September 2, 2015

Berenson Injury Law Settles Case Against Dallas Tire Store

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Tire Flies Off Truck At Highway Speed

I am pleased that I was just obtained a large settlement for my clients who survived a horrific crash when a wheel of their truck flew off their truck. I settled the case last week, a week before we were ready to take the case to trial.

My clients sent me this kind email:

"We really appreciate the great work you all have provided us with & would definitely recommend you! Again, we really appreciate it!"

Detached Tires Caused Frightening Fort Worth Truck Crash

The crash occurred last year on Interstate 30 in Fort Worth. My clients had driven to East Dallas to purchase four new tires which were on sale. Mr. S____, his wife, and two children were  driving back home at about 65 mph when he noticed the vehicle becoming shaky and unstable. He attempted to pull to the shoulder.

Suddenly, his left rear wheel fell off the truck. Unable to control the vehicle, he crashed into the concrete bridge support of the Green Oaks Road bridge by Ridgmar Mall The wheel bounced across Interstate 30 and hit another automobile.

The violent, unexpected impact threw the family back and forth inside the vehicle. They were fortunate not to hit another truck or vehicle. However, the frightening crash caused serious injuries, including broken bones and other injuries. The family had to rushed to the hospital and were then treated by doctors and physical therapists. Mr. S____'s lost wages were significant.

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August 31, 2015

Will Safety Technology Reduce Number of Crashes in Texas?


Safety Features Lower Risks, But Will Bad Drivers Notice?

Luxury car makers were the first to introduce expensive crash prevention technologies. Unfortunately these life-saving features were too expensive for most drivers. But now this technology has gone mainstream. 

More than half of new vehicle models now come equipped with forward crash prevention systems that alert drivers about an approaching object, such as another vehicle, a guardrail or a curbside. More than a quarter of 2015 models also come with robotic braking systems, which automatically stop a vehicle from hitting an object in its path.


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August 28, 2015

Amusing Courtroom Questions And Answers - Friday Fun

Q: Mr. Smith, how old is your son?

A: Thirty-eight.

Q: How long has he lived with you?

A: Forty-five years.

August 27, 2015

What Should You Do If You Are Hit By An Uninsured Driver?

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Finding Solutions for Texans Injured by Irresponsible Drivers 

At my trial lawyers luncheon yesterday, we learned some useful tips on how to win uninsured/underinsured motorists cases in the courtroom. Often here in Texas, our clients are crashed into and injured by drivers with no or little insurance coverage. It's a serious problem -- especially if it happens to you.

About 30 million drivers nationwide were uninsured and a reported 20 percent of motor vehicles in Texas are uninsured. As a personal injury lawyer for the past 35 years, I think the rate is even higher.

Solutions for Drivers Injured by Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists 

Getting hit by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver is very frustrating and painful. After all, you did nothing wrong, but now you face physical challenges and financial hardships because of another person's irresponsibility and negligence. 

You have options. We here at Berenson Injury Law regularly represent people injured by hit and run, uninsured and underinsured motorists. These cases require creative strategies and determination to make our clients whole. Our firm takes decisive, timely steps to

  • Negotiate for the full amount of liability coverage of an at-fault underinsured driver
  • Fight for every dime possible from your UM/UIM insurance policy
  • Explore other insurance coverages you might have
  • Negotiate with your medical providers to reduce bills related to your injury treatments
  • Investigate whether the uninsured or underinsured driver has assets  we can collect
  • Sue any third party who was at fault for your auto or truck accident


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August 26, 2015

How to Help Keep Our School Children Safe in Dallas - Fort Worth

school bus kid getting on

School started this week for most kids in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I again saw a lot walking to school and being dropped off this morning as I ran before work. It is mandatory that we all slow down and pay attention to the road and talk to our children about traffic safety.

Watching Out for Kids During the School Year

As you shuttle your children to school by opening bell then race to work, the temptation to speed or to quickly check your email is understandable. Resist the urge and follow these school year traffic laws:

  • Never use a cell phone while driving through a school zone
  • Do not speed, especially in a school zone
  • Comply with the school's drop-off and pickup procedures
  • Be aware that kids could dart out in front of your car at any moment
  • Do not pass a bus that has stopped and activated its flashing red lights
Careful driving not only ensures the safety of kids, but also avoids a very expensive ticket. Texting or talking on the phone while driving through a school zone can result in a $200 ticket. Passing a school bus while its flashing red lights are engaged can cost up to $1000 in fines. 

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August 21, 2015

Criminal Charges Against Caitlyn Jenner in Fatal Rear-End Crash?

Bruce Jenner as Caitlyn Jenner

Collision Was Avoidable: Prosecutors

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office wants to file vehicular manslaughter charges against Caitlyn Jenner -- formerly Bruce Jenner -- stemming from a February accident The LA County Sheriff's Department asserts Jenner was driving in a manner "unsafe for the prevailing road conditions" when her Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a Lexus, catapulting it into the path of a Hummer H2.

Jenner was pulling an ATV on a trailer behind her SUV. She swerved to avoid hitting cars in front of her that had slowed for a traffic light. However, Jenner hit the back of the Lexus, sending 69 year-old Kim Howe into oncoming traffic, where she was hit head-on by the Hummer. Howe tragically died and five others were injured in the crash

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August 20, 2015

How To Prove Your Damages in a Car or Truck Collision Case

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The purpose of pursuing your claim against the insurance company and negligent defendants is to recover money to compensate you for your losses, or "damages." During settlement negotiations, you must persuade the insurance company adjuster which type and the value of damages you are entitled to. And if you take your claim to trial, you must prove your damages through clear and convincing evidence.

What Does Causation Mean?

You must show that your damages resulted from the automobile or truck wreck. The law refers to this link as "causation." One of the ways insurance companies avoid paying claims or juries refuse to award damages is when the defense shows that the injuries arose from something else, specifically from

  • Preexisting injuries: The insurance company may claim that you already had the medical condition prior to the accident.
  • Intervening causes: The insurance company may claim that you sustained the injury sometime after the accident because of an unrelated event.
In anticipation of these defenses, your lawyer will present evidence to show a direct link between the crash and the injuries it caused.

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August 18, 2015

Collision Injuries and Deaths Rapidly Increasing in U.S.


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2015 To Be One of Worst Years Ever?

Here's an important subject that noone talks about: the National Safety Council announced yesterday that auto and truck collision injuries and deaths are rising dramatically across the nation.    

So far in 2015, almost 19,000 people have died in crashes. This is a whopping 14 percent increase over the same six-month period in 2014. At this rate, about 40,000 people will die this year -- almost the number of our soldiers who died in the Vietnam War.

And 2.3 million people have sustained serious injuries in traffic wrecks during the first-half of 2015, up an astonishing 30 percent from last year's first six months. 

If this trend continues, 2015 will be the deadliest driving year since 2007, one of the worst years on record.

And the financial costs resulting from the many more accidents have naturally escalated. The NSC estimates the costs associated with car and truck accident fatalities, injuries and property damages between January and June were a shocking $152 billion -- a 24 percent increase from just last year. This includes lost wages, diminished productivity, medical bills, administrative expenses, employer costs and damage to motor vehicles and other property. 

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August 13, 2015

North Texas to Install Wrong-Way Signs at Eye Level

Wrong Way Sign

Safety Feature to Prevent Drastic Increase in Wrong-Way Crashes

Four people were tragically killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 30 near Greenville on Friday. A 79 year-old man somehow got confused, jumped into his car after midnight. He travelled east in the westbound lanes and collided head-on with a SUV carrying five teens. Unable to avoid the wreckage, a semi ran into both disabled vehicles. Three of the teens, the elderly driver and his dog died and two teens were injured in the accident.

