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Driving while texting or looking for Pokémon is not very smart.

But some smart phone apps actually increase drivers’ safety.

That’s right, I’m encouraging drivers to use an app while driving — but only safe driving ones, of course.

OK, which ones? Let’s start with ones helping our youngest drivers be more safe on the roads.

The best ones will help your teenager have fun while learning to drive safely. Let’s face it, having his or her beloved cell phone tell your teen to slow down is a lot more fun than you repeatedly pointing out she’s speeding.

I’ve lived through this experience and lots of you have too and will agree that you’re glad there’s a better way to do it now.
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Page PD photoThe Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul character, Saul Goodman, portrayed a despicable but hysterical lawyer.

However it’s no laughing matter when a real life personal injury lawyer preys upon vulnerable people.

This just happened in Dallas, where a city councilwoman used her position to solicit business for another lawyer, according to this article in the Texas Lawyer. A woman was rushed to the ICU after being horrifically mauled by a dog and later died. The politician is accused of pressuring the grieving family to hire her out of state friend — who had been disbarred. The two were just sued by the deceased woman’s family for barratry, or the illegal solicitation of a client.

Unfortunately this is routine after an accident or tragedy. If lawyers or medical clinics start cold calling you or your family after an auto or truck collision, you should hang up. Then you should call the State Bar of Texas and report them. It’s the only way this harassing conduct will stop. And there is a $10,000.00 reward.

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dreamstime_xs_7416613Speeding and Distractions Are Major Reasons

I can still remember the feeling of freedom and independence when I was allowed to get behind the wheel for the first time without my parents. And I can remember the feeling of trepidation when I watched my daughter drive away without me for the first time.

Driving is a right of passage for teenagers. But driving comes with huge responsibilities and risks that are often ignored.

On Saturday night, another teen was needlessly killed in a car wreck northwest of Fort Worth. The 18 year-old teen was speeding when he lost control of his pickup truck on a curve. The crash killed him and injured his 16 year-old passenger. It is not clear whether alcohol was involved.

We’ve seen this story way too many times. My law office has often represented the victims of these crashes, including the catastrophically injured passenger in the truck driven by the “Affluenza teen.”

A teenager dies or is seriously injured in a car wreck almost every day. These accidents are common. But they shouldn’t be. Continue reading

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Get used to school zones and slow buses

A lot of changes happen on the first day of school …. for children and drivers alike.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve lived by the same school for years, you might easily forget about school zones and slow buses during the blissful summer months when those driving issues don’t exist.

The first few weeks of school can be a shock to the system. Last week, you were driving at 35 or 40 MPH down the street. This week, you have to slow down to 20 MPH.

But just as your children have to get their minds into gear, so do we drivers. Continue reading

assoc-logo-ntl-top-100The National Trial Lawyers has again chosen Bill Berenson as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

This is an honor awarded to a select group of attorneys due to their superior qualifications and skills.

Membership is limited to the top trial attorneys in each state. There are almost 100,000 lawyers in Texas.

An 18-year-old all-state pitcher at Paschal High School, Drew Medford, who was about to start college at TCU, tragically died early this morning on the new Chisholm Trail Parkway.  The news shocked his family and friends. But given that at least one Texan has died every day in a traffic crash for the past 15 years, the story wasn’t as surprising as you might think.

Traffic deaths increased last year by a whopping 7.7 percent, the largest percentage in 50 years.2015-12-30 Pics- Caldwell

This  photo was taken on I-35 in north Fort Worth after a man died and his passenger was severely injured while they were at a complete stop. I’m filing a lawsuit this week to help the passenger recover her tremendous damages. Our investigation has found that the 18 wheeler driver, who was only four feet eight inches tall, was exceeding the speed limit. Further, his truck had not been properly inspected or repaired. In addition, the commercial driver admitted that he was not paying attention to the vehicles on the road and he had just received a phone call before the crash.

dreamstime_xs_71193203If you were injured in a car wreck and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, his insurance company lawyer will take your deposition.

What is a deposition?

It is an important part of the pretrial discovery process where sworn testimony from potential witnesses is recorded. The intense questioning is designed to find out what you as well as the other driver and others who will testify know and how witnesses will come across to the jury.

As a personal injury lawyer for the past 36 years, I have represented clients during countless depositions and wanted to provide guidance if you are involved in the litigation process or are considering filing a lawsuit.
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Heckert_Ft 2What if you’re driving on I-30 and get rear ended — and then the other car speeds away?

Don’t think this happens here? Last night a man rammed his truck into another car in north Fort Worth and peeled out only to flip it over and die.

I’ve been representing people hurt in these hit and run cases for 36 years in Fort Worth and this is the craziest ending to one I’ve heard of.

Why do drivers flee the scene of a crash?

They panic. They want to avoid civil liability and criminal prosecution. They know they may be jailed, sued in civil court, cancelled from their insurance policy, and/or pay a higher rate. They may have a prior criminal record, be drunk or stoned, and/or have no insurance.

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dreamstime_xs_69286260Horrible news for our Rangers: a devastating neck injury has sidelined superstar Prince Fielder. Yesterday the team announced that the six time All Star is retiring after 11 years in the major leagues.

At age 32, doctors have declared Fielder “medically disabled” and refused to clear him to ever return to the baseball field.

Fielder just had to undergo his second surgical fusion a few weeks ago to repair another herniated disc that put him at risk of a severe spinal cord injury.

But Prince Fielder isn’t the only one who is unable to work because of an injured neck or back. As a personal injury lawyer, I often represent clients who have unfortunately suffered debilitating injuries to their spines. Continue reading

dreamstime_xs_21813548A new law is closing down a deceptive billing practice that was costing seniors millions of dollars.  The NOTICE Act described in this revealing New York Times article requires hospitals to start telling seniors if they are not officially being “admitted” after 24 hours. Before this, a senior could be “observed” in the hospital and nursing home for days — even months — but not officially be admitted for Medicare purposes so they got stuck with huge medical bills.

A personal injury lawyer represents many Medicare-eligible people (someone who is 65 or older, or is younger than that if he or she is disabled or who has certain diseases) after they are injured in collisions.

How will the new law affect you?

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