Florida Personal Injury – What if I am injured in an accident while intoxicated?
Drunk driving is not only a bad idea, but it is illegal. Unfortunately, many people still drive while intoxicated, which results in thousands of injuries and deaths every year. This guide does NOT condone drunk driving but explains your options if you were injured in an accident while intoxicated.
Florida Statute 768.36(2) - "Alcohol or Drug Defense"Florida law states: "In any civil action, a plaintiff may not recover any damages for loss or injury of her person or property if the trier of fact finds that, at the time the plaintiff was injured:
Under the influence where normal faculties were impaired or BAC of 0.08; AND
As a result of such influence, the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for his or her own harm."
What This Means for YouAlthough being intoxicated is not ideal for your claim, it is not a bar for recovery. In a typical case, the plaintiff/injured party has the responsibility to prove all the facts. However, in a case where you were intoxicated, it will be the job as the defendant to prove both parts A AND B of this statute to prevail on the alcohol or drug defense. Part A is similar to the language to be found guilty of DUI in Florida. Part B requires that the intoxication led to you being more than 50% at fault. The defense must prove that both A and B are true in order to completely bar your claim.
Representation is KeyAn alcohol or drug related accident is always going to be a complicated situation. However, it can be difficult to prove that the intoxication was the reason you were at fault, as you could be at fault for some other non-alcohol-related factor. Of course, this does not prevent the defense or insurance company from arguing that you were at fault or comparatively negligent, regardless of this specific statute. If you were involved in an accident like this, please contact your local personal injury lawyer immediately. Traversing this legal recourse is both delicate and complex, so having a Board Certified attorney is your best chance of providing for and protecting yourself after an accident. Good luck.