As a St. Louis personal injury attorney, I noted a recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about involuntary manslaughter charges that were brought because of a tragic but preventable accident. Yet another young man, 22-year-old Michael Brown of Florissant, has died in a drunk driving accident. The driver, 23-year-old Ronnie Langford of St. Paul, now faces serious criminal charges as a result of the crash.
According to the Post-Dispatch, Brown died from injuries he sustained after he was thrown from Langford’s 2004 Nissan Titan on June 11. Langford was allegedly driving drunk and speeding when he struck a utility pole and then a house in the 1700 block of Koch Road in St. Charles County. The truck flipped after it hit the home’s front deck. Two men were in the home at the time, but neither was injured. Police said that Langford’s blood-alcohol content was more than three times the 0.08 percent limit, registering at 0.248 percent when tested. Langford also told police that he knew he should not have been drinking. Langford, who lives on the 700 block of Grandpa’s Lane in St. Paul, was jailed in St. Charles County in lieu of $50,000 in bail. He was forbidden to drive or drink alcohol if released.
It’s shocking how often people drive when they’re drunk, even though it’s widely understood that this is dangerous and could hurt or kill others. Many people realize that they could be arrested and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol or, as in Langford’s case, involuntary manslaughter. But they may not realize that they may also have to answer in civil court as well — if they are sued by the loved ones of the victims. Driving when you know perfectly well that you’re impaired, and when the dangers of drunk driving are well known, is negligence — that is, extreme carelessness that could hurt others. Under the law, victims and their families can recover compensation for harm they have suffered from those who hurt them. Victims and their families can sue those who harmed them to recover medical costs, the cost of replacing destroyed property, and lost past and future wages, as well as more intangible harms like pain, suffering, and damage to their relationships and quality of life.
Families who have lost loved ones will never be relieved of their grief. But for many of the families with whom I have worked as a Missouri car crash attorney, making the negligent drivers who hurt them face what they did has helped the families to gain some closure, feeling that some justice has been done. If you or a loved one have been hurt by someone else’s negligence, please call Carey, Danis & Lowe Firm for a free consultation. Our southern Illinois traffic accident lawyers have a long history of helping victims and their families learn about their rights and how they can seek justice. You can call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400, or send us a message online.