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Are Drunk Drivers Always at Fault?

are drunk drivers always at fault

What you’ll learn from this article:

  • A drunk driver isn’t always 100% at fault for a crash.
  • There may be shared liability, despite someone driving drunk.
  • A Kentucky drunk driving accident lawyer can explain your options and help you determine your best route to securing accident compensation.

Every 39 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies in a drunk driving crash. Intoxication reduces a driver’s reaction speed and ability to think logically, making them a risk to everyone on the road.

Drinking and driving accidents are a persistent problem here in Kentucky. In a single year, Kentucky had more than 4,100 crashes due to impaired driving, which led to 1,990 injuries and 189 deaths.

After a drunk driving crash, injured victims may wonder who will take responsibility. Are drunk drivers always at fault for these crashes? Could someone else be held liable too? To answer these questions, take a closer look at what Kentucky law says about drunk driving and liability.

Are Drunk Drivers Always at Fault for Accidents?

Drunk drivers aren’t always entirely at fault for accidents. Although their drunk driving may have contributed to the accident, other circumstances could have played a role as well, like someone else’s distracted driving, failure to yield, speeding, or aggressive driving.

Kentucky law recognizes the potential for shared liability in any accident involving drunk driving. Two or more parties may hold responsibility and to understand why, consider some examples.

Imagine that a drunk driver is exceeding the speed limit as they pass through a green stoplight. A sober driver coming from the cross street blows through their red light and hits the drunk driver. Although the drunk driver shouldn’t have been drunk or speeding, the sober driver ran a red light and caused the accident.

As another scenario, envision what could happen when a bar serves alcohol to an underage 17-year-old who then hurts another driver in a drunk driving accident. Under Kentucky Revised Statute section 413.241, also known as the dram shop law, people and establishments that furnish alcohol can be held liable for drunk driving accidents in some situations.

Do DUI Charges Mean the Drunk Driver is Liable?

Criminal charges for drunk driving accidents are separate from an injured person’s civil case against the drunk driver for personal injury compensation. The police, prosecutor, and courts will handle the person’s criminal case.

Drunk driving is always illegal, whether an accident happens or not, but the person may or may not be charged with a crime like driving under the influence (DUI). A DUI can bring penalties ranging from a 6-month license suspension and enrollment in a substance abuse program to a license revocation and time in jail for repeated offenses.

Regardless of whether the person faces criminal charges, you can proceed with a civil case against them and other parties involved. The drunk driver isn’t automatically 100% liable in the personal injury case. Their negligence in driving drunk will be factored in and considered when assigning liability and calculating compensation.

Can I Collect Pain And Suffering After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver?

Damages in personal injury cases are divided into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are monetary amounts calculated from financial costs like medical bills and lost wages.

Non-economic damages are intangible losses that negatively impact your life after the accident. This includes pain and suffering damages, which compensate you for your emotional duress from the accident. You deserve to be properly compensated for the immense pain and suffering you’ve experienced. 

Types of damages that are typically recoverable in personal injury cases include:

  • Medical bills and expenses from the accident
  • Lost wages, including future lost wages
  • Disability, disfigurement, and scarring 
  • Emotional distress and trauma
  • Physical suffering and pain
  • Property damage due to the accident

Discuss your accident with a Kentucky drunk driving accident lawyer to determine who may hold liability, which types of compensation might apply, and how to pursue your best option as you move forward in your recovery.

Injured By a Drunk Driver? Contact McCoy & Sparks – Kentucky Car Accident Lawyers

After a drunk driving accident, turn to the personal injury lawyers at McCoy & Sparks. We have more than a decade of experience helping Kentucky’s injured people fight for their rights and hold liable parties responsible in complex situations like drunk driving crashes.

Someone else’s drunk driving doesn’t have to ruin your life. Let’s discuss your options so you feel empowered to seek the compensation you deserve.

Your risk is minimal because you owe McCoy & Sparks nothing unless we recover accident compensation for you. Schedule your FREE consultation by calling 844-459-9467 or filling out our online form.