Most people know that an injury suffered due to another’s negligence may entitle them to financial compensation. But what happens when alcohol is involved? For example, if a person slips and falls on a wet restaurant floor after having a few drinks with dinner, can he or she successfully sue the owner? Below is an overview of the ways in which alcohol consumption can affect your Florida personal injury case.
Alcohol and personal injury cases in Florida
In Florida, a plaintiff may be barred from recovery for personal injury if he or she was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Specifically, the court will deny recovery if:
- The plaintiff’s normal faculties were impaired due to alcohol or drug use, or
- The plaintiff had a breath or blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher, and
- The plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault for his or her own injuries due to the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Therefore, if a defendant can either prove that a plaintiff’s blood-alcohol level was .08 or higher at the time of the plaintiff’s accident or demonstrate that the plaintiff was at least 50 percent to blame for the accident, then the court will throw the case out.
In addition, even if a plaintiff doesn’t meet any of the above requirements, the court may find that alcohol was a contributing factor to the accident that led to the injuries. If the defendant in a personal injury case can demonstrate that alcohol was a contributing factor to a plaintiff’s injuries, then the plaintiff can either have his or her recovery amount reduced or lose the case altogether. The reduction of an award for damages in such cases is due to Florida’s comparative negligence laws. Under Florida’s comparative negligence system, if part of the blame for an accident can be placed on the plaintiff, then he or she won’t receive the full amount of damages for his or her injuries. For example, if a judge determines that a plaintiff is 25% to blame for his or her injuries, then the plaintiff may only receive 75% of the total value of the case.
Contact a Pensacola personal injury attorney
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident of any kind in Pensacola, Florida, you need an experienced Florida personal injury attorney on your side. Located in Pensacola, Florida, Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A., has over seventy years of combined experience representing accident victims in Northwest Florida and Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton Counties. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident of any kind in Northwest Florida, Staples Ellis is here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Please contact our office as soon as possible to set up a consultation with one of our talented attorneys.
Posted in: Personal Injury