Have You or a Loved One Been Seriously Injured by a Driver who was High?

Contact our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers to Get the Compensation You Deserve.

In recent years, driving while high has become an increasing problem in Canada. A 2014 study indicated that, of all of the fatally-injured intoxicated drivers in Canada for that year, 42% tested positive for drugs, while 29% tested positive for alcohol. Currently, a drug-impaired driving incident is recorded as often as every three hours. It is also worth noting that a significant amount of drivers who test positive for drugs while driving also test positive for alcohol, creating a mixed, lethal combination that can pose serious injuries to car accident victims.

Driving while high is just as serious and dangerous as drunk driving. Taking drugs affects a driver’s ability to focus on the road and react to objects that may appear in front of them, including other vehicles. Drugs can severely impact one’s decision making skills, motor skills, and balance, all of which are necessary to operate a vehicle safely.

If you or a loved one was hurt by a driver who was found to be high, call our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers today, fill in a contact form or chat with our live chat operator, who will help put you in contact with us immediately.

How Does the Legalization of Marijuana Affect Ontario’s Driving Laws?

Driving while high is absolutely against the law in Canada. While marijuana has become legal throughout the country as of October of 2018, driving laws have been updated to match this new legislation. Similar to driving while drunk, there is a legal limit of THC that Canadians are allowed to have in their system while operating a vehicle. There are also both federal and provincial penalties for driving high, which may stack depending on the nature of the incident. The federal legal limit of THC in an individual’s system is 5 nanograms (ng) per milliliter of blood, but in Ontario charges can be applied for 2 ng in a provincial roadside stop.

What are some of the penalties drivers who are caught with marijuana in their system could face:

  • 2-5 ng (any offence): Maximum $1,000 fine
  • 5+ ng (first offence): Minimum $1,000 fine, maximum five years in prison
  • 5+ ng (second offence): Minimum 30 days in prison, maximum five years in prison
  • 5+ ng (third offence): Minimum 120 days in prison, maximum five years in prison
  • Causing harm with any amount of THC: Maximum 10 years in prison
  • Causing death with any amount of THC: Maximum life sentence in prison

Additionally, driver could face serious provincial offence charges:

  • 2-5 ng (first offence): 3 day license suspension and $250 fine
  • 2-5 ng (second offence): 7 day license suspension and $350 education program
  • 2-5 ng (third offence): 30 day license suspension, treatment program, 6 month ignition interlock system in vehicle, $450 fine, and mandatory medical exam
  • 5+ ng (first or second offence, no conviction): 90 day license suspension, 7 day vehicle impoundment, $550 fine, and $198 license reinstatement fee
  • 5+ ng (second offence, no conviction): 90 day license suspension, 7 day vehicle impoundment, $550 fine, $198 license reinstatement fee, mandatory treatment program
  • 5+ ng (third offence, no conviction): 90 day license suspension, 7 day vehicle impoundment, $550 fine, $198 license reinstatement fee, mandatory treatment program, and 6 month ignition interlock system in vehicle once license is reinstated
  • 5+ ng (first offence, with conviction): Minimum one year license suspension, one year ignition lock system in vehicle once license is reinstated, mandatory treatment program, mandatory medical evaluation
  • 5+ ng (second offence, with conviction): Minimum three year license suspension, three year ignition interlock system in vehicle, mandatory treatment program, mandatory medical evaluation
  • 5+ ng (third offence, with conviction): Minimum 10 years or lifetime license suspension, six year ignition interlock system in vehicle, mandatory treatment program, mandatory medical evaluation

The consequences for driving while high are extremely serious and can have significant repercussions for those who choose to get behind the wheel after consuming marijuana.

Concerns over Legalization and the of Marijuana

Canada’s outlook has no doubt changed regarding the use of cannabis over the last while.  Since Canada legalized the use of recreational marijuana, many motorists have been worried that there will be an increase of drugged drivers on our roads. Remember, although cannabis is legal, drugged driving is not. The effects of marijuana can result in high drivers causing brutally serious and often fatal car accidents.

Marijuana reduces a driver’s reaction time, impairs judgment, and overall, makes it very difficult to drive safely. Like drinking and driving, driving while high is  extremely dangerous and puts the driver, passenger, and others at risk for sustaining serious and life-threatening injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered life changing injuries in an accident caused by a driver who was high, contact our Hamilton car accident lawyers to learn your legal rights today.

What Kind of Injuries Can be Caused by Someone Driving While High?

Car accident related injuries can be extremely serious and can result lifelong catastrophic disabilities. While car accident injuries can take on a wide range of forms, some of the most common car accident injuries that we see include:

  • Broken bones
  • Fractured bones
  • Crushed bones
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Paralysis
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of limbs
  • Puncture wounds
  • Knee, leg and ankle injuries
  • Chronic pain

In addition to serious and life-changing injuries and disabilities, the risk of death from a high driving accident is also significantly high. According to statistics, up to four people in Canada are killed every day from drunk or high driving car accidents. If your loved one has been wrongfully killed from a high driver, you are entitled to seek compensation for the burden of this unexpected and tragic loss.

What Compensation am I Entitled to if I Suffered Life-Changing Injuries?

Unfortunately car accident injuries happen to people in Ontario every day  – and –  they often happen at the most unexpected of times. If you or someone you know has suffered life changing injuries in a car accident caused by someone who was high, you may be unsure of what to do or how to move forward after this has happened. You will want to keep in mind that it is always important that you take legal action or at least speak to one of our Hamilton car accident lawyers about your legal options.

If you have been seriously injured or your loved one was wrongfully killed by someone driving while high, you have the right to sue for compensation. It is likely that the driver will have had charges pressed by the police in criminal court, but you will need to pursue a claim for compensation separately in civil court. You may do so as soon as you can, and do not have to wait until the criminal proceeding has been finalized.

In high driving cases, the consequences are often very serious and can become costly for those who are dealing with life-changing injuries. As a result, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering, economic losses, health care costs now and in the future not covered by OHIP, housekeeping losses and other compensation as determined by your case. Our Hamilton car accident lawyer will assist you throughout the claims process and advise you on what compensation you are eligible to receive.

Working with a Hamilton car accident lawyer will strongly increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you need to alleviate the financial burden that your injury has caused. We work with top experts in the province in a variety of fields, providing a multidisciplinary approach to prove your claim for damages. When a person is seriously hurt, we spare no expense.

Seeking the Compensation You Deserve For Injuries Caused by Drug Intoxication

Matt Lalande has been representing injured plaintiffs in Ontario since 2003 with a strong track record of recovering millions of dollars in compensations for car accident victims. We are ready to assist you during this time of need with the utmost professionalism and experience. Our Hamilton law firm has no sympathy for those who choose to get behind the wheel after taking drugs, and will work tirelessly to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

We offer free consultations, with no upfront charges and no obligation to retain our services after the initial meeting. If you cannot come to our Hamilton offices due to your injury or condition, we are happy to come to you to discuss your options and help you seek financial recovery. Call our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers at 905-333-8888 or contact us online to book your free consultation now.

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