Livonia, MI (PRWEB) April 8, 2004
One of the greatest injustices created by drunk drivers is that innocent people are most often the victims. And usually the perpetrators are drivers age 18-25 who don't have the slightest intention of hurting anyone.
"The innocents get injured for life or killed when a drunk driver runs a red light, goes the wrong way on a freeway, or runs down a bicyclist on the shoulder of the roadway," says attorney Terry Cochran, senior partner of Cochran, Foley & Associates, PC, of Livonia, Michigan.
"The innocent has every right to drive through an intersection on a green light," stresses Cochran. "The innocent has every right to be driving down the right lanes on a freeway. And the innocent has every right to be riding a bicycle along the shoulder of the road.
"No wonder innocent victims, and family members of the innocent, become absolutely outraged when their loved ones are killed or injured for life by the careless, thoughtless act of a drunk driver. The innocent play by the rules, and become victims. The drunk driver violates several rules, and pays comparatively little. Justice demands far more than this."
The group of people who are most susceptible to driving while drunk are motorists who are 18-25-years-old. Accidents involving this age group are most likely to have catastrophic results because the ages 18-25 are not only inexperienced drivers but inexperienced drinkers as well.
And, making matters worse, are the market pressures placed on young people to drink when they are not yet mature enough to handle alcohol. "To be successful in selling a product you need market share," says Cochran. "And to capture market share, you need brand loyalty. Brand loyalty retains customers over time. That's why the alcohol advertising you see on television and in print is a not-too subtle attempt at building brand loyalty amongst young people. Millions of dollars are spent to get a young person to drink a particular product so he or she will drink that product for life!"
But the millions of dollars spent on alcohol advertising each year pales in comparison to the economic and social cost of drunk driving paid by the innocent, which not only includes innocent victims but innocent taxpayers who share the economic cost. Consider that:
- The economic cost of alcohol abuse in United States was estimated at $166.5 billion in 1995.
- More than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are attributable to excessive alcohol consumption.
- Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for every age from 6 through 33 and about 45 percent of these fatalities are in alcohol-related crashes.
- Alcohol kills five times more teenagers than all other drugs combined.
- In 1999 there were nearly 2 alcohol-related traffic deaths per hour, 43 per day, and 303 per week, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is the equivalent of 2 jetliners crashing week after week.
- Drivers age 21-29 drive the greatest proportion of their miles drunk.
- Underage drinking costs the U.S. more than $58 billion every year -- enough to buy every public school student a state-of-the-art computer.
Often innocent victims don't seek economic justice because the drunk driver does not have any assets to go after in a lawsuit, adds Cochran. But victims still should seek the advice of an attorney because there might be other parties that are able to pay damages, such as bar or restaurant owners serving alcohol to an intoxicated customer who afterward is involved in an accident.
Cochran & Foley devotes its practice to representing individuals who are the victims of auto accidents, medical malpractice, and work place injuries. Essentially, if a person has been involved in some kind of accident that causes a physical injury requiring compensation, Cochran & Foley will provide whatever legal services are required.
"Innocent victims should not hesitate from filing a lawsuit," stresses Cochran. "In America, a jury makes a decision on damages after hearing all of the evidence. The jury award is designed to compensate the injury victim. A fundamental right of all Americans is a trial by jury, allowing our fellow citizens to hear our case and to make a decision. Do not give up any of your rights as a citizen!"
If you believe you are a victim, let Cochran, Foley & Associates fight for your rights. There is no obligation for case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made. For a free consultation call 800-322-5543 and ask for Terry Cochran or Lynn Foley or visit: http://www.cochranfoley.com
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