Although the facts are unique, the situation is all too familiar. A drunk, lost or distracted driver mistakenly enters a highway in the wrong direction and plows head-on into another vehicle. People are injured or die in this totally preventable accident. 

I have covered this topic extensively in this blog, exploring why wrong-way crashes are so common in Texas and why this particular type of accident is increasing dramatically in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

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August 11, 2015

Under Texas Laws, You Could be Held Liable for the Auto Accident You Caused

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Understanding Texas At-Fault Damages Rules

Whether you are entitled to compensation for your accident injuries, how much and from whom in Texas depend on several factors. First, what type of insurance do you carry? Was the accident your fault? If so, how much were you to blame? 

Texas is an at-fault state, which means if you sue somebody for damages, you must prove that the person caused your car crash and that you did not. However, even if you are partly to blame, you may have options for recovery for your injuries and other damages.

What If You Are Only Partly At-Fault?

Often, both parties contribute to the automobile accident. In this case, each party is responsible for the amount of damages she or he caused. But, you cannot collect any damages if you are more than 50 percent at fault. This system of allocating damages is called the modified comparative fault rule or the 51 percent bar rule. 

So, if you are found to be 50 percent at fault, you are entitled to damages from the other party, but only 50 percent of your damages. Likewise, if you are found to be just 10 percent at fault you are entitled to 90 percent of your damages. However, if you are found to be 51 percent at fault, you cannot collect anything, but you must only pay 51 percent of damages to the other party who sues you for the accident. 

To further illustrate how this rule works, imagine that you sustain $100,000 in damages in a car crash, for which you are found to be 10 percent at fault. You have the right to $90,000. However, if you are found to be more than half responsible for the accident, the other party owes you zero damages. 

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August 6, 2015

Know Your Auto Insurance Rights

Auto insurance adjuster

Has Your Insurance Company Complied with the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights?

Shopping for insurance can be an exhausting experience. Agents often employ doublespeak and sales jargon that is more confusing than helpful. Then, after paying thousands of dollars in car insurance, nothing is more frustrating than getting the runaround when you file a claim. After all, you held up your end of the contract; now you expect your insurance company to do the same. And, in fact, your insurance company is mandated under Texas laws to do so. 

What is the Consumer Bill of Rights?

The Consumer Bill of Rights is a document issued by the Texas Department of Insurance that contains 38 of your rights when buying insurance and filing a claim. The Texas Department of Insurance requires your insurance company to provide you with a copy of the Consumer Bill of Rights when it issues you a policy. I recommend reviewing the document before you purchase your insurance policy and keeping the information in your files. I am also available to answer questions or address concerns if you believe your insurance company has violated your rights.

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August 3, 2015

8 Tips for a Successful Auto or Truck Accident Trial

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It is rare that one of our clients has ever been in a courtroom before filing a personal injury lawsuit. To somebody unfamiliar with legal proceedings, a court is intimidating and strange.

During 35 years of personal injury practice, I have helped clients prepare for countless trials and hearings. The following tips will help relieve some of the stress you will feel walking into a courthouse for the first time and achieve better results.

1. Prepare for the hearing

Anticipate questions the judge and attorneys are going to ask you and practice your responses. Make a list and ask your lawyer. Your preparations can calm your nerves and help you better express yourself during the hectic courtroom proceedings. 

2. Arrange for special accommodations

You have the right to accommodations for your disabilities. Texas courthouses are wheelchair accessible. Your lawyer can answer any questions you might have about parking or entering the courthouse and arrange for any other accommodations you need.

3. Arrive early

The judge keeps a tight schedule and may refuse to hear matters from late parties. Plan to arrive early. Then, if you get caught in traffic or have trouble finding parking, you will still be at your hearing on time. Arriving early gives you the opportunity to get yourself organized, confer with your attorney and take a deep breath before your hearing begins.

