It’s always the right decision to avoid drinking and driving, as driving under the influence places everyone on the road at risk. However, those who walk home while drunk often unknowingly put themselves in greater danger.
While pedestrians comprise only 17% of car accident fatalities, approximately 39% of pedestrians killed in nighttime car accidents were legally intoxicated.
Walking under the influence isn’t as dangerous as getting behind the wheel, but that doesn’t mean it poses no risk to pedestrians themselves. Explore how walking under the influence can put you in danger as a pedestrian and when to consult a pedestrian accident attorney after a collision involving a vehicle.
Alcohol consumption interferes with reaction time, muscle control, balance, and decision-making skills. It also causes impaired vision and hearing and impacts coordination, putting drivers and pedestrians at risk of injury and accident.
While inebriated pedestrians are not controlling a fast-moving and heavy vehicle, they can still make poor decisions or be unable to react quickly to a hazardous situation, potentially leading to situations where they endanger themselves.
For example, they may cross the street outside a crosswalk and against the light, thinking they can get across the road quickly enough to avoid getting hit by a car. However, as they cross the street, they may stumble and fall. Even if they manage to get up again quickly, it takes a few moments to regain balance, and those few moments are all it takes to be struck by a vehicle.
If you are drunk, getting a ride home from a sober driver is far safer. Have a designated driver, use a ridesharing app, take public transit, or call a taxi to get home. Walking home may not endanger others on the road, but it will endanger you.
Drunk pedestrians are not exempt from the rules of the road. If your actions led directly to the driver hitting you and did not give them space or time to avoid hitting you, you could be held partly or fully liable for your injuries. For example, if you jaywalked rather than using a crosswalk or failed to adhere to traffic signals and ran out into traffic, you would likely be held partly liable if you were struck by a car.
However, Section 32.214 of Louisiana traffic law states that drivers must exercise proper precaution if they see a confused or incapacitated person on the road or sidewalk. This may mean slowing down, honking the horn, or providing extra space.
If the driver does not take any precautions to avoid hitting you, you may have grounds to hold them responsible for your injuries, even though you were drunk.
Louisiana is an at-fault state, meaning injured parties can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If a driver strikes you while you are drunk, and your actions didn’t contribute to the incident, you have the right to file a claim for compensation from the driver’s insurance.
However, the state’s comparative negligence law states that if the injured party holds some responsibility for their injuries, their compensation can be reduced accordingly. For example, if you stepped out suddenly from behind a parked car where you were not previously visible and end up getting hit, the court may find you 20% at fault for the accident. In this case, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.
It is not always clear who is liable in a crash between a car and a pedestrian. The New Orleans auto and pedestrian accident lawyers at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers can review the facts of your case and determine who would be held responsible for the accident.
Pedestrians who fall victim to car accidents, sober or otherwise, often face far more serious injuries than those inside the vehicle. If you or a loved one were struck by a car while walking after drinking, the pedestrian accident lawyers at Dudley DeBosier could help you recover compensation for your resulting injuries.
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of pedestrian collisions. We will review the facts of your case, put together a strong argument for compensation, and fight to help you recover the payments you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
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