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Are drunk drivers always at fault in an accident?

Every year, thousands of car accidents involve drunk drivers, and many people believe that a drunk driver is always at fault in an accident. Unfortunately, this is not always true. If you recently experienced a car accident with a drunk driver, it's important to fully understand the facts of your accident, especially if you suffered an injury.

An injury claim after a drunk driving accident is very common, and, in many cases, the drunk driver's insurer is fully on the hook to compensate victims. However, in some cases, the drunk driver may not carry all the liability, which can affect the compensation for a personal injury claim.

DUI charges don't always mean fault in an accident

In almost all drunk driving accidents, the drunk driver's impairment plays a significant role in causing the wreck. However, in some instances, a non-drunk driver may share part of the blame if they too are doing something reckless or negligent behind the wheel. Under the guidelines of contributory fault, a non-drunk driver may share some of the fault for the crash.

In general, the law separates the drunk driver's illegal act of driving while intoxicated from their involvement in the accident. The drunk driver may still receive DUI charges, but not face full liability for causing the accident. Instead, their negligence will be calculated as a percentage of fault, which is usually greater than a non-drunk driver's percentage of fault.

For instance, if you drive through a stop sign and get hit by a drunk driver, you may bear some liability for the accident, depending on other factors of the accident. If another non-drunk driver would also have struck your vehicle in the same situation, then you may share at least partial liability in the accident.

Liability is complicated

Even if you think you may share some liability in a drunk driving accident, you should know that comparative negligence in Kentucky does not bar you from seeking compensation for injuries after a crash. Instead, your damages are reduced by your percentage of fault.

Determining liability in a crash can be complicated, but so can calculating compensation, which is why you may want to consult with a legal professional after a drunk driving accident. No two accidents are exactly alike, so you may have a stronger claim than you think. Proper legal counsel can help you understand the finer points of the law and fight to protect your rights.

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