Holidays And Drunk Driving Accidents
Car accidents caused by drunk motorists can ruin your holidays. Sadly, the drunk driving accidents that cause a majority of injuries and fatalities during the holidays are entirely preventable. The primary responsibility of DUI collisions usually lies with the drunk motorist, but under Kentucky laws, liability may also be placed on the establishments that served alcohol to the driver.
An accomplished car accident attorney in KY can help you identify all liable parties and provide you with strong legal representation to maximize your compensation.
Drunk Driving Laws in Kentucky
Drivers aged 21 and over are considered impaired in Kentucky when they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. There is zero tolerance in terms of underage drunk drivers. Motorists that reach a BAC level of 0.18% or higher may be looking at harsher consequences, although anyone can face penalties if they are driving over the allowed limit.
Impaired Driving in Kentucky on The Rise Over Holiday Season
Drunk driving collisions in Kentucky have risen in recent years. There was a 32% increase in fatal car accidents involving alcohol in Kentucky between 2019 and 2020 per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This was one of the highest year-to-year increases in alcohol-related crashes in the nation.
There are annual spikes from Thanksgiving all the way to New Year’s holidays. Drug-related car collisions also increase during this time of year.
In terms of driving under the influence, Kentucky state law doesn’t differentiate between drugs and alcohol. It is too often that the result of impaired driving by drugs or alcohol creates limitless sorrow for the victim’s family. Traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and spinal injury among other permanent medical conditions are common among those injured by impaired driving.
Legal Right to File Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Drunk Driver
If you or someone you love has been the victim of an alcohol-related car crash, you may be able to claim compensation from the intoxicated driver under Kentucky personal injury statutes. Damages can be sought for covering medical expenses, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment among others.
You should understand that a drunk driver’s criminal conviction will not provide any compensation for paying the medical bills and other accident-related expenses of an injured victim. Victims of drunk drivers can usually seek financial compensation from the at-fault motorist’s insurance company, (assuming the driver was insured).
Compensatory damages can be obtained for the following by working with a skilled personal injury attorney:
- Medical bills
- Lost income or wages
- Car repairs
- Future lost income
- Pain and mental anguish
In rare cases, punitive damages may be sought. These damages are not meant to compensate the victim, but to punish the defendant and make an example of them. Punitive damages are awarded in cases in which the actions of the at-fault party were especially egregious, which could certainly be applicable in a drunk driving accident case.
These are a few things your attorney will use as evidence to prove that the intoxicated driver was at fault:
- Witness statements
- Police reports with visual evidence of drunkenness or BAC test results
- Video or audio footage from the police officer’s dashcam or body camera
- Statements from passengers and drivers
- Surveillance video from nearby businesses and homes
- Accident reconstruction reports
Dram Shop Laws in Kentucky
Alcohol vendors are not held liable for another patron’s injury except if any reasonable person under similar circumstances would have known that the person was already intoxicated at the time of serving. The vendor can be automatically held liable if they were serving alcohol to a minor, however.
There are several parties that can be held responsible under Kentucky dram shop laws, including:
- Establishment serving alcohol: The bartender or anyone holding a liquor license can be held liable if they served alcohol to a clearly intoxicated person.
- Liquor store: Liquor stores are not allowed to sell alcohol to people that are visibly intoxicated
Choose a Reputable Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer to Fight for Your Rights
Drunk driving and the holiday season are practically synonymous. If tragedy strikes this holiday season and you suffer injuries in a car crash caused by a drunk driver, the seasoned car accident attorneys at the law firm of John H. Ruby & Associates will fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
We have served numerous clients in their times of need and have the knowledge, skills, and resources to pursue the most favorable outcome. To request your free consultation, call us at (502) 895-2626 or complete this online form.