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Injured While Intoxicated Can File Suit

Posted on September 10, 2008

Florida is a comparative negligence state, and that means you can make a personal injury claim based on the percentage of the other side’s negligence.

If they are half at fault, you get 50 percent. If you are 30 percent at fault, you’;ll get 70 percent of the value of your case.

From time to time, people ask us, if they are intoxicated and in an accident, say they stumble in the street and are hit by a car, can they make a claim also? The simple answer is NO.

In a major exception to the comparative negligence claim — and this is a big exception — if you are drunk and have a blood alcohol over 0.08, the level for legal intoxication, and your intoxication contributed more than 50 percent to the accident, then you are NOT entitled to any compensation.

That was determined by the legislature and became Florida law under Statute 768.36. The law covers injury only. If you are killed, then your estate may file a claim and hope to recover some amount. That is the loophole in the statute, it only mention injury resulting from intoxication, not death.

This pertains to all civil actions, such as injury on someone’;s property without an invitation.

Remember, as a driver, you always have the responsibility to be on the watchful looking for hazards in the road, whether it is a small child wandering in the street or a drunk pedestrian. The driver has the responsibility, and presumably the ability to determine the outcome of the situation.