Practice Areas

We are organized into twenty different practice areas. Each area combines the talent and experience of our attorneys so that we can assemble the legal team best suited to provide personalized legal representation of our clients while meeting the business objectives of insurance companies. 

Kentucky law grants each litigant in a civil case the right to an appeal. We have the knowledge and experience to navigate both the procedural requirements of the Civil Rules and to effectively present well-reasoned briefs and compelling oral arguments. We have successfully represented clients in appellate proceedings at all levels, both state and federal.

Product manufacturers, businesses, and insurance carriers require attorneys with specialized knowledge in investigating and litigating Asbestos and Toxic Tort claims. Oftentimes, these claims result in large scale litigation. At Ward, Hocker & Thornton, our attorneys have the specialized knowledge and experience to successfully defend Asbestos and Toxic Tort cases.

Automobiles are ubiquitous, and so is automobile litigation. We serve clients when an accident occurs, even before suit may be filed. Our attorneys have a working knowledge of motor vehicle laws and duties imposed on drivers to evaluate liability. We counsel our clients in insurance coverage claims that may arise for no-fault, uninsured, and underinsured motorist benefits. We also assists our clients in the retention of experts like accident reconstructionists and doctors, who may be needed to evaluate a claim.

Aviation law governs the operation of aircraft and the maintenance of aviation facilities. We focus on both federal and state enacted statutes that regulate air traffic.  We are skilled in providing planning in all segments of the aviation industry focusing on flight, air travel, associated legal and business concerns, the operation of aircraft, and the maintenance of aviation facilities. This highly specialized field requires a comprehensive knowledge of FAA regulations, specific laws regarding flight, and an in-depth understanding of aviation.

Maritime law governs private maritime business and other nautical matters, such as shipping or offenses occurring on open water. International rules governing the use of the oceans and seas are known as the Law of the Sea. We focus on maritime questions, disputes or offenses that involve a separate code with independent jurisdiction from national laws.  We have extensive experience in litigating claims relating to ships and cargo.

Kentucky law recognizes first and third-party claims based in common law and/or by statute. Due to the complexity of bad faith litigation, our clients count on us to understand the legal nuances as well as the significance of varied fact patterns and the particular jurisdiction as each impacts claims. With this knowledge, we can assist in bad faith defense and advise clients on best practices before litigation is ensued. Our attorneys are skilled at addressing conduct that alleges punitive damages, and we are focused on providing complex coverage analysis which is often the source of the claim.

We focus on the rights of the creditors whose indemnitor petitions for bankruptcy, whether that be via a Chapter 7, 11, or 13 action. The primary creditors are surety companies and insurance carriers. We are skilled in preparing Proofs of Claim and asserting the various contractual, statutory, legal, and equitable rights that sureties and insurance companies have with respect to each claim. We understand the contractual provisions in indemnity agreements as well as how various provisions can be added at the underwriting level to proactively provide better security, collateral, and overall protection to sureties and insurance carriers. We’re also knowledgeable about the Uniform Commercial Code and perfecting the security interests of sureties and insurance companies in advance of a bankruptcy action by filing a UCC Financing Statement. The proactive measures engaged by our firm in advance of an indemnitor’s petition for bankruptcy are helpful in mitigating a creditor’s claim from being treated as unsecured and/or non priority.

Our clients are not just corporations. They are individuals and small companies. From formation through dissolution and everything in between, we help our business clients maneuver in the legal world.

We have extensive experience representing clients in all areas of the construction industry. This includes representing construction companies involved in multi-million dollar construction projects. This includes large commercial construction defect claims dealing with all aspects of the commercial construction process. We also represent several of the state’s largest road construction companies in all facets of claims against road contractors during the construction project, including design-performance issues, work-zone safety, traffic safety, and blasting.

Our employment law practice group represents employers in both the private and governmental sectors in claims by employees for alleged discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, Americans with Disabilities violations, Civil Rights violations, and OSHA violations. We represent businesses developing written policies in the above areas including employee handbooks and safety manuals. We also advise our business clients when pre-litigation issues arise in the above areas to successfully resolve any such issues. Our employment practice also includes litigation of noncompete clauses and disputes among withdrawing principals/owners.

We have a proven history obtaining ideal outcomes in Kentucky Family Law matters. Successful settlements are typically achieved for Family Law issues through effective mediation skills rather than through expensive, divisive court appearances. An individualized approach to all issues faced during divorce could include settlement agreements, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, division of assets, and assignment of debts. To fully address all family legal needs, our attorneys draft custom documents for Last Wills and Testaments, Living Wills, and Powers of Attorney.

Product manufacturers, business owners, individuals, and insurance carriers require attorneys with specialized knowledge in investigating and litigating fire and casualty claims. Our fire and casualty team is especially skilled in this unique field and the NFPA 921, whether defending first or third party claims, pursuing subrogation, or investigating coverage for a loss. Our service-oriented approach ensures our clients receive effective representation – whether in the field with retained origin and cause investigators, in the lab with engineering experts, or in the courtroom piecing together the results of our detailed investigation.

