A Guide On How To Claim Compensation For An Accident When Drunk

By Stephen Burke. Last Updated 23rd April 2024. Welcome to our guide on claiming compensation for an accident when drunk. If you suffer an injury on a night out in an accident when drunk, you might think that there’s no chance of being compensated for your injuries. After all, you were drunk so the accident must be your fault, right? Well, no. Not in all circumstances. It is sometimes possible for a personal injury solicitor to claim for a drunk injury if it was caused, or partly caused, by somebody else’s negligence. It is possible that your amount of compensation could be reduced if you were found to partly to blame, but you could be compensated in some way. Here, we explain how compensation for injuries when you’re falling over drunk could be calculated. Plus, we provide a list of compensation payouts for injuries from falling over drunk.

An injured person with bandages around their hand and wrist visits a doctor providing treatment

Due to the complexity of proving these types of claim, we’d recommend having a personal injury specialist on your side. Our advisors are able to provide a no-obligation assessment of your claim and provide free legal advice. If they deem that your case is strong enough, you could be introduced to one of our solicitors who could handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. To discuss your claim right away, please call an advisor on 0800 073 8801 today.

Alternatively, to find out more about claiming for an accident while drunk, please carry on reading.

Select A Section

  1. How To Claim Compensation For An Accident When Drunk
  2. Types Of Accident Which Could Happen To A Drunk Person
  3. List Of Compensation Payouts – Compensation For Injuries Sustained When Drunk
  4. Special Damages Which Could Be Awarded If Injured When Drunk
  5. Learn How To Claim Compensation For An Accident When Drunk On A No Win No Fee Basis
  6. Essential References

How To Claim Compensation For An Accident When Drunk

In different scenarios of your life, you are owed a duty of care by certain parties. Examples include the following:

  • Out in public areas – When you are in a public place, such as a pub, bar or restaurant, the controller of that space owes you a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. Under their duty, they should take steps to ensure your reasonable safety while you’re within the public space.
  • On or near the road – Each road user, including pedestrians and vehicle passengers, owes each other a duty of care. They should use the roads in a manner that avoids causing harm to themselves and others. Also as part of their duty, they should adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 plus the rules and regulations set out in the Highway Code. Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is against the law to drive a motor vehicle while over the legal alcohol limit.

You may be eligible to claim compensation if the following applies:

  • You were owed a duty of care.
  • The party that owed this duty breached it.
  • You suffered your injuries because of this breach.

Some people may be worried that being drunk when they were injured may disqualify them from claiming compensation. However, even if you were drunk at the time, you are still owed a duty of care in scenarios such as the examples listed above. If you were in breach of any laws during the incident that injured you, then this could make you ineligible to claim any compensation.

For more advice on how you could start an injury claim for an accident such as falling over while drunk, please contact our advisors for free today either online or by calling us.

Can I Make A Split Liability Claim If Injured While Drunk?

If you are considered partially responsible for an accident that occurred while you were drunk, then you may still be able to claim compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered the incident. A split liability claim could potentially be made against the other parties considered responsible.

The amount of compensation you could receive through such a claim will depend on the amount of responsibility placed on you and others for the incident. For example, if you are considered 50% responsible for the accident that hurt you, then you’ll receive half of the compensation that would normally have been offered if you were considered blameless.

Contact our advisors for free today if you would like to learn more about split liability claims.

Time Limit For Personal Injury Claims

In accordance with the Limitation Act 1980, there is a three-year time limit for starting a personal injury claim for an accident, such as slipping, tripping or falling while drunk. This usually starts from the date the incident happened.

The time limit can work differently under certain circumstances. If the injured person lacks the mental capacity to start their own injury claim, then the time limit will be frozen indefinitely. It may only be activated later if the injured party later regains their mental capacity. If this happens, the time limit starts from the day of recovery. When the time limit is frozen, a litigation friend could claim on the injured person’s behalf.

Other exceptions also apply to those under the age of 18. To learn what these are, or to see if you may be eligible to start a personal injury claim, contact our team of advisors for free today.

Types Of Accident Which Could Happen To A Drunk Person

They type of accident that could happen to a drunk person are pretty much the same as those that could happen to a sober person. As discussed previously though, the fact they were drunk could’ve contributed to the accident and may affect the ability to claim a full compensation settlement.

However, here are some accidents which are much more likely for somebody who is drunk:

  • Crossing the road without looking to see that it’s safe to cross.
  • Walking in the road rather than staying on the path meaning you could collide with oncoming traffic.
  • Losing balance while walking on the path and falling into the path of road traffic.
  • Laying in the road, unconscious and completely unaware of the traffic on the road.
  • Falling over while crossing the road and not getting up in time when traffic is approaching.
  • Messing around (play fighting) with friends by the side of the road causing you to fall into the path of traffic.
  • Ignoring road signals, such as a red man at traffic light crossings, causing you to step into oncoming traffic.

These are all related to pedestrians and vehicles involved in road traffic accidents. We’ll look at whether they could lead to a personal injury compensation claim later on. We’ll also look at other types of accidents that could happen when drunk as we proceed through the guide.

List Of Compensation Payouts – Compensation For Injuries Sustained When Drunk

One thing you might want to know if you fall over drunk and suffer an injury is how much compensation for injuries from falling over drunk you could receive. As per the earlier sections of this guide, you couldn’t simply claim if you fall over drunk. You would need to prove that someone breached their duty of care towards you and this caused your injuries. 

