When you’ve been hurt in a drunk driving accident, you’re not alone. According to the NHTSA, DUI accidents claim the lives of about 28 people every day in the United States – that’s one every 52 minutes. To make matters worse, these deaths were all preventable.
It is illegal for Louisville drivers of the legal drinking age to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than .08%. Once a driver has become intoxicated, the likelihood of a serious – or even fatal – accident increases exponentially.
If someone has acted carelessly and put you and your loved ones at risk, they should be held accountable. An experienced Louisville car accident lawyer at the Schafer Law Office will fight to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you and your family deserve.
A Drunk Driver Hit Me in Louisville – What Do I Do Now?
If you are injured by a drunk driver in Louisville, remain calm at the scene and call 911 immediately. Obtaining medical attention for yourself as well as your passengers is of the utmost importance at this time. Furthermore, calling 911 will alert the authorities, who can investigate the accident, arrest the drunk driver if necessary, and file a police report. A police report and arrest for DUI will help you establish liability and ensure that you have the evidence needed to pursue a personal injury claim.
Even if you believe that you are not injured, do not leave the accident scene, as some serious injuries can take hours or even days for symptoms to appear. While you wait for the police and an ambulance, take photos of the other vehicle, its license plate number, and the surrounding area. Get any other information that can aid a future investigation, such as the contact information for eyewitnesses.
When drunk drivers are involved in an accident, they often flee the scene. If you are physically able, and if it is safe for you to do so, try to take a photo of the car before they flee. Focus on medical needs first, though!
Damages in a DUI Accident
After a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to recover damages like the following from the at-fault driver:
- Expenses associated with past and future medical care
- Physical therapy
- Current and future income losses (including employer contributions to your health insurance and retirement plans)
- Pain and suffering
- Damage to your property (such as car repair/replacement and any items of value in your vehicle destroyed in the accident)
- Permanent and/or total disability
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
In some cases, the court may impose punitive damages, which are intended to punish the wrongdoer instead of simply compensate the victim. For example, if you were seriously injured by someone with a long history of DUI arrests, you’re more likely to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages in Kentucky are not capped- courts and jury must determine the appropriate dollar amount that will deter future behavior.
Can You Sue the Bar Who Served the Drunk Driver?
It’s certainly possible, but depends on the circumstances.
Kentucky Revised Statutes section 413.241 states that alcohol vendors may be held liable if their bartender or wait staff should reasonably have known that the driver was already drunk when they served them. If such knowledge was not available, there is a liability limitation that could prohibit you from suing the bar unless the driver was under the legal drinking age.
It should be noted that Kentucky law does not allow someone injured by an intoxicated party guest to sue the party host in order to recover damages. Only vendors who are licensed to sell or serve alcohol are covered under the state’s dram shop liability law.
When Should I Call a Kentucky DUI Accident Injury Lawyer?
After your injuries have been treated, your next step should be to contact an experienced DUI accident lawyer in Louisville. There are a couple of reasons why it’s important to act quickly.
- Your lawyer will review your case, collect and preserve necessary evidence, and help you avoid missing any important deadlines for filing a claim.
- You will soon be contacted by a claims adjuster. No matter how friendly and concerned they sound on the phone, do not speak to any insurance company without first consulting an attorney. By talking to an insurance adjuster yourself, you could unknowingly compromise your claim.
How Can the Schafer Law Office Help Me?
At The Schafer Law Office, we thoroughly understand the laws surrounding Louisville car accidents. Attorney Mike Schafer has even written books on the subject, so you’re in experienced and knowledgeable hands.
Once you’ve hired a DUI accident injury lawyer from our firm, we will begin building your case and establishing liability. To do this, your lawyer will review key evidence like medical records, police reports, and BAC test data and use them to build a case to help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
We will also work with you to ensure that you receive the proper medical treatment. Some injuries do not show symptoms right away. Sometimes it takes days and even minor injuries can result in chronic pain over time. Your attorney can help you find the right medical care for your specific injuries and fight to ensure that you are fairly compensated for them.
Speak to a Louisville DUI Accident Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyers at the Schafer Law Office. Attorney Mike Schafer and his team work tirelessly with victims of all kinds of DUI accidents, with the goal of getting them the compensation they need to work through their physical and emotional traumas and heal. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us online.