Fort Worth Injury Attorney Blog

dreamstime_xs_39966338If you have a health insurance plan, you may assume it will pay all of your medical bills.  You may also think that that you can also make the at-fault driver’s liability insurance company pay you for your damages, including those same medical bills.

But frequently your Blue Cross or Aetna plan wants to be reimbursed from the money you recover in a personal injury settlement or trial. You may already have received its notice asking you for more information about your accident or even an official lien.

The concept is called subrogation and it can throw a wrench into an accident recovery — especially if you don’t have a good personal injury lawyer fighting for you.

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dreamstime_xs_29662892Outside Research Threatens Integrity of the Civil Court System

The idea that jurors should consider only the evidence presented during the trial is as old as the American justice system. Only the judge is allowed to decide what evidence is admissible, since outside sources might be inaccurate, biased, and/or irrelevant.

But in our age of instant communication with family, friends, and the news media, these outside influences can easily influence the internal deliberations of jurors.

Is there a solution?

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Credit: News West 9. Police cruiser struck by drunk driver.

Credit: News West 9. Police cruiser struck by drunk driver.

64 year-old Michael Doyle ran into and killed 48 year-old Angel Soto at 11:00 in the morning on Tuesday in North Richland Hills. Doyle was drunk — at 11 A.M. –when he lost control of his Jeep Grand Cherokee and jumped the curb, hitting the landscape worker who was in a yard mowing grass.

In another horrific crash, a 26-year-old Grapevine man drove his silver Toyota SUV west in the eastbound lane of Texas Highway 114 and collided head on with a 52 year-old Fort Worth man driving a Pontiac. Both men died. Although investigators have not yet released the cause of the accident, alcohol had to have been involved. The victim had just moved to DFW from Seattle to take a job here.

More DWI crashes: a drunk 20 year-old man killed his friend who was a passenger in his vehicle on an Austin road recently. And a 42 year-old husband and wife were killed when a drunk driver ran a red light and crashed in to their motorcycle in Colony, Texas. And a drunk driver fatally struck a 37 year-old motorcyclist in Corpus Christi. And a Midland police officer miraculously survived when his cruiser was totaled by a drunk driver who ran a stop sign.

Texas leads the nation in drunk driving deaths. We’ve all heard our former governor brag about “the Texas Miracle” (job growth). DWI deaths is a statistic you don’t hear our state leaders mention, let alone do much to curb.

Don’t think this affects you? Just here in Dallas and Tarrant Counties in 2014, there were over 3,000 collisions caused by drunk drivers — that’s over eight a day — and 121 people were killed!

What in the hell is going on out there?

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dreamstime_xs_46010876Angry Driver Agitated When Victim Drove Slower Speed Limit

Police are looking for a driver who fired shots in a Grand Prairie school zone in a frightening road rage incident on Friday. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but the thought of somebody firing a weapon at another car any where, let alone in a school zone is scary.

A man drove through the school zone and slowed to 20 mph as the law requires. But his slow pace angered the driver behind him who became aggressive.

The angry man pulled along the first driver and pulled out a handgun. As the innocent man sped off, he heard the shot moments before his back passenger window shattered.

What is going on out there?

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dreamstime_xs_57092756Workers and Motorists Put at Risk, Often Deadly

At any given time in Texas, 2,500 work zones are active.

Especially here in North Texas we motorists have come to dread the signs warning them to merge, detour and expect delays. Funneling two lanes into one is a challenge for many drivers that can get blood boiling, as this adds time to already long commutes.

But more than an inconvenience, construction zones are a serious danger to motorists and workers. Slowed traffic, bottle necked lane merging and use of heavy equipment can add up to a deadly combination.

A shocking 21,886 accidents occurred in work zones in Texas in 2015, killing 138 people. The number of work zone accidents shot up by 13 percent in 2015 from the previous year. Clearly, not enough is being done to keep work zones safe.

