If a pedestrian is struck by an uninsured motorist but both are intoxicated and the driver is a minor, will the pedestrian be charged with anything?

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If a pedestrian is struck by an uninsured motorist but both are intoxicated and the driver is a minor, will the pedestrian be charged with anything?

I’m of legal drinking age in my state, the driver is not. We were both attending the same party, but I didn’t provide any alcohol or any illegal substances.

Asked on May 22, 2012 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

"Walking while intoxicated" is not  crime, so there should be no criminal charges for it specifically. It is possible you could be given a ticket for a very minor violation, such as some sort of a disorderly persons offense, for public drunkeness if you were sufficiently drunk, or perceived by the authorites to be sufficiently drunk, but that has nothing to do with being a drunk pedestrian or being in an accident.

It is possible that (if you were injured) what you could recover from the driver in a lawsuit would be reduced due to your own drunkenness; when the plaintiff (person suing) in a lawsuit is him/herself negligent or careless, such "comparative" or "contributory" negligence will offset or reduce what he or she could get as compensation. For example: it's commonly the case  that if you suffered $5,000 of injuries but were ajudged to be 30% at fault, that your potential recovery would be reduced by 30%, to $3,500.

It's even possible, but unlikely, that if the driver, despite being drunk was actually driving responsibly and you did something monumentally stupid owing to your own intoxication, that you could be sued for any injuries or car damage he (or the car's owner) suffered--e.g.. if you were laying in the middle of the road and the driver swerved into a parked car while trying to avoid you, you could potentially be liable for his injuries or repair bills.


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