Hopefully, by now, everyone understands the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. But what are the legal ramifications if one happens to be drunk when they slip, trip and fall on a spill, dangerous staircase or improperly maintained driveway or parking lot at a shopping mall or restaurant? Can they still make a claim?
With holiday parties around the corner- the eggnog will be flowing people are at a greater risk for suffering serious injuries to knees, ankles, legs, backs, arms, necks and even traumatic brain injuries- especially if intoxicated. But can the injured person make a claim for personal injuries if they are drunk in Florida? Like most things in law–it depends. According to Florida Statute §768.36 which is often referred to as the Florida Alcohol Defense Law, in a civil personal injury case, a plaintiff may not recover any money for an injury if at the time the plaintiff was injured under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the was more than 50 percent at fault for his or her own harm. Under the law, “under the influence” is defined by having a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.
In a slip and fall injury case, insurance defense lawyers will almost certainly argue that the accident only occurred because the claimant was drunk or on drugs when they got hurt and was more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. This happens frequently when incidents occur at nightclubs and parties. This is why one of the first things our premise liability attorneys do when investigating any slip and fall is to request that the defendant preserve and produce the CCTV footage, not just of the fall, but of the entire time our client was there. This evidence is invaluable not just to prove that the fall occurred, but to show, how and why. It also can be very valuable in the investigation of an “overservice” case. Overservice cases arise when the premise owner or host- serves too much alcohol to an intoxicated guest or customer. We then provide the videotape to expert witnesses who can opine as to whether or not our client was 50 percent or more at fault for their own accident.
This holiday season we strongly urge you to drink responsibly, even if you are not the designated driver- accidents can still occur. And under Florida law- your intoxication may actually prevent you from asserting a legitimate claim.
SLIP AND FALL CLAIM? CONSULT WITH A FLORIDA LAWYER 1-866-597-4529
Our Florida personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations to anyone who has suffered a slip, trip, and fall accident. You may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your medical expenses, lost time from work and pain and suffering- even if you have had a few drinks. Contact us today toll-free 1-866-597-4529, 305-441-0440 and via email at [email protected]. We are available 24/7 and can visit you at your home, hospital or rehabilitation facility. We accept all cases on a contingency basis- which means we do not get paid unless we are successful in settling your claim. Call us today we are ready to help.