Fort Worth Injury Attorney Blog

Dallas firefighters at scene of deadly car crash. (@FOX4Terry, Terry Van Sickle)

Dallas firefighters at scene of deadly car crash. (@FOX4Terry, Terry Van Sickle)

Another reminder why this is such an important issue

Early Thursday the driver of a Mercedes died after running into a tree at the intersection of Royal Lane and Inwood Road. The Dallas auto crash, which occurred at 3:30 a.m., was presumably caused by the over consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. Fortunately, no one else died or was injured.

Getting drunk drivers off the roads before they hurt themselves — or us — is an upward battle for police. With Texas leading the nation in drunk driving deaths, this is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

But the number of drunk driving fatalities increased by 8.2 percent in 2015, putting the year’s total DUI deaths at 1,446. This accounted for over 40 percent of all traffic deaths.

You’d think that we’d be trying to figure out a way to stop this deadly epidemic, right?

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What can be done to stop this?

Almost every new car now comes equipped with sensors, cameras, video screens and/or audio warning systems that make backing up easier — and hopefully safer. But many drivers rely on the technology — not on their eyes and ears — and continue to hit people and vehicles behind them.

Back-over accidents kill 210 people and injure 15,000 people every year.

According to a national advocacy group, kidsandcars.org, at least 50 children are backed over every week by vehicles, usually trucks or SUV’s. The average age of victims is from one to two years old. And in most cases, the driver is a parent or close relative. More information is here: Fact Sheet for Backovers

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Another deadly crash in North Texas

Early on Sunday morning, the life of a beautiful 21-year-old woman who had just moved to Dallas was cut short on Central Expressway. She was a passenger in a car driven by her best friend when they were struck by a driver, possibly drunk.

After they got out on the median, an Audi hit the young woman. That driver fled the scene but police found the abandoned Audi and arrested another 21-year-old. Here’s the article from the Dallas Morning News about this tragic intoxication manslaughter crash.

What happens if the family of the deceased woman has to file a lawsuit against driver to recover the estate’s damages and she refuses to cooperate with her insurance company or her liability carrier claims that she is excluded from coverage based on a technicality?

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Wednesday, with the State Bar of Texas convention here in Fort Worth, the Texas Board of Trial Advocates conducted an excellent full day trial so injury attorneys could sharpen their skills.IMG_9018

Some of the top trial attorneys in the state played the roles of attorneys for the plaintiff and defendants and Judge R.H. Wallace from Fort Worth presided over the trial.

The DWI case, which was tried in South Carolina several years ago, involved personal injuries to a man who was broad sided on a Sunday morning as he drove to church. The property damage to his van was devastating. He claimed he had sustained a traumatic brain injury which had ruined his life.

The defendant driver was a habitual drunk whose blood alcohol content was about four times the legal limit.  He was convicted of vehicular assault and was serving a jail sentence.

One of the many problems the plaintiff’s team tried to overcome was the scarcity of credible evidence regarding which of the three bars the driver had been to that night was responsible for the crash. Another was that at least four hours passed from the time the drunkard left the defendant’s bar and the time of the crash. Other problems included the lack of credibility of the drunk driver, the lack of proof as to whether he had drunk any alcohol at the defendant’s bar (it claimed it only served him water), his blood alcohol content, the plaintiff’s medical and lost wages damages, and other critical issues.

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ParTeen_maleLast Tuesday a 17 year-old teen was tragically killed in a mid-day car wreck on the North Side of Fort Worth. At this stage, investigators have released little information about the crash, including its cause.

What we do know is that teen traffic deaths is that they are far too common. In fact, more 15 to 20 year olds die in vehicular crashes than in any other way. 1,678 drivers in this age group died in 2014. That means that 1,678 families will not see their kids graduate, get married, have a child or do the other things parents proudly look forward to.

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Police are asking for help identifying this pickup truck

Police are asking for help identifying this pickup truck with an unsecured mattress that caused a fatal crash

Unsecured loads and loose vehicular parts leads to 80 to 90 traffic deaths per year

We’ve all had the unnerving experience of encountering road debris that requires us to slow down or swerve. I almost hit a tire retread yesterday on I-30. In some cases avoiding the item is impossible.

Sadly, road debris was responsible for the recent death of a Dallas motorcyclist. Doug Johnson was riding on westbound I-30 near the Ridge Road exit when he hit a mattress lying in the middle of the road. The 73 year-old man lost control of his bike and hit a light pole.

The mattress had flown out of the bed of a red Ford F-150 traveling in the center lane just moments earlier. Witnesses said that the pickup truck driver pulled over to the side of the road to secure the rest of the load, then continued on. Unfortunately, police have not been able to locate the truck or the driver.

This tragic crash was entirely preventable — and all too common.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that road debris causes more than 25,000 wrecks every year that result in 80 to 90 deaths. This includes vehicle parts and unsecured cargo, like the mattress in the Dallas motorcycle crash.

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09XP-DRUNKDRIVING-blog427Far Too Many Repeat Offenders Are On Our Roads

16 year-old Joshua Hayden was driving home from the grocery store in Houston when a vehicle turned into his lane and crashed into his car head on. Thankfully the teen was not injured in the crash.

The man who hit him, Donald Middleton, ran into a convenience store and begged to be hidden from police. He had good cause to believe he would be arrested. He had been driving drunk — again.

Bill at WindowI am pleased to have been named among the top attorneys in the United States.

The Nation’s Top One Percent Attorneys list has just been published by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

This is the second year in a row this award has been offered and the second year I have been named.

dreamstime_xs_22095492Gold and bronze medals go to Texas — too bad it’s not for sports

We Texans are used to winning. But sometimes, it would be better to come in last place.

A poll just ranked deaths to motorists and passengers from vehicular collisions. Unfortunately Texas was first in traffic fatalities of any state in the country and the third in pedestrian fatalities in 2014. A staggering 3,538 people died in automobile crashes and 476 were fatally hit by cars. And we should take little comfort in our 12th ranking for pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents.

Nationwide, 32,675 people died in traffic-related wrecks, and close to 15 percent of those killed were pedestrians. This is an insane number of completely preventable deaths.

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dreamstime_xs_55797100My health insurance company isn’t paying?!

Getting crashed into is a bad enough experience — made worse if  you can get slammed with enormous medical bills for your treatment. Our new clients often come to Berenson Injury Law with a small stack of past due statements and letters from bill collectors. Bills can sometimes reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Problems arise when your health insurance company doesn’t cover all of these bills. This is a difficult problem for personal injury lawyers to contend with. What can you do to protect yourself?

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