man drinking alcohol

Can a Drunk Person Sue for a Slip and Fall Accident in California?

Imagine there is a man named Jonathan who loves to have a great time with friends and family. Although Jonathan means well and is an enjoyable person to have around, especially when entertaining, he is notorious for getting drunk in public places.  His family and friends are always worried about his occasional social drinking problem but, up until now, he has been surprisingly safe.  However, his luck has run out, and he has slipped, fell, and injured himself.  Can Jonathan sue someone for his own mishap while intoxicated under California laws? Also, how can a California personal injury lawyer help?

Scenario 1:  Jonathan Falls At An Establishment

Suppose that Jonathan’s friend is having a party at the local bar. While Jonathan and his friends are all having a good time at the bar, Jonathan stands up and starts singing loudly. His friends know that it’s probably time for them to go since Jonathan has had too much to drink once again. Before they go, Jonathan excuses himself to go to the restroom.  On the way to the restroom, he slips and falls.  Is the establishment at fault for Jonathan’s fall?

Scenario 2: Johnathan Falls At A Friend’s House

Presume that this same friend decides to have a party at his home instead of at the bar.  As the music is playing and everyone is enjoying the music, Jonathan gets up and starts to make a spectacle of himself while dancing. Although it is pretty hilarious to most, Jonathan’s friend is worried about his instability.  After a few moments of dancing, Jonathan slips and falls.  Is Jonathan’s friend liable for his injuries?

Scenario 3: Jonathan Falls Outdoors on City Property

Finally, suppose that Jonathan’s friend is having a party at the local restaurant.  This time, Jonathan slips and falls in the park while he is on his way to his car.  Is the park liable for Jonathan’s fall?

It may be easy to conclude that in all these scenarios that since Jonathan is drunk that he is responsible for any injuries that he sustains.  However, in the state of California, this may not be the case.  

In the scenario with the bar and the situation with Jonathan’s friend, Jonathan fell on their property. It is apparent that he should be responsible for the fall. However, if the bar or Jonathan’s friend had something on the floor that caused him to slip, they could be liable. Thus, if the accident could have happened to anyone because it was a preventable hazard, then Jonathan can sue his friend or the bar owner for damages.  

With the slip and fall in the park, it would seem that this is definitely an instance when Jonathan is genuinely at fault.  However, if the park that Jonathan was walking through had its sprinklers on, which created a hazard that made it hard for Jonathan to see it, he may have a case.  Even though Jonathan was intoxicated at the time of each of these potential scenarios, a California injury lawyer can help him establish a lawsuit and try to win damages for his injuries if the attorney can prove negligence on the part of the bar, Jonathan’s friend, or the park.  

If you have been involved in a similar slip and fall accident our lawyers can help you sue the responsible party. Contact our office today for a free consultation.