Louisville Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyers
Hundreds of lives have been ruined or ended by someone else’s decision to drink and drive. The devastation for families left behind is a life altering event and a dark place to struggle to overcome. Hessig & Pohl understands the grief you carry after an event like this and stands ready to help you obtain the compensation you deserve if you choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Kentucky Drunk Driving Laws
A driver in the Bluegrass State, aged 21 or older is impaired when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent. As for underage drivers, there is zero tolerance. If a driver’s BAC is 0.15 percent or higher, there may be stiffer penalties and harsher consequences. Those with a commercial driver’s license such as truckers and bus drivers are charged with driving under the influence with a BAC at or above .04 percent.
In the aftermath of a drunk driving car accident, police may choose to pursue criminal charges against the impaired driver. It is not the criminal case that allows a grieving family to seek compensation for their grievous loss, it is a civil lawsuit; a wrongful death lawsuit alleging the driver was negligent and caused the death of a loved one, injuring you.
If the other driver involved in the crash was impaired but no one was killed you may also pursue a personal injury lawsuit against that driver. As a plaintiff, you need to prove the other driver was impaired and to do that, there are some forms of evidence that are valuable, such as:
- Police accident report
- Witness testimony
- Cellphone pictures of the crash scene
- Cellphone pictures of the damage
- Field sobriety test results
- Other driver’s appearance (bloodshot eyes, smells of alcohol)
- Other driver’s actions (acting aggressively, slurring speech)
The more evidence you are able to gather, the better the outcome in terms of damages from a settlement or trial.
Categories of Damages
There are two categories of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages cover such items as lost wages, lost income, medical expenses, car repairs and other out-of-pocket expenses, loss of earning capacity, loss of future income, pain and mental anguish.
Punitive damages are over and above an award of compensatory damages. They may be awarded in a personal injury case when the injuries are serious and life altering, or may be assessed if the defendant was so reckless and negligent that punishment is appropriate. It is hoped punitive damages act as a deterrent for the other driver to drive drunk again.
Drunk driving accident injuries
Injuries resulting from drunk driving accidents are often catastrophic. The most common drunk driving collision injuries may include, but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ruptured organs
- Crushed vertebrae
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Psychological trauma
You may file a personal injury lawsuit in Kentucky against a DUI driver if you were injured. To do that, your injuries must meet certain thresholds. For instance, you can likely make claims under your personal injury protection insurance policy.
Kentucky's Drunk Driving Accidents Statistics
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has ranked 25 Kentucky counties with the highest rates of drunk driving collisions. From 1 to 25 they are: Jefferson, Fayette, Kenton, Boone, Warren, Campbell, Daviess, Madison, Hardin, Pike, McCracken, Christian, Floyd, Bullitt, Franklin, Laurel, Jessamine, Scott, Shelby, Nelson, Pulaski, Henderson, Barren, Calloway and Whitley.
In 2011, 4,551 DUI crashes resulted in 158 deaths and 2,278 injured
In 2012, 4,671 crashes ended in 148 fatalities and 2,376 injured
In 2013, 4,529 crashes killed 163 and injured 2,339
In 2014, 4,334 collisions killed 156 and injured 2,067
In 2015, there were 4,269 wrecks, killing 175 and injuring 2,072
In 2016, 4,243 accidents resulted in 171 deaths and 1,974 people injured
In 2017, 5,350 accidents results in 157 deaths and 2,781 injured
The lawyers & staff at Hessig & Pohl are here for you
At Hessig & Pohl, we understand the loss that occurs after any accident.
You may have physical pain and emotional suffering in addition to lost wages, and you may also be facing a serious, permanent impairment. Hessig & Pohl takes a comprehensive approach to accident investigation by gathering evidence quickly to support your case. We work with a team of professionals to develop the best strategy to protect your rights and achieve a fair settlement. Call us today for your free consultation at (502) 777-1111