Kentucky drunk driving accident personal injury claim

Have you been involved in an auto accident with a drunk driver in Kentucky? You may be entitled to significant compensation. Kentucky's car insurance laws can complicate the picture. Namely, choice no-fault and comparative fault can affect victims' rights to pursue legal action.

For over 40 years, Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey has helped thousands of car accident victims. We will help you understand your rights and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Overview of Kentucky DUI Laws

Penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) in Kentucky are severe. They may include fines, license suspension, court-mandated treatment programs, and jail time. In Kentucky, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.08%. Drunk drivers may face criminal charges and civil liability if they are involved in an accident.

The fact that a driver was charged with a DUI is evidence of their recklessness. This improves the chances that victims will be able to recover damages. Even if the drunk driver was not charged with a DUI, however, alcohol may have still been a contributing factor. Your Kentucky personal injury lawyer can bring this to the court's attention.

It is important to note that a DUI charge doesn't necessarily mean the driver takes 100% of the blame. The courts will look at other contributing factors. The plaintiff must still prove that the drunk driver was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident.

Your Right to Fair Compensation

Victims of car accidents with drunk drivers may sue to recover damages. There are no limits on the settlement amount for personal injury cases like these. They depend on the specifics of the case and the injuries sustained by victims.

Plaintiffs may seek compensation for any or all of the following:

  • Medical expenses. This refers to any medical care or treatment related to injuries suffered. Examples include hospital bills, medication, and rehabilitation treatments.
  • Lost wages. If the victim is unable to work or has reduced working capacity, they can seek damages for lost income.
  • Future earning potential. Injuries may be so severe that the victim's future earning ability is hampered.
  • Property damage. Repairing damage to the car or replacing the car are the most common examples.
  • Pain and suffering. Victims may seek compensation for both the physical and emotional pain they may be enduring due to the accident.
  • Punitive damages. It may be possible for victims to seek payment meant to punish the at-fault driver. Driving under the influence (DUI) can be considered reckless or intentional.

Many factors affect how much compensation victims might receive. Seek the insight of the experienced attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey. We can better assess the specifics of your case.

How Does Kentucky Choice No-Fault Car Insurance Work?

For car insurance, Kentucky is a choice no-fault state. Drivers have the choice between traditional fault-based or no-fault car insurance. By default, auto insurance is no-fault. Under this system, your policy covers your own bills and expenses after an accident. It doesn't matter who caused the accident. The other driver then files a claim for their expenses from their own insurance provider.

You may, however, choose to opt out of no-fault insurance in Kentucky. This allows you to have fault-based car insurance. You must make this decision when you buy your car insurance, not after you've already had an accident. With fault-based insurance, you can sue an at-fault driver—like a drunk driver—for damages. If you're at fault, they can sue you too. Plus, you may not be entitled to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits from your own insurer if you opt out of no-fault insurance coverage.

Whether you have fault-based or no-fault insurance, Kentucky law requires drivers to have liability coverage.

You can seek damages from the other driver even if they have no-fault insurance if your injury claim meets a statutory threshold. The thresholds in Kentucky include if the accident results in:

  • At least $1,000 in medical bulls
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Permanent injury
  • Permanent loss of body function
  • Fracture of a weight-bearing bone
  • Compound, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone

In the case where both drivers have no-fault insurance, they usually need to seek compensation from their own insurers. But, if they meet any of the threshold requirements, either driver may be able to file a personal injury claim against the other. The attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey have decades of experience navigating these complicated and confusing rules and have a record of achieving excellent results for clients.

The Comparative Negligence System in Kentucky

Another aspect of Kentucky car insurance laws that affects a personal injury claim after a drunk driving accident is comparative fault. Also called comparative negligence, it describes how fault is assigned in an accident. The fault is split up between parties as percentages. One driver may be 25% at fault, and the other driver is 75% to blame. In this case, the damages awarded correspond to the percentage of fault.

Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state, unlike some states where you waive your right to pursue damages if you're at least 50% at fault. If you are partially at fault, you can still seek damages. Even if you are 99% at fault for causing the accident, you can sue the other party. The resulting settlement would be relative to fault. In this case, you may only be eligible for 1% of any damages awarded.

Comparative fault is always a factor the attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey consider when evaluating personal injury claims.

Benefits of Working With a Personal Injury Attorney

With so many rules, it's easy to get confused. The qualified attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey can help you understand how these rules apply to your case. Know your rights. Get the legal advice you need.

With comparative negligence, the division of fault plays a critical role in recovering damages. Each percentage point of assigned fault adds or takes away from a potential settlement. Your legal team can devise strategies for maximizing compensation.

Our legal team can best assess your options and help you get the fair compensation you deserve. The strength of your claim depends on the strength of your case. We will collect evidence, build your case, and present the strongest argument possible. We are on your side.