We are experienced in providing representation to governmental/municipal entities, law enforcement, and other quasi-governmental entities within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Our understanding of various defenses and immunities available to municipal defendants is a hallmark of our defense of law enforcement agencies, cities, and counties within the Commonwealth. Our attorneys have handled numerous constitutional law and statutory civil rights claims involving the entire gamut of issues facing municipalities, including search and seizure, excessive force cases, negligence, unlawful arrests, and 1983 civil rights claims. We have handled cases through trial and engaged in extensive appellate practice both at the state and federal level.

Our reputation in the area of insurance defense and coverage is well-earned. Our attorneys have provided a defense to insureds in virtually every type of litigation including personal and commercial auto, trucking, construction, premises liability, medical malpractice, workers compensation, and products liability. We have extensive experience representing carriers in coverage disputes of all types as well including automotive and general commercial liability policies, and uninsured motorists, underinsured motorists, surety and fidelity, and bad faith claims. We balance a devotion to your case with a cost-effective, efficient process.


Catastrophic accidents and defective product claims can result in large scale litigation. And large scale litigation requires a firm that can help navigate through the many issues involved. At Ward, Hocker & Thornton, we have experience successfully defending mass tort cases.

We represent physicians, nurses, multi hospital systems, urban and rural hospitals, surgical centers, pharmacies, skilled nursing facilities, and other healthcare providers. Our attorneys have successfully defended cases involving most areas of medicine and nursing including emergency medicine, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery, oncology, internal medicine, family practice, anesthesiology, ophthalmology, dental, and obstetrics and gynecology.

Because of our experience we are familiar with most medical procedures and conditions. We are able to discuss detailed and complex issues with our clients and effectively help juries understand issues related to treatment and standards of care. In addition to successfully defending cases through trial, we also often obtain favorable, cost-effective outcomes for our clients through summary judgment motions, alternative dispute resolution proceedings, such as arbitration or mediation, and pretrial settlement methods.

Premises liability encompasses a broad spectrum of claims and the attorneys at WHT can handle each and every type. We have defended numerous cases brought against business owners, retail stores, and restaurants involving everything from routine slip and falls to more complex claims involving building code violations, dram shop actions and assaults. Our attorneys likewise regularly represent homeowners in lawsuits asserted against them for injuries that occurred on their properties or were caused by their animals (e.g., dog bite cases). Additionally, our law firm represents numerous businesses and commercial landowners throughout the state in claims involving adjacent or neighboring landowners, such as blasting and flooding or water runoff cases. Whatever type of premises  liability matter you have – large or small –we can defend it.

Product liability claims are complex. As such, attorneys litigating these types of claims must be experienced. The attorneys at WHT have earned their reputations through years of diverse work. We have represented numerous product manufacturers and distributors involving a wide variety of different products. Our attorneys have defended these cases in both state and federal court. The trial attorneys at WHT are familiar with the provisions of the Kentucky Product Liability Act, and they are well versed in the case law interpreting the Act. Our law firm has litigated cases involving everything from small household appliances to heavy industrial equipment/machinery. Many of the product liability cases we defend are “high exposure” claims concerning serious personal injury or death as well as multi-million dollar property damage (e.g., fires or explosions at commercial properties). If you are needing help with a product liability matter, we welcome the opportunity to assist you.

We practice in all areas of surety and fidelity claims on behalf of the surety and fidelity industry. Our attorneys have experience in all areas of contract surety, commercial surety, commercial crime and financial institution bond claims, from the claim investigation phase through litigation, trial and appeal. In addition we have a substantial team of associate counsel and support staff capable of handling any size matter referred to our office.

WHT attorneys have been successfully representing trucking companies for decades, earning a reputation for strong advocacy. Our Rapid Response team is on call 24/7 to assist from the moment a collision occurs. Our attorneys are experienced in investigating accident scenes, securing the right experts, and gathering crucial physical evidence and documentation. Most importantly, our client-centered approach ensures the truck driver is protected through all phases of the claim – from the scene to the courtroom. With vast knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, we represent clients in all aspects of commercial motor vehicle litigation.

We represent workers compensation insurance carriers and employers in all matters of Kentucky workers’ compensation defense – from interpreting insurance policies and statutes to determining whether there is coverage for a party under a particular insurance policy. This includes representation of clients: in pre-litigation matters; during litigation before administrative law judges; in bad faith/unfair claims practices (UCP) allegations before the Commissioner of the Department of Workers’ Claims; and at appellate levels before the Workers’ Compensation Board, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.

Find Your Team

Ward, Hocker & Thornton has some of the most capable and well-respected attorneys in the region. We understand the imperative for results-oriented legal services to be provided in a cost-effective manner.