The Texas Department of Transportation identifies speeding and distractions as the leading causes of work zone auto crashes. Even doubled traffic fines do not deter some motorists from speeding through a work site. Or, perhaps they are too busy texting to notice the warning signs, flagmen and traffic cones – if they are there.

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Four Killed In Devastating Crash

26 year-old Ashli Morgan was driving southbound when her car crossed the center line and crashed head-on into Emma Shaffer’s vehicle several weeks ago. Both women and their daughters tragically died.

This story would be incredibly sad no matter the circumstances. But, the fact that the crash was entirely preventable makes it even more devastating.

Investigators have just announced that Ms. Morgan was on the phone at the time of the head-on collision that our state legislators and governor need to rein in.

As an injury lawyer, I unfortunately see that cell phone use — especially texting while driving — causes a huge number of crashes.

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FullSizeRenderI am proud to have finished my third — and most grueling — Boston Marathon on Monday.

In the months leading up to the race, I was worried that an injury to my right foot, which had diminished my training, would stop me from running the demanding race. I had not run a marathon since October in Colorado and only had run one 20 miler (with stops and walking breaks) mostly along the flat Trinity River since then and obviously this was not enough. I thought about not showing.

But Boston is my favorite marathon and I felt like I had to at least try.  The superb organization, fascinating history and raucous crowds make this race a genuine thrill. It is every recreational runner’s dream to run this race.

Boston Marathon History

Part of its allure is that it is the oldest continuous marathon in the world. The race was started back in 1897 with a field of 15 competitors, several of whom had just come back from the rebirth of the Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. The world famous race is held every Patriots Day on the third Monday of April, a state holiday which celebrates the start of the American Revolution with the battles of Concord and Lexington that took place nearby. And New England loves its Patriots!

Further, this is the only race in the world — outside of the Olympics — that requires a runner to qualify by rigorous race times. I’ve somehow run a marathon in each of our 50 states and the State of Israel and qualified to enter Boston in 40 of those.

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dreamstime_xs_48400903Law’s Loophole May Have Allowed Seller to Neglect Recall

17 year-old Huma Hanif is the latest victim of the Takata airbag defect. The young woman ran into a car on a Houston highway, causing the airbags to deploy. Instead of providing a cushion against the crash’s impact, the Takata airbag ruptured and sent sharp metal fragments into the car’s cabin. One piece fatally pierced Huma’s neck.

The lead investigator said the teen was not speeding and that the car sustained very little damage. Ironically, had the airbags not deployed, she would almost certainly have walked away with only minor injuries.

Huma was the 11th person — and second Texan — to die from these exploding “safety devices.”

A whopping 24 million vehicles have been recalled by almost every major manufacturer. And the Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that another 85 million inflaters that cause the deadly explosions may be defective.

As I often say, what the hell is going on out there?

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What's More Important - image

What’s More Important – image

Teen Promised To Stop Using Her Cell Phone After First Wreck

Amanda Clark received a wake up call when her cell phone use caused a frightening accident. She ran a stop sign in California and was broadsided while talking to a friend. Her Chevrolet Trailblazer rolled three times and came to rest on its roof. Miraculously, the teen walked away with a few scratches and bruises.

Following the first texting while driving crash, she swore she had learned her lesson. But a year later, Amanda was back texting on the phone while behind the wheel of her car. She caused a wreck again. Sadly, she died in the collision.

Hopefully national publicity campaigns spreading Amanda’s story and others like it will spread the word and prevent thousands of needless crashes a year.

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It’s Time We Wake Up to the Risks

You wouldn’t drive after drinking too much, but would you drive after sleeping too little?

For far too many responsible people, the answer is a surprising “yes.”

Getting enough sleep can be a serious challenge. In our fast paced world, many people are perpetually sleep-deprived and yet still have to get to work, pick up their children from school and handle daily tasks.

Sleep is often the first to go when trying to meet life’s demands.

In fact, a National Sleep Foundation survey found that almost one-third of people  are perpetually tired. Only about 30 percent regularly slept more than seven hours a night.

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