As a California personal injury lawyer who has been representing injured clients for more than three decades, a blog recently written by my friend and Dallas personal injury lawyer Jeffrey Rasansky, hit home. Jeff’s touching article titled “A Tragic Reminder of Why I Do What I Do” reminds all of us why we got into personal injury law — to help people and to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions.
DUI Crash Caused by Off-Duty Police Officer
Jeff is currently representing the grieving family of 27-year-old Sonia Baker, who was killed in a December 11, 2010 accident by a drunk driver. The intoxicated driver in this case was a man who was supposed to catch other drunk drivers — Fort Worth police officer, Jesus Cisneros. The off-duty officer had been drinking and partying all night at the Pour House, a local bar, which apparently did not stop serving him even after he had become extremely intoxicating. The officer was so impaired that the morning after, his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent when he struck Baker’s car as she was heading out to get breakfast for her husband, Mario, and two children.
We read about DUI collisions all the time. But as news readers, we do not see or perceive the actual damage caused to a deceased victim’s family. In this case, it was a young mother who left behind two young children, who are struggling to grasp the magnitude of their loss. She leaves behind a husband who must now shoulder the responsibility of the family all alone while grieving the loss of his wife. Families also shoulder the financial burden of their loved one’s funeral expenses, loss of income (if the victim was working) and the loss of love and companionship. You cannot put a price on love and support.
As Jeff points out in his blog, the devastation of drunk driving can be seen in the staggering numbers of those who are killed or injured as a result of these senseless acts. Three out of every 10 Americans will be involving in a DUI collision at some point in their lives. More than 1,000 families every month are forced to live with the tragic consequences of drunk driving. And on an average, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. In 2008 alone, about 11,773 people were killed in DUI collisions in the United States, which account for about one-third of all traffic accident fatalities in the country.
Fighting for their Rights
I’m proud of Jeff Rasansky and the thousands of personal injury attorneys nationwide who represent clients such as Mario Baker with integrity and passion. The Bakers are indeed fortunate to have someone like Jeff Rasansky on their side who is determined and committed to holding negligent drivers as well as irresponsible businesses such as the Pour House accountable for providing alcohol to a man who had already shown dangerous signs of intoxication. I have known Jeff for a long time and I have no question in my mind that he is the best personal injury attorney in Dallas. I wish him the very best in the pursuit of justice for his clients.