Who’s At Fault If A Slip & Fall Accident Occurs While Intoxicated?
Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone at any time, but when alcohol or drugs are involved, determining fault can become more complicated. If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident while intoxicated, you may be wondering if you are still entitled to compensation.
Our Tacoma slip and fall lawyers at Emerald Law Group help injured victims fight for the compensation they deserve and protect their rights when being accused of careless or reckless behavior, including intoxication during an accident.
Factors That Affect Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents While Intoxicated
There are a number of factors that come into play when it comes to determining fault after a slip and fall accident that occurred while you were intoxicated.
1. Would the Hazard Be Evident to You if You Weren’t Intoxicated?
One of the key factors in determining fault in a slip and fall accident while intoxicated is whether or not the hazard that caused the accident would have been evident if you weren’t intoxicated. For example, if there was a large sign warning of a wet floor that you missed because you were too drunk, the property owner may not be at fault for your injuries. However, if the hazard was not properly marked or was a result of negligence on the part of the property owner, they could be held responsible for your injuries.
2. Did You Miss Warning Signs Because of Intoxication?
Another factor that comes into play in slip and fall accidents while intoxicated is whether or not you missed warning signs because of your intoxication. For example, if there was a warning sign cautioning against using the staircase because the steps were slippery, and you chose to ignore it and subsequently fell, the responsibility for the accident may lie with you instead of the property owner.
3. Did You Slip and Fall Because of Problems with Balance?
If you were intoxicated and lost your balance because of your intoxication, responsibility for the accident may not necessarily lie with the property owner. While property owners have a duty to ensure their premises are safe, they cannot be held responsible for accidents that are caused by factors outside of their control, including your level of intoxication and balance.
4. Was the Property Owner Negligent in Maintaining Their Premises?
However, if the slip and fall accident was caused by negligence on the part of the property owner, such as failing to repair a damaged staircase or allowing an area of the property to become slick and slippery, they can be held responsible for your injuries, even if you were intoxicated at the time of the accident.
If a settlement cannot be reached outside of court because the insurance company or the property owner says you were intoxicated, you may need to file a lawsuit to resolve the matter in court. In Washington, injured victims in slip and fall accidents have three years from the date of the accident to sue the negligent party (RCW 4.16.080).
Discuss Your Case with a Lawyer
The question of who is at fault in a slip and fall accident while intoxicated is not always black and white. It depends on a variety of factors. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident while intoxicated, your best course of action is to seek medical attention and consult with a lawyer to determine your legal options. Contact Emerald Law Group to set up a free case evaluation with our lawyers. Call 206-826-5160 today.