Alcohol, Drugs, and Personal Injury Cases

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Did you know that alcohol and drugs can have an effect on your personal injury case? Florida law says that a person with a personal injury claim cannot recover any damages if:

1) He or she was impaired by drugs or alcohol or had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher; and

2) As a result of the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she was more than 50% at fault for his or her own harm.

What does this mean? Ordinarily, in a two car accident where both drivers had some fault in the accident, the jury would apportion fault between the two drivers based on their negligence. The court would then apply the percentage of fault against the jury’s determination of damages to come up with the judgment amount. However, if the injured person was under the influence and was found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, he or she would recover nothing.

Let’s take a look at an example: A person was hurt in a crash where he made an illegal turn and the other driver was speeding. The jury finds that the injured driver has $100,000 in damages. However, the jury finds the injured driver was 60% responsible for the wreck while the other driver was 40% responsible. Ordinarily, the court would reduce the injured plaintiff’s damages ($100,000) by his percentage of fault (60%), meaning that he or she would recover $40,000. But, if the plaintiff was intoxicated he or she would recover nothing because the jury found him or her to be more than 50% at fault.

This law applies no matter how severe the injury.

If you have been hurt in an accident, regardless of who was at fault, you need an experienced Pensacola personal injury attorney to fight for your rights and get you the results you deserve. Call Stevenson Klotz today for a free consultation and have one of Pensacola’s best personal injury attorney’s on your side. (850) 444-0000.

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