Q: I was intoxicated when a car hit me. Will this affect my liability claim?
When you've had a few drinks and you're ready to call it a night the last thing you should do is get behind the wheel. If you're able to walk to your house or a nearby public transit stop you'll be doing your part in keeping yourself and others safe by not becoming another drunk driver on the roads.
However, walking near traffic always has its risks, and intoxicated or not, accidents can happen to pedestrians walking near or across streets. If you were drunk and walking home when a car hit you, your liability claim may or may not be affected.
If the car was not following local traffic laws such as posted speed limits, traffic signals, and crosswalks and it hits you, the driver could be liable for the accident due to failure to follow traffic laws and signals. In this case, the driver's negligence was the cause of the crash and your intoxication will have had little to do with the accident.
However, if your conduct added to the cause of the crash, such as if you lost your balance due to intoxication and fell into the road in front of a car, you may be held liable for your own injuries. If there is evidence that you were intoxicated and the driver can prove that your conduct caused the accident, you may not be able to file a liability claim against the driver because he or she was following the laws and would not have hit you if you were sober and in control of your faculties.
A case of a drunk pedestrian being hit by a car can also have shared liability where the person walking while drunk may be partially at fault for stumbling into the road, but the driver may also be partially at fault for driving too fast to be able to slow down for an obstacle in the road. Georgia's comparative negligence 50 percent rule allows for you to be up to 49 percent at fault for the accident before you are unable to collect damages.
If you were intoxicated and walking when you were struck by a car, the first thing you should do after seeking medical care is to contact a Peachtree City personal injury lawyer. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. offers free consultations to people injured in car accidents regardless of who they believe was at fault. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to review your case and discuss your legal options.