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Can I file a premises liability claim if I was drunk?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Slip-and-fall accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injuries in the U.S. They can also be the toughest personal injury claims to win. The defense’s argument is often that the slip-and-fall victim was somehow at fault as well.

Basically, premises liability claims are based on grounds that you were injured because the property owner failed to maintain their property in a safe manner or issue a warning regarding a specific hazard like a wet or slippery floor. So what happens if you were intoxicated at the time you slipped and fell while on another person’s premises?

Slip and falls and South Carolina negligence laws

Intoxication, in and of itself, cannot prevent you from filing a premises liability claim against the property owner. However, your inebriation can make your case a little complex.

South Carolina is a modified comparative negligence state. At its very basic, this means that your claim will hold even if it is established that your inebriation contributed to the slip-and-fall. To be eligible for compensation, however, your contribution to the slip-and-fall must not be greater than 51 percent. For instance, if it is established that your contribution to the slip-and-fall accident was 30 percent, and the court awards $100,000 in damages, then you will be entitled to $70,000. However, if the court rules that your contribution to the accident was 60 percent, then you would get nothing.

An example of a situation where the court might find you at a greater fault is when your inebriation impaired your vision and judgment, thus, causing you not to see obvious obstacles or hazards.

Fight for your rights

If you slip-and-fall on someone else’s property while intoxicated, there is a pretty good chance the property owner will blame you. Being intoxicated, however, does not strip you of the right to compensation. Find out how you safeguard your rights when litigating your South Carolina premises liability claim.