4. Leave the kids at home

The courtroom is a boring place for children, and you need to be focused on your case, not on entertaining them. If your child was also injured in the auto accident, discuss with your attorney whether her or his presence is necessary at the hearing. Otherwise, arrange for trusted childcare well ahead of your court date.

5. Dress to impress 

The courtroom is a formal place with a dress code. Despite the Texas summer heat, shorts, flip-flops and tank tops are too casual for the courtroom. Think, how would I want to present myself at a job interview? 

6. Turn off your cell phone

Nothing upsets a judge more than the sound of a cell phone ringing, beeping or vibrating during a hearing. Turn off all sounds on your cell phone before you even step foot into the courthouse to avoid disrupting court proceedings.

7. Bring pen and paper

Your active participation in your own case can help your lawyer better serve you. Take notes about key points you want to discuss and questions to ask your attorney after the hearing.

8. Remain calm and polite

During the course of a hearing, the defendant, the insurance representative or opposing counsel may say something you don't like or that is entirely incorrect. No matter what, remain calm and polite. The Dallas and Fort Worth courts maintain strict rules about who speaks when. Your attorney can object to inadmissible statements and present accurate information at the appropriate time.


July 31, 2015

Repeat Drunk Driver Gets Life Sentence For Death of Child in FW


Long Prison Term Reflects the True Impact of the Crime 

A Fort Worth court sentenced a severely intoxicated driver who killed a young boy to 50 years in prison on Wednesday. And Stewart Richardson had a whopping six prior DWI convictions in four states. His punishment for those six? Only 50 days in jail prior to this fatal drunk driving accident

Over six years ago, Richardson crashed into the rear of a Honda Accord stopped at a red light. Abdallah Khader, who was not yet three years old at the time, tragically suffered severe brain damage and remained in a vegetative state until he died years later this past January. 

Richardson's blood alcohol content was .25 percent -- more than three times the legal limit to drive in Texas. 



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July 30, 2015

What To Do After a Car or Truck Crash

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A  wreck may cause you to lose consciousness and will certainly leave you stunned. But how you respond in the minutes following the crash and the days ahead can improve recovery of your health and greatly assist your legal claim. 

Knowing ahead of time what steps you should take will help you act decisively, obtain important medical treatment, and preserve your rights to compensation.

During my 35 years of personal injury practice, I have handled hundreds of auto accident claims. And the Boy Scouts taught me to expect the unexpected and to be prepared. To help you, I'd like to share some useful tips on taking action following an automobile or truck accident:

1. Stay at the scene of the crash, taking steps to remain safe

Texas law requires you to remain at the scene of a car crash that results in property damage or personal injuries. If the accident is minor, move the vehicles out of traffic. Remain in your car with your seat belt fastened and your hazard lights on. 


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July 29, 2015

Bill Berenson Injury Law To Sponsor 2015 Walk Like MADD

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My firm is honored to again be the Title Sponsor of the Fort Worth Walk and Dash Like MADD. 

I just had the pleasure of meeting with Jason Derscheid, the Executive Director for North Texas, to discuss the event. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is one of my favorite causes. 

This is MADD's 35th year (and mine as a personal injury lawyer). Seeing the devastation caused by drunk drivers has made me a proud supporter of this great cause.

The event on October 24th will raise the public's awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. The 5K walk and run will begin in an exciting new location on Panther Island, cross the bridge, and meander through our pretty Trinity Park. 

If you haven't participated in one of MADD's events before, they are moving experiences.

And here's a thought to cool you off: think how good the lower temps will feel that morning! 

Bill Berenson Injury Law Will Match Your Entrance Fee 

The walk/run is an opportunity for you to show your support for victims of drunk driving and to advocate for stricter DWI laws and stronger education of teens about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving. 

In addition to individual registrations, many families, companies, school groups and friends register as teams in honor of loved ones.

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Berenson Injury Law will match your entrance fee with a donation of the same amount to MADD. 

Please send us an email or call us at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 to let us know you registered for the Walk Like MADD event. You can register here.





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