I was drunk when my accident happened - Can I still claim compensation?

Pedestrians on zebra crossing not looking where they are going

Drunk driving has been the cause of many serious accidents on the roads, and the people responsible are often condemned by the media as well as the courts. However, there have been several cases in which pedestrians are involved in accidents as a result of drinking too much alcohol. Their drunkenness has meant that they are not aware of oncoming vehicles, nor have they been capable of reacting to potential hazards.

See also:

Road traffic accident claims

Pedestrian accident claims

What kind of accidents can happen when pedestrians are under the influence of alcohol?

People who have had too much to drink can find themselves in any of the following situations:

  • Stepping out onto the road without checking that it is safe to cross
  • Stumbling and falling whilst crossing the road, and being unable to get up before a vehicle approaches
  • Jay walking - walking on the road instead of the footpath, which can cause the pedestrian to collide with oncoming vehicles
  • Fighting or physically tussling with friends whilst on or close to the road
  • Losing their balance whilst walking near to a road, and being hit as a result
  • Failing to follow the direction of traffic lights, such as walking into the road when the red man is being displayed
  • Lying on the road in an unconscious state, completely unaware of any traffic

Who is to blame if a pedestrian who is drunk is injured by a motorist?

This is very much dependent on the individual circumstances of the accident. If it is not possible for the driver to see the pedestrian before the incident occurs, it is likely that the person who has been injured will be held at least partially responsible. If the pedestrian is well over the legal drinking limit when they walk out into traffic, they may have to accept some liability for what has happened.

Can pedestrians claim compensation for being injured while drunk?

People who have been hit by a car or other vehicle after they have been drinking can pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. However, they should bear in mind that each case will be considered on its own merits. Depending on the circumstances, and how drunk the person was, the amount of compensation awarded may be reduced accordingly.

What should you do if you have been run over when you have had too much to drink?

You should contact an experienced solicitor for advice as soon as possible. Quittance's panel of solicitors have dealt with cases like this before, so will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case for personal injury compensation. They can also advise as to whether or not you may be considered partially liable for the accident. You can strengthen your case by doing the following:

  • Visiting a hospital or your GP as soon as you can, so that there is an official record of your injury
  • Keeping a record of the time, location and circumstances of the accident
  • Taking photographs of your injury
  • Attending all medical appointments in relation to your condition, and engaging with rehabilitation such as physiotherapy

If you have been in an accident while drunk, you may be able to receive compensation for what has happened. Depending on how much you have had to drink, the award may be adjusted to reflect that you are partially to blame.

What happened?

The compensation claims process will depend on where and how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more information:

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Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor