Louisville Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

If you were hit by a drunk driver in Louisville, Hughes & Coleman can help

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, a Louisville car accident lawyer from our firm can help you hold the negligent driver responsible and fight to get you every dollar you deserve.

If you have a drunk driving injury accident claim, contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our Louisville personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights, and how we can help pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf. After being hurt in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, hire a drunk driving injury law firm that has over 35 years of experience representing injured victims in Louisville and throughout Kentucky.

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Drunk driving data and statistics are alarming

Louisville and Kentucky Drunk Driving Statistics:

  • Between 2017 and February 21, 2022, Jefferson County, which includes Louisville, reported 7,220 drunk driving cases. A notable portion of these cases, 20%, involved repeat offenders​.
  • There was a reported 31.8% increase in drunk-driving fatalities in Kentucky from 2019 to 2020, with 199 fatalities in 2020 up from 151 in 2019​​.
  • Compared nationally, Kentucky ranked seventh for year-to-year increases from 2019 to 2020.
  • In 2019, Kentucky had a total of 150 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, which constituted 20.5% of the total fatalities. The rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population stood at 3.4, and the under 21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population was 0.9. Interestingly, between 2010 and 2019, there was a 13.2% decrease in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population​​.
  • In 2020, a total of 4,978 collisions involved alcohol, making it the leading contributing factor in 14.2% of all motor vehicle accidents in Kentucky. These alcohol-related accidents resulted in 1,645 incidents that caused injuries to 2,662 individuals. There were 527 collisions suspected of causing severe injuries, with minor injuries reported in 1,033 of these incidents​​.

Drunk driving accidents are still all too common across the country

Louisville drunk driving accident victim guide

Seeking a car accident lawyer to pursue a drunk driving accident claim is a natural response if you or a family member has suffered serious injuries as the result of someone acting negligently and irresponsible behind the wheel. In this guide we will discuss what victims should know about drunk driving accidents in Louisville and how a drunk driving injury attorney can help.

Whether you were the driver, or if you were injured while a passenger in a car wreck, an experienced Louisville personal injury lawyer from our team can help.

Car Hit By A Drunk Driver in Louisville, KY

In Kentucky, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08%. When we talk about drunk driving accidents here, we are talking about people who have exceeded this limit and caused damages to another person.

The difference between Kentucky criminal law and tort law in drunk driving accidents

Kentucky law around drunk driving accidents typically falls into two categories. On one hand, there is criminal law, which defines actions that are illegal and what the consequences are (fines, jail time, etc.). A DUI or DWI would also fall under this category.

On the other hand, there is tort law, which in the context of drunk driving deals with the legal principles that govern civil liability for injuries and damages resulting from accidents caused by individuals who were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When you hire a Louisville drunk driving injury attorney, you will be seeking damages under tort law.

Can you sue a drunk driver after being injured in Louisville?

In Kentucky, the law operates on a no-fault basis for car accidents, including those involving drunk drivers. You must start by filing a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim with your own insurance company for coverage of expenses related to injuries from a drunk driving accident. If your medical expenses go beyond $1,000 or you experience severe injuries like broken bones, permanent impairment, or disfigurement due to the accident, you can then file a claim against the intoxicated driver.

Person injured by a drunk driver in Louisville, KY

How a Louisville personal injury lawyer can help with your claim

Hiring a Louisville drunk driving accident lawyer from Hughes & Coleman means we handle everything. We provide access to top-tier medical care, negotiate with insurers, and manage the legal work, allowing you to focus on healing.

  • Collecting copies of police reports
  • Obtaining Breathalyzer and chemical test results
  • Subpoenaing police camera footage of a field sobriety test
  • Building a civil case against the drunk driver
  • Fighting for the full value of your damage claim


Most drunk driving accident claims are settled out of court, but if the insurance company won’t provide a fair settlement, our experienced trial and litigation attorneys will go to court on your behalf.

Examples of drunk driving settlements and other Kentucky settlements

Our Louisville personal injury attorneys have over 35 years of experience fighting for victims of drunk driving. Some of our recent settlements include:

$207,800 settlement for a drunk driving accident victim following a head-on collision

$250,000 settlement for a T-bone collision victim

$500,000 settlement for a hit-and-run victim

Although every case is different, having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side can help you recover maximum compensation from all responsible parties.

A Louisville drunk driving accident lawyer will need to prove negligence

If you are injured or incur losses due to a drunk driver, you may file a civil lawsuit against the intoxicated driver to seek compensation for your damages, however, in order to be rewarded damages, negligence must be established.

Is drunk driving negligent?

Drunk driving is typically considered negligent behavior. Negligence, in the context of the law, refers to the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same or similar circumstances. When someone chooses to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are acting recklessly and irresponsibly, which can significantly impair their ability to drive safely. This behavior is often viewed as negligent because it poses a foreseeable risk to the driver, passengers, and others on the road. To break this down more simply, there are four components of negligence that a Louisville drunk driving injury lawyer will aim to demonstrate:

Duty of Care

All individuals owe a duty of care to others to act reasonably and responsibly to prevent harm. When someone chooses to operate a vehicle, they have a duty to do so safely and without endangering others on the road.

Breach of Duty

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is generally considered a breach of this duty of care. It is a negligent act because it significantly impairs a person’s ability to drive safely, and it poses a foreseeable risk to others.


To establish liability in a drunk driving case, it must be demonstrated that the intoxicated driver’s actions directly caused the accident and resulting injuries. This typically involves showing that the impairment from alcohol or drugs was a substantial factor in the accident.


