We Sue Drunk Drivers
Every person who is hurt by a negligent driver has been wronged. But when you are hurt by a drunk driver, the wrong is much greater. Drunk driving isn’t just a careless mistake; it is a choice. At Crocker Law Firm we never defend drunk drivers in criminal cases. Our entire practice is dedicated to representing people who are injured by others. We have fought for many people hurt by drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Criminal Vs. Civil Penalties
Drunk drivers can face both criminal and civil proceedings. The state brings the criminal case through a prosecutor. That case is important for holding a drunk driver accountable, but it will not address your wage loss, medical bills, or pain and suffering. Your claims for compensation are pursued in a separate case, as a civil matter. Crocker Law Firm can help you bring a civil claim (a personal injury claim) for you to recover the money you need to put your life back in order. This is another important way to hold a drunk driver accountable.
What can I claim in the civil case?
In an injury claim damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Future loss of income
- Future medical bills
- Future pain and suffering
Those damages are called compensatory damages – they are meant to give you back what you lost. In Kentucky you can be awarded extra money when the at-fault party showed reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others. These are called punitive damages and they are meant to punish the at-fault party and discourage him and others from similar conduct in the future. See KRS 411.184 At Crocker Law Firm we have recovered money for compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of many people, and on behalf of the families of people killed by drunk drivers.
Impaired Driving includes Drugged Driving
Alcohol is not the only substance that leads to impaired driving with terrible consequences. Serious wrecks are caused by people abusing drugs, including prescription medication. The Kentucky DUI law defines a DUI to include operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, driving with a controlled substance in the bloodstream, or driving under the influence of any other substance which impairs driving ability.
What happens to the drunk driver?
In Kentucky it is a crime to drive with a blood alcohol level over 0.08. For drivers under 21 the legal limit is 0.02. It is up to the state to prosecute this crime. The penalties include fines, jail time, community service, and driver’s license suspension. Repeat offenses within a 10 year period result in more serious penalties. DUI Fourth Offense is a felony. Kentucky law recognizes aggravating factors, which double the mandatory minimum jail sentence that must be imposed. One of those factors is causing an accident resulting in serious physical injury or death. A Kentucky driver who causes the death of another person can also be prosecuted under the state’s homicide laws. A fatal accident can lead to charges of reckless homicide, second-degree manslaughter, or murder.
Your rights as a crime victim
If you have been seriously hurt by a drunk driver, or if someone in your family has been killed by a drunk driver, the criminal case will be in the hands of a prosecutor. As a crime victim you are an important witness. You can choose to submit a victim impact statement after conviction but prior to sentencing and at parole hearings. A victim impact statement is a written description of the harm you have suffered and your recommendation of an appropriate sentence. Some judges will allow you to be present and read the statement out loud. You can find more information about victim’s rights on the web page of the Kentucky Attorney General.
TYPES OF ACCIDENTS WE HANDLE
We help people hurt in collisions that involve semi trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles. We help people who have been hurt and the families of people who have been catastrophically injured or killed. There are different considerations in these different types of accidents: