We have all heard the stories or maybe even been in a situation ourselves where someone has had way too much to drink and ends up hurt because of it. Most often, these stories in the media focus on the drunk person causing harm to others.
But what about when the tables are turned, and the drunk person is the one who gets hurt? Surely they must be at fault, right?
Well, not necessarily. Though you may have more difficulty winning your case if you were intoxicated at the time of your injury, it is still possible to seek compensation from the responsible party. Read on to learn more about how getting drunk may affect your personal injury lawsuit.
What if I Was Partially at Fault for My Injury?
In many states, you may still recover damages if you were partially at fault for your injury. This is known as comparative or contributory negligence.
- Comparative negligence allows plaintiffs to recover damages even if they are partially at fault, as long as their fault is not greater than the defendant’s.
- Contributory negligence, however, completely bars plaintiffs from recovering damages if they are even partially at fault.
So, what does this mean for you if you were drunk when you got hurt? If the state you live in follows comparative negligence rules, being intoxicated at the time of your injury will likely not bar you from recovering damages.
However, the amount of damages you can recover may be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are considered 20% at fault for your injuries and the total damages awarded are $100,000, you would only be able to recover $80,000.
If you live in a state that follows contributory negligence rules, being even 1% at fault for your injury may prevent you from recovering any damages.
Hartford, Connecticut, uses a modified form of comparative negligence. This means that the plaintiff can only recover damages if he or she is 50% or less at fault for the accident. Talk to a Hartford personal injury attorney to learn more about Hartford’s specific rules.
What If the Defendant Was Also Drunk?
In some states, if the defendant was intoxicated during the accident, this may be used as evidence of their negligence. This is known as “negligence per se.” If a law was violated and someone was injured. As a result, the violator may be held automatically liable for any damages.
Let’s say a drunk driver hits you. In most states, driving while drunk is against the law. So, if the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, they may be held liable for your injuries automatically, regardless of whether they were negligent in any other way.
However, not all states follow this rule. In some states, the fact that the defendant was drunk at the time of the accident is not enough to prove their negligence.
The plaintiff will still need to show that the defendant was negligent in some other way, such as by running a red light or speeding.
Of course, even if the state you live in does not follow the negligence per se rule, being intoxicated at the time of the accident can still be used as evidence of negligence.
If the defendant was drunk and caused an accident, this may be used to show they were reckless or careless and ultimately responsible for her injuries. It is advised that you speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn more about how the law in Hartford may affect your case.
What if My Injury Was Caused by a Drunk Person Who is Not the Defendant?
If your injury was caused by a drunk person who is not the defendant in your case, you might still be able to recover damages from the defendant. This is because of something called vicarious liability. Vicarious liability essentially holds one person responsible for the actions of another.
For example, let’s say you are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. The driver was arrested and charged with DUI. However, you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, with the help of a car accident lawyer, against the driver’s employer.
This might be possible if the driver was working during the accident. In this case, the employer may be held vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.
Note that vicarious liability does not always apply in drunk driving accidents. In most cases, it will only apply if the driver was working at the time of the accident. For example, if the driver was off duty and driving their car, vicarious liability would not typically apply.
There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, in some states, vicarious liability may apply if the driver was driving a company car or if they were on a company-sponsored trip.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, speak with an experienced Hartford personal injury attorney to find out if vicarious liability applies in your case.
Get in Touch with a Hartford Personal Injury Attorney
It is never fun getting hurt, but it may be even worse if you were drunk at the time. If you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit, remember that being intoxicated during your accident could affect the outcome.
The jury may not be as sympathetic to your plight if they believe you were partially responsible for what happened. So, if you’ve been injured and have had anything to drink, it’s best to seek counsel from a qualified lawyer before proceeding with any legal action.
An attorney can help you understand your rights and options. They can also help you gather evidence and build a strong case. Avoid giving a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Call Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.