Attorney Rob Kornfeld Knows
What It's Like To Be Injured

Seattle Lawyer for Accident Claims Involving a “Stoned” Driver

Handling Marijuana Impairment Car Accident Cases

Kornfeld Law of Seattle can help you with all sorts of car accident claims, including those that involve a driver who was high, “stoned,” or otherwise impaired by recreational marijuana while driving. The possession and use of recreational marijuana in minimal quantities are legal in Washington, so pursuing a claim can get tricky.

There are still legal gray areas and contests surrounding the laws regarding its use before driving and how much THC can be present in someone’s system to consider them legally impaired. We can help you carefully navigate your claim while avoiding legal pitfalls due to the state’s evolving recreational marijuana laws.


Call us at (425) 657-5255 if you need help after a driver in Seattle hit you while high. We offer initial consultations to get your started.


What is Initiative 502 in Washington?

Years ago, Washington passed Initiative 502. The measure contained many provisions about liquor and cannabis use in the state, including what should be considered enough THC detectable in someone’s bloodstream to consider them legally impaired by marijuana.

The measure set the THC limit – similar to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level for drunk drivers – to just five nanograms. Driving with at least five nanograms of THC in your system can warrant a DUI ticket or arrest.

Opposition to Initiative 502 has argued that five nanograms is too small of an amount. THC is known to linger in peoples’ systems for hours or days without necessarily impairing them. However, the law was passed to send a clear message: driving after using marijuana is dangerous.

How Can Marijuana Impair a Driver?

Marijuana impairment can affect a driver similarly to alcohol intoxication. This is why safety groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIAD) are so adamant about discouraging people from using recreational marijuana before driving. Even a small amount could affect the driver’s skills and increase the likelihood of a crash.

Marijuana impairment in a driver can cause:

  • Worsened motor coordination
  • Poor judgment
  • Difficulty understanding distances
  • Increased reaction time
  • Inability to focus on the road
  • Exhaustion

Signs of Marijuana Impairment

After you are in a car accident that you suspect was caused by a high driver, you can look for signs of impairment.

Drivers who have recently used marijuana will usually have:

  • Red, shifty, and dilated eyes
  • Slowed speech with unusual delays between responses
  • Difficulty standing still due to worsened muscle control
  • Smell of marijuana in their car or on their person

If you notice any of these signs of impairment, then you should notify the authorities if you have not done so already. A police officer can further assess the driver to spot signs of impairment and possibly make an arrest. Removing an impaired driver from the road could save someone else from being hit by the same driver later.

You should also talk to the police officer about getting a copy of their accident report later. If they note that the driver appears to be impaired by marijuana, or if they actually make an arrest, then that information could be crucial to building your claim and proving liability later. Our attorneys can take police reports, medical records, eyewitness testimonies, and more, and turn it into a solid case that upholds your rights.

Get Your Case Rolling – Call Our Firm Now

There is no time to lose after you have been hit by a high driver. The sooner our Seattle marijuana impairment accident attorneys can start your case, the sooner we can investigate the available evidence, seek more where needed, and take other steps to progress it. From start to finish, our goal will be to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.


For more information, please call (425) 657-5255 at any time.


Verdicts & Settlements

  • $4,000,000.00 Wrongful Death
  • $2,825,000.00 Brain Injury
  • $2,500,000.00 Brain Injury
  • $2,500,000.00 Medical Malpractice
  • $2,500,000.00 Medical Malpractice
  • $2,500,000.00 Wrongful Death
  • $2,362,000.00 Medical Malpractice
  • $2,300,000.00 Traumatic Brain Injury
  • $2,225,000.00 Wrongful Death
  • $1,900,000.00 Brain Aneurysm

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