Can I File a Slip and Fall Claim if I was Intoxicated on Someone Else’s Property?
When someone suffers an injury in a slip and fall accident at a retail store, restaurant, neighbor’s house or anyone else’s property, he or she may be able to file a claim for compensation. It is possible the injury was caused by the property owner’s negligence, such as a failure to clean up a spill on the floor or repair a damaged railing on a staircase.
That said, visitors also have responsibilities when it comes to their safety on someone else’s property. If you were negligent or careless when you encountered an obvious hazard, it may be harder to build a case against the property owner. You may also have a hard time building a case if the property owner can prove you were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
Are You at Fault if You were Drunk?
You can be sure the property owner will claim you are somehow at fault for the slip and fall accident, regardless of how reckless or negligent the property owner was in keeping the property safe. If you were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident, they are likely to claim that is the only reason for the accident.
Property owners often use arguments like these to defend against slip and fall claims, and they may be compelling if you were drunk:
- The danger should have been obvious to you
- The dangerous area had warning signs
- You were not paying enough attention while you were walking
As the victim in a personal injury claim, the burden of proof is on you. That means you and your lawyer need to compile evidence proving the property owner’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. Your lawyer will also need to counter claims from the other side about your own role in the accident, including your own intoxication.
However, if you were drunk, it is possible you are entirely at fault for what happened. If your vision and judgment were impaired and this caused you not to see an obstacle or hazard that was obvious to those who were not intoxicated, you may be 100 percent to blame.
Can the Victim and Property Owner Both be Negligent?
It is possible that both you and the property owner bear some liability for what happened. Maybe you would have been more careful if you were not drunk and maybe the owner could have done more maintenance or dealt with a hazard.
In these situations, New Jersey’s comparative negligence law may apply. Under this law, you can still recover compensation if you were partially at fault. Your compensation award will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. However, you cannot recover any compensation if you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
You can learn more about how this law may apply to your claim in a free legal consultation with a licensed New Jersey slip and fall lawyer from Lynch Law Firm, PC.
Call Today to Set Up a Free Consultation
Slip and fall cases can be complicated because there are often many factors involved. You can be sure the at-fault party and his or her insurance company and/or lawyer will fight hard to avoid responsibility for your injuries. That is why you need an experienced legal professional in your corner, with the resources and legal knowledge to fight to protect your best interests.
Lynch Law Firm, PC has obtained more than $300 million in compensation on behalf of New Jersey personal injury victims.* We work on contingency, which means we are not paid unless you get paid. There is no risk in calling to schedule your free initial consultation.
Lynch Law Firm, PC. We are here to help. Phone: (800) 518-0508