The list of Top Attorneys was just published today by Fort Worth Magazine. It is an honor to have been again selected by my peers.FW Mag

I attended the reception Tuesday evening and was again reminded how many good lawyers we have here.

But it made me wonder how someone injured could pick just one top injury lawyer.

In the unfortunate event that you have been injured in a crash and are in the process of selecting the best lawyer, here are 10 tips:

1. Experience  

Your attorney must know every law, procedure, and strategy to maximize the value of your case. He has to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance adjusters and lawyers and possibly convince a jury to award you damages.

We have three law schools just here in the DFW area that are graduating almost 1,000 new lawyers each year.

Since all lawyers charge the same fee, you should consider hiring one who has been practicing law here for a long time.

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cell-phone-modeWhen we get on an airplane, we hear the announcement to switch our phones to airplane mode. We do it, right?

So what if when we started our vehicles, we heard the same announcement?

We’d presumably turn the phone off.

A new software program called “Driver mode” will do that for us.

It’s about time that cell phones make us drive more safely and reduce our shocking number of crashes. Continue reading

We at Berenson Injury Law have the pleasure of representing the best, friendliest clients in North Texas. I wanted to take a moment and say thank all of the wonderful people who have chosen my firm to help them after their lives have been disrupted by an auto or truck collision.

And I couldn’t do this without my amazing staff. I’m giving them the day tomorrow so they can have an extra long weekend to spend with their families.

thanksgiving-powerpoint-background-10Thanksgiving Day

use this 1Large medical bills are huge problem

Injured people are being “carjacked” by emergency rooms, according to this article published on Friday. Outrageous ER charges are piled on top of often ridiculously high hospital bills.

This price gouging happens way too often in Texas. Hospitals, doctors, X rays, MRIs and CT scans can easily cost $10,000, even $50,000. The at-fault driver may not have a huge insurance policy to pay for these bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. And his company may not want to pay the injured victim(s), even if he does.

imagesWant to see who can snap a selfie while driving the fastest? Or chase cartoon characters across Texas? OK, just download an application and put the pedal to the metal.

This is just another reason why there are so many auto and truck collisions here.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cited drivers using apps as a major factor in the biggest spike in traffic fatalities in a half century.

During the past 50 years, innovations have drastically improved car and roadway safety — thanks in part to the legal crusaders Clarence Ditlow, and Ralph Nader and their Center for Auto Safety that I blogged about yesterday. Seat belts, air bags, improved body design, increased corporate accountability — and yes, lawsuits — drove the steady decline in highway fatalities. Then everything changed.

2015 was previously named the worst year for traffic accidents in five decades. And it looks like 2016 will far outdo even that deadly year, based on the first 6 months. 17,775 people were killed in traffic accidents during the first half of 2016. This number does not include the July 4th, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and the Christmas holiday season, when alcohol related accidents skyrocket.

Texas leads the United States in the number of traffic deaths each year.

Is any one paying attention?

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12DITLO-OBIT-1-blog427The passing of attorney Clarence M. Ditlow III (no, not the similarly named Clarence Darrow, another legal giant) received little press coverage last week. The brilliant lawyer was the long-time director of the Center for Auto Safety.

Mr. Ditlow was responsible for some of the most important improvements in vehicle safety. His tireless advocacy led to airbags, seat belts, lemon laws, child safety seats, anti-texting legislation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the countless recalls of defective vehicles.

Ditlow’s mentor was the preeminent consumer rights lawyer, Ralph Nader, who founded the CAS. Nader kicked off his career back in 1965 by writing the landmark book Unsafe At Any Speed which documented the easily exploding Ford Pinto and the incompetent automobile manufacturing industry.

But who then could have imagined that the Pinto wasn’t just an anomaly, but was instead a harbinger of the next 50-plus years of deadly vehicles? Just in the last few years, Toyota’s cars acceleratingGeneral Motors’s vehicles not shutting off, and Takata’s airbags exploding have killed or injured thousands of people.

And there’s apparently no end in sight. Last year, a shocking 51 million vehicles had to be recalled due to defective safety designs.

