Year 2, week 35: BlindDrunk

It’s often been the case in the last year or two that I’ve thought the law was crazy when it came to personal injury, but today capped the lot.  Simple case.  My client got drunk on ten pints of lager on a Saturday night and tripped over a hole in the road.  Not a big hole but big enough to trip him up and cause him to injure himself.  Despite the fact that he admitted to having drunk ten pints in less than four hours, the judge still found in his favour and only reduced his damages by 50% as a result of what was euphemistically called ‘contributory negligence’.  Blind drunkness more like. 

Worst of all, the result wasn’t even a surprise and my opponent will almost certainly not appeal.

May 28, 2008 · Tim Kevan · 8 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

8 Responses

  1. Jim Harris - May 28, 2008

    Why can’t people just accept that accidents happen and take responsibility?

  2. badfelafel - May 28, 2008

    Its not about responsibility… its just a way of making money!

  3. nick brown - May 29, 2008

    Quite right too! After 10 pints he did really well to find the hole in the first place. An excellent judge here.

  4. Abigail - May 31, 2008

    My colleague had a client after a criminal injury compensation, with a shattered jaw. The trouble was, she could not remember the incident. She could have been punched, or she could just have fallen down dead drunk, and hit the kerbstone. I avoid St Marys Street after dark, and when I get that ratarsed like to do it in the homes of friends, where I can fall on something soft.

  5. legalspy - June 2, 2008

    Speaking as a fully fledged personal injury crusader, let me add my 2ps worth
    Was there a hole in the road? – Yep
    Should it have been there? – Nope
    Was the (poor) chap injured as a result of the hole in the road? – Yep
    Do you lose your legal right to compensation when drunk? – Nope
    Raise a glass to good old British Justice.

  6. rod - June 2, 2008

    You’ve truly nailed your colours to the mast today BabyB, you’ve become a reactionary and unsympathetic old fart like most of your colleagues.
    Not a very good understanding of the law of negligence either.

  7. Paul - June 2, 2008

    Legalspy, it’s not really that simple now is it.
    1) Was there a hole in the road? Yes
    2) Was it reasonable for there to have been a hole in the road? Perhaps, depending on the financial constraints affecting the highways authority, how recent the hole was put there, whether the authority knew it was there etc. Breach of duty is a disguise for policy.
    3)Did the hole which ought not to have been there cause the injury? Again, perhaps. If he would have seen and avoided the hole if he were sober, one might argue that his drunkenness was the cause. Would he have injured himself but for the hole being there? Maybe, he might have tripped on something else… Causation is also a disguise for policy.
    4) Does drunkenness prevent you get damages? No, of course not.

  8. Janet - June 3, 2008

    Simple answer to all of this. Don’t be so greedy with the alcohol! If you don’t get drunk, you tend not to fall over.