A driver plowed in to a crowd of people at a popular musical festival, South by Southwest, in Austin, TX this March. The drunk driver hit a moped, other cars, and ran over people as he fled the police.
The driver broke through a police barricade – which was in place for the music festival – and into the crowd of people waiting for the start of a concert, right after speeding the wrong way down a one way street.
According to this news article, three people were killed and at least 23 others were injured. Most of the victims were in their twenties. Many of the injuries were fairly serious, including head trauma and internal damage.
When a police officer attempted to pull the drunk driver over in a nearby gas station, the driver accelerated down the street. Another officer who was guarding the barricade had to jump out of the way as the car approached with no intention of slowing down.
This isn’t just any DUI case. The driver of the vehicle has been charged with two counts of capital murder (before the third person was pronounced dead), which is Texas’ highest offense. The criminal offense is punishable by the death penalty.
But, that’s not all. The driver may also face multiple counts of aggravated assault by vehicle for all the people he sent to the hospital. This is a second-degree felony.
All the charges that the Texas driver faces are criminal, due to the extreme circumstances of his case and consequences of the damages he caused – he will likely spend his life in jail, or lose his life, to pay for what he has done.
But, in a situation like this, any of the 23 injured or countless other witnesses of the tragedy could also make a case for damages if the driver was not already being charged criminally.
Any one of these injured victims could argue for non-monetary damages such as pain and suffering after the accident, or compensation for the cost of their medical bills. In personal injury cases that are less extreme, and involve less people and a lesser crime, these general damages are commonly presented in court.
Personal injury often results from similar circumstances as the South by Southwest tragedy: a negligent driver. If you have been injured by a negligent driver in St. Louis, you should not be paying for the damage that has been done to you or your family.
Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Finney Law Office, LLC for a free consultation regarding your personal injury claim in the event of negligence by another party.
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