Ditlow also fought for bans on the now rampant cell phone use and texting while driving — constant rants of mine here since these dangerous practices lead to so many crashes.  Continue reading

imagesA police officer spotted a criminal and followed in hot pursuit. The culprit hit a curve, flipped over and landed in oncoming traffic.

No, this was not a scene from a new action movie. This happened in Fort Worth last week on Northside Drive when eight people were injured in a Fort Worth police chase crash, including the suspect who is in critical condition. Here’s a photo from the scene published by the Star Telegram.

Why did this happen? To try to stop a car thief.

Really? While we all want the police to stop crime, this dangerous chase should not have happened. Continue reading

Bill Berenson Injury Law announces that it has successfully obtained the total available insurance limits of $305,000.00 for our client.USE THIS GIBBS

He was driving in Decatur last year when a van without its lights on crashed into his older Mercedes. Liability was disputed, as the van driver said that his lights were on and that the Mercedes driver failed to yield the right of way at the intersection.

The man had to be rushed by ambulance to a hospital where he spent four days recovering from his serious injuries, including fractures.

Head OnSaturday morning at 2:00 a.m., three people suffered serious injuries on the Dallas North Tollway after the driver of a Ford pick up truck drove the wrong way and crashed head-on into a Dodge Charger at 70 MPH.

It’s terrifying — and it happens all the time.

What can be done to stop these high-speed crashes?

The North Texas Tollway Authority has tried all kinds of things — flashing lights, huge warning signs, bright LED lane markers — but this horrendous problem persists.

How could any driver miss these in-your-face alerts? You guessed it. In most cases, wrong way drivers are drunk.

NTTA engineers have devised a new method for capturing wrong way drivers before they hurt anyone. A system of sensors, cameras and communication devices allow quick detection and response by law enforcement.

Good news: this early warning detection system works. As the NTTA planned to shut down the highway to test the cameras, a real life wrong way driver entered the highway. An officer was dispatched and the driver was stopped before crashing head-on into another vehicle. Continue reading

use THIS CAREER DAY 2016This morning I spoke to five classes at Mendoza Elementary School. 

This is my 12th year Career Day as the school’s sponsor.

This is always one of my favorite days as I try to motivate the third through fifth graders and try to get them to dream big. 

I always begin by having the students fill out a worksheet where I ask them to pick from a list of possible dream careers, including doctor, business man/woman, artist, inventor, teacher, athlete — and yes, lawyer. Of course, most haven’t begun to think about this critical decision, so we talked about different careers and what they do.

I told the kids that they will need to make good grades in all of their academic subjects. I had their teacher confirm that on any given day, he or she might need to know a history fact or how to solve a math problem.

I also made the children promise that they will graduate from high school (there is a high drop out rate) and study hard.

I then had the children promise they will all attend and graduate from a university.

Heady stuff. These were life-changing pledges.

We talked about where they could go (many wanted to go to TCU up the street but several called out Harvard) and that there is a lot of scholarship money to those with the best grades. I donate a number of scholarships each year to these students.

I showed them my college diploma (which always excites them) and told them they could have one if they worked hard.

I asked the teacher if she has one, if she is proud of it, and if she could have gotten her career as a teacher without one to let that sink in.

I asked the kids to give their worksheet to their parents and talk to them about their choices and get advice from them.

I told them that they can achieve anything they want — if they really wanted it and they were willing to work hard.

I said that I had started working at 14 sweeping floors at a pharmacy (for the whopping sum of $1.00 an hour, the minimum wage), have never stopped working hard, and that any one who had a successful career had done that too.

I also reminded that that they had to stay physically fit, eat nutritious foods, and not sit too much playing video games and watching TV. Some know me from their after-school running club and that I love to exercise and that I am a vegetarian, so hopefully they’ll adopt healthier habits.

I think that my my message resonated with many of them.

In a humorous moment, one girl asked me if my career was being the mayor.  And when I told a class that I was an attorney, another girl said she assumed that I was “because I looked like one.” And at the end of one presentation, a young girl sweetly smiled and said “God bless you,” which made my day.

It is my sincere hope that I have made a difference in some of these wonderful children’s lives over the last 12 years.

And I believe that the community must do more to support its schools and help its children to insure that our future is in sound hands.

I believe that it is.

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