The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that a collision occurred in St. Francois County on a Sunday in the first week of October. This was only one of many recent car accidents that resulted in personal injury. In many crashes, those who were restrained suffered less severe injuries compared to occupants who were not wearing safety belts.

An accident report indicates that a 17-year-old driver of an SUV was southbound on a local roadway in St. Francois County when he veered into the northbound traffic lane. The SUV smashed head-on into another vehicle, and the teenage driver suffered serious injuries. He was rushed to a hospital for treatment. Officers reported that he was not restrained when the collision occurred. An 18-year-old passenger in the SUV was also taken to a hospital, but his injuries were described as moderate — likely because he was protected by a safety belt.

The driver of the second vehicle also received treatment for moderate injuries. He was also wearing a safety device at the time of the accident. No mention was made of any criminal charges filed or any potential charges that might follow. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for authorities to file charges, when appropriate, upon an alleged negligent driver’s release from the hospital.

The injured passenger and the driver of the second vehicle may pursue recovery of damages that were brought about by the collision. They are both entitled to file personal injury claims in a Missouri civil court. Before any monetary judgments can be entered, the injured victims will have to prove that the alleged negligence of the driver deemed responsible caused or contributed to the crash and resulting injuries. Victims may seek compensation for medical expenses and other documented financial losses.

Source: dailyjournalonline.com, “Three injured Sunday in head-on collision“, Oct. 5, 2015