It is possible to file a lawsuit for injuries suffered under the effects of alcohol?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The state of California allows people to file lawsuits for injuries caused by falls or slip and falls on another’s property while the plaintiff was under the influence of alcohol.

This usually means that even though a person was intoxicated when the incident occurred, they can still sue for all or part of their injuries. However, it is important to keep a few factors in mind, as intoxication can significantly affect your award and the amount of compensation you may receive from it.

If you were drunk or intoxicated when you were injured on someone else’s property, they may try to argue that you fell because your vision, concentration, coordination, balance, or judgment were impaired. Although these arguments may have some merit, they do not absolve the defendant of all liability, which means that you can still recover compensation for the damages suffered.

California is a “comparative negligence” state, which means that the plaintiff in a slip and fall case can share some – even most – of the blame and still receive financial compensation from the defendant. For example, even if you are 50 percent at fault for your slip and fall because you were intoxicated, you would still be eligible to recover 50 percent of your damages.

It is also possible, under some jurisdictions, to blame the presence of alcohol in an establishment for your injuries. Which means that you can sue a person or establishment for injuries caused by accidents in:

  • Bar fights and brawls
  • Slip and falls
  • Accident due to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Under California business law, 256022.1, an individual or business that sells alcohol to intoxicated persons could face charges for the liability of persons in the presence of the intoxicated person. Additionally, careless or reckless actions in bars or restaurants can result in catastrophic injury to patrons, as well as to other people the intoxicated person has contact with outside of the bar or restaurant, whether or not they are under the influence of alcohol.

Often, a person who was injured while intoxicated may feel embarrassed and decide not to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, it is important to know that you can still sue the owner or person responsible for the property where you were injured, as long as you can show that your injuries were caused by their negligence.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.