the Influence is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, other drugs, including cannabis (marijuana) prescribed for medical purposes, or intoxicating compounds and methamphetamine.” If the driver of the vehicle has a “tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis) concentration (THC) of either 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of other bodily substance,” that qualifies as driving under the influence.
Signs That a Driver Might Be on Marijuana or Another Drug
When you’re in an accident and are concerned that a driver might have been high while driving, there are some signs that may indicate you are correct. First, if a driver has been smoking marijuana in the car, you may be able to smell the smoke on them, or the scent may waft from the vehicle. There are also physical signs that you might notice. These could include drowsiness, disorientation, reddened eyes, or poor muscle coordination. Emotional signs that a driver may be under the influence include paranoia or a heightened state of euphoria.
What Steps Should You Take?
If you suspect that a driver may be on marijuana or another drug, there are several steps you should consider taking.
If you’ve been hit by another driver, it’s important that you call the police. Once they arrive on the scene, they will often gather information and write up a police report. The police report may be critical in the future if you decide to seek any type of compensation. It’s also important for insurance purposes.
Don’t confront the other driver but take note of observations
If you suspect that the other driver is under the influence of marijuana or another drug, it’s important that you not confront them. Instead, go about exchanging information and watch their behavior. Use your phone to take notes if you’re able to and also take photos of the damage to the cars. If there are any tire marks on the road or any other indicators connected to the accident, record those as well. If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask them for their contact information. All of these could help if you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
Inform police when they arrive of your suspicion
An Illinois police officer requires probable cause in order to conduct a field sobriety test or test THC levels. Any information that you can provide at this point will help. If the police officer has probable cause as a result of the field test, they can arrest the driver and take them to the police station.
Seek any necessary medical attention
When you’ve been in a car accident, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment. It’s important that if you have any injuries you go immediately to see a physician for evaluation and treatment. You shouldn’t put off medical care, and it’s important that you follow any treatment the doctor suggests.
Keep a record of any expenses
As time passes, you should create a file folder or an envelope where you can store any receipts from treatment that is connected to the car accident. Writing expenses down in a notebook can also help make tracking the receipts easier.
Speak with an attorney
An experienced attorney will be able to help you understand what your options are amid the stress of being hit by a driver who was on drugs. They can advocate on your behalf and work to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your medical expenses and any other damages.
If you’ve been hit by a driver who was on marijuana or another drug, contact the experienced lawyers at Cullotta Bravo Law. They’ve helped clients win millions of dollars in settlements. Call us today at 630-898-7800 or reach out online to see how we can help you. You only pay a fee when we win your case or settlement.