As a Missouri car accident attorney, I was sorry to read about a serious drunk driving accident that took place in central Missouri. According to the Waynesville Daily Guide, two people from Dixon, Mo. were injured seriously enough to require an airlift to University Medical Center in Columbia after a drunk driver crashed into their car. The drunk driver himself sustained minor injuries and refused medical attention. None of the people involved was wearing a seat belt.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol report about the accident says that Alan L. Threet, 58, of Dixon, was drunk when he attempted to turn his 1995 Ford Ranger left across the path of a 1997 Ford Escort belonging to David Finnigan, 71, and Nicole Finnigan, 72. Threet was apparently trying to make a left turn from a highway onto State Route D. Threet suffered only minor injuries and declined treatment, but his truck was extensively damaged. The Finnigans did not escape so easily. David Finnigan was moderately hurt and Nicole Finnigan was seriously hurt, and both of them were airlifted to a hospital. Their car was totaled. Threet was charged with felony driving while intoxicated, felony vehicular assault, and careless and imprudent driving, and held at the Pulaski County Jail for 24 hours. His blood-alcohol content or other evidence of intoxication was not reported.
The criminal charges Threet faces are not the only potential outcome of this accident. As a St. Louis car crash lawyer, I hardly need to point out that drunk driving is not just illegal; it’s reckless and it puts people’s lives at risk. When someone gets behind the wheel of a car, they have a responsibility to drive safely. If a driver violates the law and common sense and then injures or kills someone, the law allows victims and their families to sue that driver. The law recognizes that the victim was not at fault for the injuries and should not have to bear the costs of the accident as well as the physical injuries it caused. Instead, victims have the right to sue, compelling the at-fault driver to pay for the harm that he or she caused. The news report does not give enough detail to verify this, but if Threet was drunk as a result of being served alcohol past the point when he was visibly intoxicated, the person, bar or restaurant that served him could also be held responsible, which happened in a recent case I wrote about here.
Victims of serious accidents like this one can have strong financial reasons to sue. Medical flights are extremely expensive, as is the kind of medical care that a seriously injured older person might require. The most severely injured may need home health care assistance and help with daily household tasks, and may also need to replace a car. These costs can easily reach into tens of thousands of dollars, without even calculating lost quality of life, pain and suffering, and lost past and future wages. Even health insurance or Medicare do not pay for all medical expenses or most long-term care. That’s why the Finnigans and victims like them would be wise to contact an experienced southern Illinois car wreck attorney right away. Even if you don’t believe you’ll end up in a lawsuit, an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and protect you from insurance company representatives trying to minimize the size of the insurance settlement.
If you or a loved one have been hurt by a drunk driver, please call the Lowe Law Firm for a free consultation. You can tell us about your case and we can advise you of your rights. You can call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400, or send us a message online.