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How intoxication affects liability in a slip-and-fall accident

People in Florida leave their homes every day for various reasons. They may go to work, shopping, to restaurants, sporting events and other places. When they go to these various places, they are entering onto other people's property. Most of the time, people are invited onto these people's property and if they are hurt while on the property, the property owner may be liable for the costs associated with the injuries.

If there is a dangerous property condition that the property owner failed to rectify then the general rule is that they will have to compensate the victim. The compensation can be for medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages and other costs associated with the injuries. However, this is not always true. One type of situation where the property owner may not be liable is if the injured person was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.

The person cannot recover damages for the injuries if two conditions are met. 1) is that the victim was under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point where there are impaired or a breath test indicates that a person's BAC is .08 or above and 2) because of the intoxication the person was more than 50% at fault for the accident. So, intoxication does not automatically relieve a property owner of liability for the accident. However, the property owner is given a potential defense to avoid liability for the injuries.

Many people enter onto other's property in Florida every day. Sometimes accidents occur while on another's property and people are hurt. The property owner may be liable for the injuries, but if the injured person was intoxicated at the time of the accident it may relieve the property owner from responsibility. Experienced attorneys understand these laws and may be able to help guide one through the process.

Source: Florida State Legislature, "Florida Statute 768.36" accessed on December 29, 2015

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