Can an intoxicated person bring a claim if they fall on another’s property?
Defending Yourself from Intoxicated and Drunk Slip and Fall Cases:
Florida law recognizes a basic premise that, for a property owner to be liable for injuries that are sustained by people physically present on his or her property, the owner must have allowed the property to be in an unreasonably safe condition and not free from non-obvious dangers. Florida law also recognizes that the conduct of the injured party can alter that liability.
Florida Statute 768.36 addresses the conduct of a person who is injured and also under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the injury. The statute, which defines an” alcoholic beverage” as any distilled spirits and beverages that contains 0.5 percent or more alcohol by volume, and a “drug” as any chemical substance set forth in Florida Statute 877.111 or any substance controlled under Florida Statute 893. The statute is clear to exclude any drug or medication obtained pursuant to a prescription as defined in Florida Statute 893.02 which was taken in accordance with the prescription, or any medication that is authorized under state or federal law for general distribution and use without a prescription in treating human diseases, ailments, or injuries and that was taken in the recommended dosage from the definition of “drug” as it relates to Florida Statute 768.36.
The statue hold that, generally, an injured party may not recover any damages for loss or injury to his or her person or property if it is shown, at the time the party was injured, the party was under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug to the extent that the plaintiff’s normal faculties were impaired or the plaintiff had a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher and, as a result of the influence of such alcoholic beverage or drug the plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault for his or her own harm.
Additionally, under Florida Statute 768.075, a party that either owns or controls an interest in real property, or an agent of such person or organization, shall not be held liable for any civil damages for the death of, or injury or damage to, a trespasser who enters onto the property when such trespasser was under the influence of alcoholic beverages with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher, when such trespasser was under the influence of any chemical substance set forth in Florida Statue 877.111, when such trespasser was illegally under the influence of any substance controlled under Florida Statute 893, or if the trespasser is affected by any of the aforesaid substances to the extent that her or his normal faculties are impaired. However, the person or organization owning or controlling the interest in real property shall not be immune from liability if gross negligence or intentional misconduct on the part of such person or organization or agent thereof is a proximate cause of the death of or injury or damage to the trespasser.”
To determine if your neighbor’s guest has the grounds to bring a claim against you for his injuries, he would have to show, first, that there was an unreasonably dangerous condition that existed on your property that was the cause of his fall and injury, and the influence of his intoxication was no more than 50% of the cause of his fall and corresponding injury. If the neighbor’s guest was intoxicated and did not have permission to be on your property (trespasser) and the property owner was not engage in any intentional acts or gross misconduct that caused the injuries.
Determining if a person’s consumption of alcohol or drugs will prevent them from being able to make a claim for injuries suffered on another’s property is a complex and fact sensitive analysis. You need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney by your side, one who has experience dealing with slip and fall accidents, knows the law and knows how to fight for all the compensation you are entitled to. You need the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney right away to answer all of your questions and protect your rights. The Law Office of Dan Newlin & Partners has the experience, knowledge and resources to help. Please call (407) 888-8000 and have an attorney give you the answers you need to all of your questions about slip and fall accidents. Do not go it alone, get advice from an experienced attorney. Get advice from Dan Newlin & Partners.