Can I Sue for My Injuries If I Was Drunk?

Were you ever injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s fault while you were driving drunk? Did you think that you couldn’t sue – file a lawsuit or be compensated for your injuries because you were drunk?

If that’s what you thought, you’re not alone. I’ve spoken with people who were hurt while riding drunk and people who were drunk but were passengers who thought they couldn’t sue because they were drunk. I’ve even been told by other lawyers that there is no case.

We have successfully represented several motorcycle accident clients who were drunk at the time of the accident. Following is a case where we represented a drunk passenger who allegedly gave alcohol to the driver and another where we represented a very drunk motorcyclist.

Recently, I settled a case for a drunk passenger. The insurance company tried to offer several reasons not to pay. First, the insurance company argued that the passenger caused the accident by creating a disturbance when he was drunk. Later, they argued that he provided alcohol to the driver got him drunk also. Because the insurance company was not able to prove any of that, they had to pay.

In another case, my client was riding a motorcycle while drunk and was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident. Approximately 90 minutes after getting on his motorcycle, his blood alcohol concentration was determined by the hospital to be 0.18%.

The insurance company hired a toxicologist who wrote that the hospital records indicate that my client lost control of his vehicle and fell off. He also wrote “0.18% is significantly in excess of New York State statutory limit for intoxication of .08%. In order for a level of 0.18% to be achieved, Mr. X would have had to have consumed a minimum of 9-11 drinks.” The toxicologist stated this is equivalent to 12 (12 ounce) beers which made him markedly impaired and that this caused or significantly contributed to the motorcycle accident.

My argument was that the insurance company could not prove that my client caused the motorcycle accident. If my client, who was drunk, had been traveling through an intersection with a green light and was struck by a car that ran a red light, the car would have been negligent in causing the accident and not my client because he was drunk. I settled this case for $155,000.

Also, see Can You Get Money for Injuries If You Were Driving without a License?

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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different

Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel is well-known in New York for representing motorcyclists and created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Motorcycle Injury Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

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