Drunk Driving Accidents

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    Drunk drivers are all around us on our nation’s roadways. Many go undetected for a while, getting behind the wheel repeatedly without consequences. The number of drivers arrested with death-related charges is less than 1% of more than 100 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving.

    Every day, 37 people die in U.S. drunk driving crashes. Every year, drunk drivers cause more than $120 billion in death-related damages, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In total, drunk drivers cause one-third of all traffic fatalities reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

    Unfortunately, these national drunk driving statistics and traffic safety facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are reflected in Kentucky state statistics, too. Although Kentucky doesn’t have the highest percentage of drunk driving accidents, we’re #21 in the nation for drunk driving deaths. Drunk drivers cause 24% of total traffic fatalities in Kentucky.

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    The dangers go beyond the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drunk driving statistics. Impaired driving is everywhere and is a leading cause of collisions. We have approximately 80,000 miles of public roads here, not to mention more than 3 million licensed drivers in Kentucky. Traffic fatalities, drunk driving fatalities, and injuries are a daily reality.

    Why You Need a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

    What would you do if you or a family member suffered severe injuries due to a drunk driver? Drunk drivers can inflict injuries or even cause drunk driving fatalities to those unlucky enough to be in their paths. 

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    If you believe the other driver was alcohol-impaired, it’s time to take action and protect your rights. Alcohol-impaired crashes affect victims’ lives, families, and livelihoods. You don’t have to face traffic-related deaths alone.

    The attorneys at McCoy & Sparks, PLLC are determined to help victims of drunk driving and drunk driving fatalities understand their options. No one injured by a driver under the influence in Central Kentucky should have to pay their own medical bills or suffer from loss of wages as a result of an impaired driving accident that wasn’t their fault.

    We can help you receive compensation for your injuries or your loved one’s death, and we will help drivers involved in fatal crashes seek punishment for the offender. We have deep roots in the community and a track record of success, securing millions of dollars in compensation for our clients after car crashes and drunk driving fatalities.

    Contact us at 844-4KY-WINS if you have been hit by a driver under the influence. We handle cases involving motor vehicle crashes with drunk driving fatalities, impaired driving, violations of minimum drinking age laws, young drivers, teen drivers, felony offenses, and alcohol-related car crashes of many kinds.

    What Damages Can I Seek in a DUI or DWI Accident?

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    Under Kentucky law, if you are injured in a collision, you have the right to seek compensation for many of the costs you incur.

    You can sue the person who caused the accident if the following conditions are met:

    • At least $1,000 in medical expenses
    • Any broken bone
    • Permanent disfigurement
    • Any permanent injury
    • Wrongful death from the accident

    You may also be entitled to recover other costs, like the value of your lost wages, ongoing care, and changes to your lifestyle. Pain and suffering damages often comprise a large portion of an accident case. In cases of drunk driving fatalities, wrongful death compensation may be available for fatal crashes.

    An experienced accident attorney can guide you through the process. If you cannot reach an agreeable settlement, you have the right to sue and ask for a jury trial. If you prove fault and injury, you are entitled to collect the following damages from the intoxicated driver who caused the injuries or traffic fatalities.

    Damages You May Be Able to Claim

    • Medical expenses, past and future
    • Loss of current and future income
    • Pain and suffering
    • Disability
    • Wrongful death
    • Property damage
    • Punitive damages, if warranted
    • Legal fees

    How Do You Prove Liability In a Drunk Driving Claim?

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    You may think it’s obvious that you deserve repayment for your damages and the offender deserves time in jail, especially if they caused traffic deaths. However, there’s a big difference between what you believe and what you can prove in drunk driving crashes and drunk driving fatalities.

    You’ll need to show that the other driver owed you a duty of care. The law says drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians. Demonstrate that their drunk driving directly led to your accident and injuries.

    Provide evidence showing you were injured in an alcohol-related crash, including your medical records, bills, and associated costs. Show the impact on your daily life. Photos, videos, and journal entries can help build your case. The more evidence, the better to pursue the driver’s ability to pay.

    Kentucky’s Drunk Driving Laws

    Drunk driving is illegal in Kentucky. What does this mean? Here’s what the law says.

