Claiming compensation for an injury if you were drunk – How To Claim? – How Much Can I Claim?
By Meg Sodha. Last updated 4th April 2022. In this guide, we will explore the process of claiming compensation for an injury if you were drunk.
If you suffer an accident or injury when drunk you may think you have to shoulder the blame and deal with the consequences on your own.
This is not always true, however, and you might be interested to know that sometimes you can indeed lodge a compensation claim for an injury/ies which you have obtained. Sometimes accidents are unavoidable and the fact that you had enjoyed a drink prior to the accident may simply be irrelevant. After all, most adults like the odd glass of alcoholic drink now and then.
An obvious case where you would be unlikely to be at fault is if you were injured due to slipping on a spilled drink inside a nightclub. The owners of the establishment should have completed a risk assessment, bearing in mind that their patrons will be under the influence of alcohol and should be taking precautions to ensure that spillages are wiped up promptly.
On your way home you could have an accident that is not your fault, regardless of whether or not you have been drinking. Sometimes an accident occurs because you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time for example if you are crossing a street at a pedestrian crossing and are hit by a car that failed to stop at a red light.
As claims for compensation whilst drunk can be complicated to prove it is important that you get in touch with an experienced legal advisor as soon as possible to discuss your options. Although the personal injury claims time limit is generous it does exist so there is no point in wasting time wondering whether or not your claim is valid. Speak to an expert first.
Here at Legal Expert we are waiting for your call and can discuss your options in detail concerning your injury or accident when you’d had alcohol to drink. Call us now on 0800 073 8804. Or, if you prefer, read our comprehensive guide to compensation when drunk first, clicking on the sections below that most interest you. You will find there is a lot of information covered. We very much hope you find it useful.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Accidents And Injuries When Drunk
- What Are The Types Of Accident Or Injury Which Can Happen When Drunk
- Assaults And Criminal Injuries On A Night Out
- Can I Claim Compensation For A Pedestrian Accident When Drunk?
- Establishing Liability In Cases Where A Driver Hits A Drunk Pedestrian
- Claiming Compensation For Slips, Trips, And Falls When Drunk
- How To Start A Compensation Claim
- What Can Drunk Compensation Claims Include?
- Compensation Claims Calculator For Accidents Or Injuries When Drunk
- No Win No Fee Drunk Accident Injury Claims
- Why Choose Legal Expert To Manage Your Claim?
- Talk To Our Team Today
- Useful Links
You may think that personal injury claims for an injury on a night out are doomed to failure as you will be deemed to be at fault due to the alcohol you have consumed. If you have deliberately or willfully caused an accident resulting in injury to yourself then, of course, you will have liability for an accident on a night out. But the simple fact that you were drunk is not enough to prevent you from a successful claim if you suffer an accident or injury when drunk.
There are many places that such an accident could take place – the venue you were visiting, walking along the street, on public transport or in a taxi home. The circumstances surrounding the accident may be unclear so it is important that you take advice about how to proceed as soon as you can. A personal injury solicitor will help you to decide if your accident was or was not your fault and how likely it is that you can make a claim.
Alcohol can affect your balance and reactions so many drunk compensation claims will be for a slip, trip, fall or similar accident. These could be caused by
- poor lighting for example in stairwells or where the floor is uneven
- faulty stairs, worn and uneven flooring or unexpected obstructions
- food and drink spillages not being dealt with promptly
- damp floors, for example in toilets or near entrances
You may also suffer an accident as the result of the behaviour of others. As a drunk pedestrian you could be jostled into the path of oncoming traffic. And if you are hit by a drunk driver UK legislation is likely to be on your side, not theirs.
If you fall over or have a pedestrian accident when drunk you are most likely to suffer bruising or a sprain, however lacerations and broken bones are also common. Less frequently you may get burnt from hot plates or succumb to food poisoning as a result of eating out during your night out.
Sadly, some people seem intent on having a “criminal injury night out” and even if you attempt to avoid confrontation you can sometimes find yourself swept up into their actions and sustaining injuries you otherwise would not have done such as cuts, bruising and damage to facial features.
What Is The Most Common Alcohol-Related Injury?
It’s difficult to provide a definite answer to what the most common alcohol-related injury is because it may vary depending on the situation.
However, injuries that you could sustain in an alcohol-related accident might include:
- Head injury including damage to the brain
- Sprains and strains
- Broken and fractured bones
- Back injury
- Alcohol poisoning
There are also some instances where you could experience psychological harm. For instance, if you had your drink spiked and were assaulted, you may experience flashbacks of the attack.