We’ve also mentioned that compensation for injuries you suffer when you fall over drunk could be reduced to reflect your level of fault. This is known as contributory negligence. Therefore, when looking at the list of compensation payouts below, you might want to keep that in mind. A solicitor could give you further guidance on how much compensation you could receive.

How Much Could I Claim In Compensation For My Injuries?

Below you will see a table with figures in it from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication that solicitors and courts could use to arrive at a compensation payout for general damages. General damages are designed to compensate successful claimants for their pain and suffering and loss of amenity caused by the injury.

Injury TypeSeverityPayment RangeComments
Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Special DamagesSeriousUp to £250,000+If you are eligible to claim for multiple injuries following an accident, then you may receive a payout covering all of these plus any related special damages, such as the cost of home care provisions.
Injury To The LegsSevere (b) (i)£117,460 to £165,860This range covers injuries that are so severe that the effect is the same as if the leg had been amputated.
Hand InjurySerious (e)£35,390 to £75,550Serious hand Injuries which result 50% loss of function.
Back InjuryModerate (b) (i)£33,880 to £47,320This compensation range includes fractures that could require require spinal fusion including compression or crush fractures.
Neck InjuryModerate (b) (i)£30,500 to £46,970Covers dislocations or severe fractures in the neck with which might require spinal fusion.
Injury To The ArmsLess severe (c)£23,430 to £47,810Initial significant disabilities but substantial recovery.
Foot InjuryModerate (f)£16,770 to £30,500Injuries which drastically increase the risk of long-term oesteoarthritis.
Foot InjuryModest (g)Up to £16,770Includes injuries like puncture wounds, ruptured ligaments and also simple metarsal fractures.
Shoulder InjuryMinor (d) (i)£5,310 to £9,630Covers soft tissue damage where the victim recovers fully within 1 to 2 years.

Special Damages Which Could Be Awarded If Injured When Drunk

In the previous section, we covered ‘general damages’. That’s the compensation which is awarded to cover the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by your injuries. As well as general damages though, your personal injury solicitor can claim for a number of different special damages. These are for financial losses incurred because of your injuries. Some of the special damages that could be included in a claim for an alcohol related accident include:

  • Care Costs.
    If you need to be cared for during your recovery, you could include the cost of a professional carer within your claim. You could also claim if you’ve been cared for by a friend or family member.
  • Medical Costs.
    While you will receive free medical treatment from the NHS, many people have to pay for the cost of prescriptions and other medicines. Therefore, you could include medication costs within your claim.
  • Travelling Expenses.
    You could also claim for the cost of travelling to and from medical appointments as part of your claim (travel costs). Furthermore, if you have to stop driving for any period while you recover, if you incur other costs as a result, then you could claim for those as well.
  • Lost Income
    If your injuries mean you need time off work to recover or to attend medical appointments, you could claim for any loss of earnings. If your ability to work is going to be affected in the long-term, you could also claim for future lost earnings.

Our advice regarding special damages is that you should keep hold of receipts, car park tickets, transport tickets, wage slips and bank statements to help prove your losses. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a diary of your spending as it’s much easier than trying to recall why you spent money later on.

Personal injury solicitor reviewing a drunk injury claim

Learn How To Claim Compensation For An Accident When Drunk On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you’ve suffered an injury when drunk, you might want to make a compensation claim but you’re worried about the cost of hiring a solicitor. If that’s the case, don’t worry. Our team of solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis for any claim they agree to take on.

No win no fee claims are made on the basis that you don’t have to pay any solicitor’s fees unless you receive compensation. You, and your solicitor, will sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) confirming this prior to the claim beginning.

Also, the CFA will explain that when compensation is awarded, you’ll pay a success fee. Don’t worry though, you won’t need the funds available to cover this fee. It’s a small and legally capped percentage of your compensation that the solicitor retains before the rest is paid to you.

We believe that because you don’t have to pay the solicitor’s fees up front, more people are able to claim. It also means the financial risk and stress levels associated with claiming are reduced.

To find out whether you could use a personal injury lawyer on this basis, please call for a free assessment of your claim.

Now that you’ve read this guide, we hope that you’ve chosen to begin your claim with Accident Claims UK. If so, there a few different ways by which you can contact us. These include:

  • Telephone: Call our advisors directly on 0800 073 8801.
  • Email: Send details of your drunk accident to office@accidentclaims.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.
  • Live Chat: Use the chat facility that’s available right across our website.
  • Online: Complete this online claim form and we’ll get back to you when it’s convenient.

Whichever method you choose, one of advisors will offer to assess your claim for free and with no obligation. They’ll provide free advice so that you know all of your options too.

Essential References

You’ve now come to the end of this guide about claiming for an injury caused by an accident when drunk. To assist you further, we’ve provided some more links below which we hope you’ll find helpful.

NHS Head Injuries – This guide from the NHS might be useful if you’ve suffered a head injury while drunk.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority – CICA run the government scheme which you could claim against if you are injured on a night out because of a criminal act against you.

Whiplash Injuries – Whiplash is a potential alcohol related injury as it can occur due to collisions or falls.

Slip, Trip and Fall Accident Claims – This guide explains the different injuries and reasons for a slip, trip or fall. It’s not necessarily about being injured when drunk but relevant, nonetheless.

Assault Compensation Claims – A useful guide which explains the differences between personal injury claims and criminal injury claims.

Public Place Accidents – This guide explains when you could make a personal injury claim following an accident in a public place.