Suffering an injury from a slip and fall can be painful, but imagine hurting yourself while being intoxicated? That’s not something that will shock people. However, if you’re filing a lawsuit for a slip and fall accident and you were intoxicated when it happened, there are some things you may want to know.
For those who are unaware, injury claims stemming from a slip and fall accident are among the most frequent types of personal injury claims filed around the country. And, it is also one of the most difficult cases to win. If you factor in the fact that the person was under the influence when it happened, this can make for an extremely difficult situation to blame on someone else.
Slip and Fall Claims In New York and New Jersey
In reality, you can file a lawsuit against another person for a slip and fall injury, even if you were drunk or under the influence, in both New York and New Jersey. However, the amount of compensation someone stands to receive will depend on the state and its "comparative negligence" legislation. You may still make a claim in New Jersey even if you were only partially at fault for the accident, or less than 51% at fault. It is possible that it may be less. Contrarily, in New York you can submit a claim even if you are found to have contributed more than 50% fault to the accident. It’s likely you’d receive less as well, but there's still a chance.
So, the answer is yes, you can file a slip and fall lawsuit even if you were intoxicated. But, your intoxication will likely cause you to be partially at fault for the accident. It will be the facts of your case that will determine whether you can win. It's important to remember that you must demonstrate that your injury was the result of someone else's negligence, or that they failed to keep their property in a safe condition. If you can show that your intoxication had nothing to do with the accident, it is very possible to recover the full compensation you deserve.
Facts Will Determine If Your Case Will Be A Success
Being inebriated isn't an “end all” to your chances of winning a personal injury case. You just need to prove the other party's negligence was the cause and not your state of mind.
If you can show that the accident occurred on someone else's property and that it was their fault, your claim will still be valid. This could be even a bar, nightclub, or any other place that serves alcohol. Because a slip and fall claim must be connected to one's negligence, you can argue that the bar is at fault if, say, you fell on a wet floor. It is the establishment's duty to ensure that the surface is not slick and does not have the potential of causing a fall. If it is slippery, it must be clearly marked or taped off from customers. They have a duty to maintain the property's visitors' safety, even if the patrons are drunk. In fact, if the bar serves alcoholic drinks to patrons, they may even have a greater duty of protecting their customers.
Slip and fall negligence claims rely heavily on facts, therefore each case must be assessed in light of its unique circumstances. You may very well have a successful claim on your hands if you can simply prove the company could've prevented a slip and fall and should have known a fall was possible.
There are situations where you being intoxicated will create a scenario where you are paid less. If someone falls and their intoxication may have caused the fall, at least in part, a jury must assign negligence by a percentage to both the victim and the defending party.
Of course, if you have any questions about your specific circumstances, it would be wise to contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer to give you more insight about the chances of your case and its value.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence is upheld in New Jersey injury cases. If there was any negligence on the part of the injured person, this is "contributory negligence." You generally only consider the at-fault party's negligence in the majority of personal injury cases. However, the law in New Jersey permits the courts and juries to take into account whether the injured person or plaintiff contributed in any way to the accident, which in turn, resulted in the injuries. Was the injured person negligent, even partially?
If the answer to that question is yes, then the plaintiff would be held partially responsible and a jury would assign a percentage of contributory negligence to them. This percentage would be reduced from any amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff in the slip and fall accident lawsuit. Let's say you are found to be partly at fault for your injury and a jury assigns 10% fault to you and 90% to the bar where the accident took place. If you are awarded $100,000 in damages, then you would get $90,0000 after the 10% reduction.
With that in mind, you can see that cases similar to this may be challenging but not impossible to win.
Brandon J. Broderick, Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers, Can Give You The Help You Need
Being hurt in a slip and fall accident may be stressful, but the skilled slip and fall attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick can help you determine the value of your case and what your rights are.
Do not go into a claim without knowing your rights. Call us today for a free consultation. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we have a team of experienced injury attorneys throughout New Jersey, New York, and around the Tri-State.