If you have experienced a similar incident and would like to know whether you’re eligible to claim, please get in touch on the details above.
If, as a result of criminal injury night out became a night in hospital, you may be able to make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Unlike, for example an insurance claim against a drunk driver, claims for criminal injury can proceed even if you do not know who was responsible for your assault.
In order to ensure that a claim through CICA is successful, it is important that you report assaults or other criminal activity that has resulted in you becoming injured to the police and that you assist them in their enquiries. There is a minimum threshold of injury and a maximum amount payable. Your personal injury lawyer will advise on the current limits and on the likelihood that your claim is eligible for the scheme.
Simply being drunk is not enough to prevent you from making a compensation claim. You may be less aware of your surroundings and, therefore, more at risk of having an accident, but most accidents occur when a set of unfortunate circumstances come together – not as the result of one fact.
If you have suffered a pedestrian accident when drunk then the precise circumstances of the accident can be very important. If you are hit by a drunk driver uk law is likely to be on your side – but if you are also intoxicated and, for example, stepped out into the road leaving no reaction time for the driver, then you may have to take some responsibility for your own injuries.
There are some steps you should take before you search the internet for “I got hit by a drunk driver what am I entitled to? UK personal injury claim” or similar. First, make sure you get proper medical attention. Not only will this speed up your recovery but it will also ensure that there is an official record of your injuries. As soon as you can write down when, where and how your accident happened. If you or your friends have photographs of the incident and of your injuries then keep them safe as they may be useful to strengthen your claim. It is also important that you attend all follow-up appointments and physiotherapy – especially if your claim covers the long-term effects of your injuries.
Liability in cases where a driver hits a drunk pedestrian can be complex as there are several factors to consider.
For instance, a driver may have been driving at the correct standard but the drunk pedestrian may have failed to take proper care when crossing the road. In this instance, the driver couldn’t be reasonably expected to prevent the accident due to the pedestrian acting in the way they did.
A drunk pedestrian may be more likely to:
- Cross the road when it is not safe to do so
- Trip while crossing and be unable to move out of the way of oncoming traffic
- Walk in the road when a pavement is available
- Be pushed into the road by fighting, play-fighting or shoving from other members in your group
- Stumble and fall over into the road
- Use pedestrian crossing facilities improperly, such as crossing when a red man is displayed at traffic lights
- Become unconscious or insensible whilst in the road
For more information on what you’re entitled to if you got hit by a drunk driver, call our team.
Are Drunk Drivers Always At Fault In Car Accidents?
All road users have a duty of care to protect each other when navigating the roads. However, in some cases, they may fail to do so.
For example, a driver may have operated their vehicle under the influence of alcohol and knocked over a cyclist. As a result, the cyclist may have experienced serious injuries to their spine and back.
In these instances, the driver would be at fault for the accident that caused another road user to sustain harm.
If you sustain an injury on a night out you may worry that being drunk will mean you are not able to make a claim for compensation. Of course how much you drank will have a bearing on your risk of having an accident but that doesn’t mean that your slip, trip, fall or other alcohol-related injuries are completely your own fault.
There are instances where the person in control of the public space could have breached their duty of care, causing you to sustain harm as a result. For instance, you could have slipped on a wet floor that had not been cleaned up within a reasonable amount of time and hadn’t been signposted to warn you of the spill.
In this instance, you may still be eligible to claim for a drunk fall.
As in all legal matters, your first step should be to contact professional legal advice. A personal injury solicitor can advise on all aspects of your drunk compensation claim, what personal injury claims time limit applies and offer their professional opinion as to how likely your claim is to succeed.
When you suffer an accident or injury when drunk you should always obtain medical assistance as soon as it is clear that your injuries are more serious than a few cuts or bruises. Attending an emergency department or seeking advice from your GP the next day will ensure that there is a full, professional, record of the extent of your injuries created when the injuries are still present. The personal injury claims calculator works on the basis of how severe the injury is so your payout could be affected if the extent is unknown at the time of claiming.
Taking photographs of the accident or injury when drunk may not be high on your list but if any exist then they should be copied to a safe location. Writing down when the accident happened and what you can recall of how it happened as soon as you can is also a good idea to strengthen your claim.
The law is clear on the purpose of compensation: it is there to ensure that you are no worse off financially than if you had not suffered the accident or injury when drunk or indeed at any other time.
Compensation claims may comprise:
General Damages covers your actual injuries and their effects. Included in the sum claimed for under general damages are amounts based on your actual injuries, how much pain you suffered (both physical and mental), and any longer-term effects such as disability, reduced enjoyment of life, physical disfigurement and mental health impact.