    Summary of Kentucky State Drunk Driving Statute 189A.010:

    A person shall not operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle in Kentucky when:

    A measurement called blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or more in a breath or blood test taken within 2 hours of driving.

    They’re under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that impairs driving.

    A controlled substance is detectable in the blood.

    There is a combined influence of another substance plus alcohol, impairing driving.

    If under age 21, they have BAC levels of .02% or more based on a blood or breath test.

    Beyond Kentucky’s Drunk Driving Law

    In addition to alcohol-related laws, many other laws may play a role in your situation. The impaired driver might have broken traffic laws, damaged property, trespassed, failed to wear their seat belt, or fled the scene of the accident.

    There may have been other factors, like other substances in the person’s system. They could be a repeat offender. Perhaps the alcohol was not detected by ignition interlocks. They may face an array of criminal charges in addition to your civil case.

    How to File a Car Insurance Claim Against a Drunk Driver in Kentucky

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    After an accident involving an impaired driver, assess your injuries. Seek medical care immediately. Save all paperwork and evidence related to your accident. It will be helpful with your insurance claim and legal case.

    Read through your insurance documents to see your coverage. You may be left with many questions in need of answers from the insurance company and your legal representative. Who will pay for your damages? Will your car insurance rates go up? What was the alcohol involvement in the crash? Was the person over the legal BAC limit? Will they get jail time?

    Don’t speak to an insurance representative, agree to anything, sign anything, or give a recorded statement until you contact a qualified Kentucky accident attorney. Keep your interactions with law enforcement officers honest and brief.

    It may be advisable to follow the insurance company’s online claims process or your lawyer may advise against it. This is a crucial turning point in your accident case, so legal insight will be very important before you take further action.

    In cases with alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, or if alcohol-impaired drivers caused catastrophic damage, large settlements or judgments may apply. Every case is unique, so it’s vital to speak to an attorney who is qualified to evaluate your drunk driving fatalities case.

    How to Prove Negligence in a Drunk Driving Accident Case

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    Proving legal negligence involves showing the driver owed you a duty of care, breached this duty, caused your accident, and left you with injuries. Showing evidence of the driver’s negligence will be essential to your case.

    A police report will be a valuable part of establishing the facts of your case, including showing whether the person was over the legal limit. Work with your lawyer to file an accident report if there is no police report.

    You may also be able to gather other evidence of the drunk driver’s negligence, like statements from witnesses who saw them drinking before the accident or driving erratically. In some cases, dashcam videos and footage from nearby businesses can help build cases against alcohol-impaired drivers involved in alcohol-related crashes.

    You’ll also need to build strong evidence for the nature and extent of your injuries. Your medical bills and records will play an important role, as will your photos and videos of the accident scene, your damaged vehicle, your injuries, and your recovery period.

    How to Prevent Drunk Driving Crashes

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    Although it’s impossible to eliminate drunk driving car crashes entirely, preventing a drunk driving crash starts with never getting behind the wheel when impaired. Never drink before driving or allow someone at your home or business to drive after consuming alcohol in your presence.

    Use a taxi or ride share service instead of driving drunk and risking traffic crashes. Watch out for people who have been over served at bars and parties, and when guests leave, encourage anyone who has been drinking to get a sober ride home instead of driving. It could save someone’s life.

    As you drive, beware of anyone driving erratically, particularly around sobriety checkpoints. Remember, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and scooter riders sometimes drive drunk, too. Even young people can become first-time offenders and destroy their futures and others’ lives.

    Take precautions during the late-night hours, when alcohol-impaired drivers and fatal crashes are more common. Be extra cautious on days when highway safety facts show the most drunk driving crashes: New Year’s Day, Christmas, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, and other major holidays.

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    Contact McCoy & Sparks Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

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    At McCoy & Sparks, PLLC, we represent individuals throughout Kentucky who have been victims of alcohol-impaired drivers. With decades of experience, our accident attorneys know what it takes to build a case on behalf of an injured victim.

    If you have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you need a team of attorneys to fight for you so you can get the compensation you deserve.

    Call 844-4KY-WINS or contact us online for a free consultation.