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Marijuana said to increase accident claims

While Indiana has not legalized the use of recreational marijuana, people from Indiana who may be travelling to any of the places in the country where it is legal this summer should be aware of the potential risks on the road. Alcohol is not the only substance that may cause a driver to be impaired and may therefore contribute to a motor vehicle accident. While proponents of legalized pot of course assert that its use is completely safe, some new research may show otherwise.

And insurance research firm called the Highway Loss Data Institute conducted a study of roadway collisions spanning from January 2012 through October 2016. In looking particularly at Colorado, Washington and then Oregon, the first three states to allow pot to be legally used recreationally, a potentially dangerous trend can be seen. Accident claims after pot was legalized spiked more than two-and-a-half percent in these states compared to other states where pot was not legal.

The study factored in things like drivers' ages, employment status, age, weather, population and more to ensure a fair result and analysis. In 2014 both Colorado and Washington legalized pot with Oregon following in 2016. Now there are five other states and the District of Columbia that have joined with them.

Regardless of where an accident happens or what may have impacted it, Indiana residents may want to talk with an attorney after a crash to learn about their options for seeking compensation.

Source: NBC29.com, "Insurance study ties legal pot to boost in car crash claims," Solomon Banda, June 21, 2017

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