You could also seek reimbursement of any financial losses incurred as a result of the injuries you sustained.
For example, your injuries may have required you to take time off work while you recover causing you to lose income. However, you could provide payslips to show any loss of earnings and claim them back under special damages.
Please note that you must have evidence to support any monetary losses. This could include receipts or invoices.
Other financial losses that could be claimed under special damages might include:
Medical Expenses covers out of pocket expenses such as prescriptions, medical aids such as walking frames or crutches, specialist services not available on the NHS and so forth.
Travel Costs not only includes petrol and parking fees for hospital visits but can also include other travel expenses incurred as a direct result of having had an accident or injury when drunk.
Care Claim reimburses you for the cost of any care you require, such as home nursing or a care assistant. This could cover the cost short term while you heal from your accident, or go towards long-term support if you require it.
The table below uses figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The guidelines from the Judicial College provide bracket compensation amounts for different injuries. It’s often used when valuing how much injuries are worth.
As mentioned, compensation for the pain and suffering your injuries caused is awarded under general damages. In order to accurately calculate how much your injuries are worth, medical evidence will also be assessed alongside the JCG. Medical reports can show how severe an injury is and the impact it might have on your current and future quality of life.
|Type of Injury||Description||Amount|
|Minor Finger or Thumb Injuries||Damage to soft tissue or nails that have been torn off.||Up to £4,160 (fingers) or £3,460 (thumb)|
|Serious Finger or Thumb Injuries||Long-term tendon damage, loss of mobility and stiffness.||£13,080 to £14,330|
|Moderate Hand Injuries||Deep lacerations, needing stiching and which may require surgery to repair.||£5,110 to £11,640|
|Serious Wrist Injuries||Compound fractures which require immobilisation while healing but will have no long-term impact||£21,480 to £34,340|
|Less Severe Arm Injuries||Damage that will limit use of the arm for the short-term but will heal eventually.||£13,720 to £28,060|
|Simple Arm Fractures||Fractures to the short bones of the forearm.||£5,810 to £16,830|
|Moderate Foot Injuries||Serious fractures which require plaster to immobilise the foot until healed||£12,050 to £21,910|
|Very Severe Ankle Injuries||Injuries resulting in permanent loss of some functionality of the ankle.||£43,900 to £61,110|
|Minor Leg Injuries||Soft tissue damage, sprains and very minor fractures.||Up to £10,380|
|Moderate Neck Injuries||Injuries which may be painful and take time to heal. The length of time will affect the amount payable.||£6,920 to £33,750|
|Moderate Back Injuries||Predominately damage to muscles and ligaments of the back causing pain whilst healing.||£10,970 to £34,000|
As there are several factors that may impact the amount you receive, please only use the figures in the table as a guide.
Alternatively, you could use our personal injury claims compensation calculator to get a rough estimate of how much your claim may be worth. However, you should also only use this figure as a guide.
If you have had an accident or injury when drunk and want to make a compensation claim you may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Our solicitors offer No Win No Fee services, including a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means there are no fees required upfront or fees required while your claim is ongoing. Furthermore, there will be no requirement to pay a success fee to your solicitor if the claim fails.
If the claim is successful, this success fee will be deducted from your compensation. However, the fee is subject to a legal cap.
To find out whether one of our solicitors could represent your claim on this basis, please get in touch on the details above.
We have many years of experience in dealing with all types of personal injury claims, including criminal injury night out claims where the process may seem more complex.
Although we are online we have contacts across the whole country, which means if you need to meet in person or require a medical, your solicitor can arrange for it to happen locally to you.
Plus, as we’re not tied to office hours, we can answer any questions you may have on your case at any time.
Also, our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis giving you all the benefits with none of the uncertainty of dealing with someone you’re paying by the hour.
For more information, you can read the reviews left by previous claimants on our website.
Our bank of advisers is just waiting to hear from you. Our phone line, on 0800 073 8804, is open every day or, if you prefer you can drop us a message and we’ll call you at a more convenient time.
Alternatively, you can live chat with one of our team if you aren’t near your phone or prefer to keep your initial contact anonymous.
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Our handy guide can help you see what you can claim from pubs and bar accidents
We touched on criminal injury earlier in the guide. Here is some more information that might be useful
Some more information from the Government that may be of interest.
Visit this guide to find out whether you can claim compensation for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.
This is a guide exploring what your compensation payout for a brain injury claim may comprise.
See this guide to learn about how compensation is calculated for a cycling accident.
We hope our guide to making a claim for injuries sustained in an accident when drunk has helped. However, if you have any questions, please get in touch on the details above.