The victim (plaintiff) must also prove that they suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. These damages can include medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.

Damages available in a Louisville drunk driving accident lawsuit

After negligence has been established, drunk driving accident victims can seek damages from the at fault driver and the insurance company. In personal injury claims, there are typically three types of damages that can be pursued by a drunk driving accident attorney in a personal injury lawsuit. These include:

Economic damages

Economic damages are damages that are tied to a specific dollar amount. These include items such as:

  • Medical bills (including future medical bills)
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Any out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages cannot be calculated using receipts or other documentation. Instead, a Louisville drunk driving accident lawyer will take a variety of items into consideration to determine a fair settlement amount for things such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional damages, including PTSD
  • Diminished quality of life due to permanent injury
  • Disfigurement and scarring

Punitive damages

Punitive damages, in the context of drunk driving, are monetary awards imposed by a court on top of compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages) to punish and deter the defendant, who was driving under the influence, from repeating such reckless behavior.

Common drunk driving accident injuries

Common injuries that a Louisville drunk driving accident lawyer can address range from minor to severe, and they may affect drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other parties involved in the collision. Some common drunk driving accident injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Burns
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Phycological trauma

What happens if a drunk driver kills someone?

Spouses, children, parents, and in some cases, siblings can retain an experienced wrongful death attorney to pursue claims against drunk drivers to recover damages such as medical and funeral expenses, lost financial support, and other tangible financial losses resulting from the death. Compensation for the emotional pain and suffering experienced by surviving family members due to the loss of their loved one can also be recovered by an experienced Louisville personal injury attorney in a drunk driving accident case.

Melanie’s Law

in Kentucky, when an impaired or drunk driver causes a wreck that results in someone being fatally injured or permanently disabled, the at fault driver can be ordered by a judge to financially support any children the victim has, or has the guardianship of. This law, introduced in 2023, is known as Melanie’s Law.

Kentucky dram shop law allows drunk driving accident victims to pursue an injury claim against negligent businesses

Dram shop laws are established to hold bars, restaurants, and other businesses responsible for serving alcohol to individuals who are already intoxicated.

Kentucky’s dram shop law (KRS 413.241) is a law that holds alcohol vendors liable for injuries caused by intoxicated patrons. The law states that a vendor can be held liable if they serve alcohol to a person who is already visibly intoxicated.

To prove dram shop liability, the plaintiff must show the following:

  • The defendant was a licensed alcohol vendor.
  • The defendant served alcohol to the intoxicated person.
  • The intoxicated person caused injuries to the plaintiff.
  • The defendant knew or should have known that the person was intoxicated at the time of serving.


Kentucky courts have defined “visibly intoxicated” as meaning that the person exhibits obvious signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, unsteady gait, or difficulty standing or walking.

It is important to note that this law does not apply to social hosts, such as people who serve alcohol at private parties. It also does not apply to minors.

Here is an example of how Kentucky’s dram shop law could apply in a real-world situation:

A person goes to a bar in downtown Louisville and orders several drinks. The bartender continues to sell alcohol to the person even though they are clearly intoxicated. The person leaves the bar and gets into a car accident, injuring another person. The victim of the car accident could sue the bar.

If the victim is successful in their lawsuit, they could recover damages for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

What to do after being hit by a drunk driver in Louisville

If you’ve been injured in a wreck involving a drunk driver there are some important steps you should take.


  1. Immediately call 911 so that the police and emergency services can come to the scene.
  2. Exchange information if possible, including name, phone numbers, and insurance company.
  3. Document the scene to capture any details that might support your personal injury claim.
  4. File or obtain a Louisville police report to ensure that the car accident is documented.
  5. Notify your insurance company to inform them of the crash, but never admit fault. Stick to the basic details. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, do not speak with them. Insurance companies use various tactics to lessen or deny your injury claim. It is important to consult with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
  6. Contact an experienced Louisville drunk driving accident lawyer to ensure you receive the financial compensation you deserve. A personal injury lawyer can help you throughout this difficult time by handling all communications with the insurance company and by protecting your rights along the way.

Common types of crashes caused by drunk drivers

Contact a Louisville drunk driving accident lawyer today

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver in Louisville, contact Hughes & Coleman today. We offer a 100% free consultation, and once you hire us, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you never pay out of pocket for our services.

Call now at 800-800-4600

Get In Touch Today!

We offer free consultations 24/7 and there will always be someone here to take your call. Call our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation or fill out this form and we will contact you.

We serve clients across Tennessee and Kentucky and we have several offices throughout both states. See all of our locations and contact us today.

Kentucky Locations


1256 Campbell Ln #201

Bowling Green, KY 42104

Phone: (270) 782-6000



2110 N Dixie Hwy #102

Elizabethtown, KY 42701

Phone: (270) 737-0640



5004 Poplar Level Rd

Louisville, KY 40219

Phone: (502) 585-4025



3618 Dixie Hwy

Louisville, KY 40216

Phone: (502) 585-4693



211 E New Circle Rd

Lexington, KY 40505

Phone: (859) 260-1722


Tennessee Locations


446 James Robertson Pkwy #100

Nashville, TN 37219

Phone: (615) 255-9100



1501 Memorial Blvd

Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Phone: (615) 907-0687



323 N Riverside Dr #100

Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: (931) 546-7200



622 W 7th St

Columbia, TN 38401

Phone: (931) 505-7040



126 W Eastland Ave

Gallatin, TN 37066

Phone: (615) 451-4288