Who can watch the road with all this to see and do? 

171204174617-gm-marketplace-780x439Dashboards can do everything these days. Search for the latest tune on Spotify? Check. Know the latest NFL score? Of course.

But encourage you to order dinner? General Motors just added an application that allows drivers to place restaurant orders while driving. GM is launching the Marketplace app in millions of its new models so millions of hungry drivers can study menus as they drive at 70 MPH.

Just as unnerving, the driver can also book a hotel on Priceline or peruse shopping sites on this new app.

Of course internet connectivity can help improve safety if used responsibly. Instead of looking at a map, you can keep your eyes on the road while listening to voice-activated GPS directions. If you’re in a car accident in a remote area, your Wi-Fi could be a God send to get help more quickly.

But bad driving is already out of control in North Texas. We all see drivers not looking at the road and weaving into our lanes. Playing with these apps is unnecessary and dangerous. Shame on GM and the other auto makers for allowing them on dashboards. They should be illegal.

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IMG_854498% of cases settle out of court. In my 37 years of practicing personal injury law, I have never met any one who wanted to testify in a trial. My job is to get my client as much money as possible. Attempting to reach a favorable out of court settlement is often in his or her best interest.

After a thorough investigation and compilation of medical records, lost wages, and other documents, with the consent of my client, I often forward a complete demand package to the at-fault driver’s insurance company adjuster and attempt to negotiate a favorable out of court settlement.

The key to success is a well written demand letter. It’s a powerful tool that maximizes my client’s damages and has these distinct advantages:

  • It can resolve the claim in months — not up to the two or more years in can take to actually get to trial;
  • It saves thousands of dollars in additional legal fees, filing fees, court expenses, deposition fees, expert’s bills, and a host of other expenses; and
  • It avoids the anxiety of testifying and leaving the decision in the hands of 12 strangers who may rule against our side or even be biased against lawsuits or injury cases in general.

Of course I plan as if I’m going to be in trial, knowing that any case may not be successfully resolved.  And some cases must be filed in court immediately and others will never settle for as much money as I want my client to receive and suit is filed.

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UnknownMy personal injury law firm works hard to provide great customer service and obtain the best results possible. I’m honored when my clients take the time to write positive feedback. We recently received this review:

“Awesome professionalism. He is the greatest and got me through a rough time.”

Angela, thank you for those kind words. I’m glad your case turned out so well. It was an honor to represent you.

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Driving down 635 (LBJ Freeway) in North Dallas, the last thing you’d expect to see is a car heading straight toward you at 70 MPH, right? But that’s exactly what two shocked drivers experienced the other night.

A man drove onto LBJ going the wrong way at 10 p.m. on Sunday. Other drivers frantically called 911 when they saw him but before police could stop him, he had crashed into two cars. Miraculously nobody was killed.

What’s the cause? You guessed it.

The wrong-way driver was high. Most are or are drunk. In fact, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study found that an incredible 61 percent of wrong-way drivers were intoxicated. Most of intoxicated wrong-way drivers are extremely drunk, with BACs above .15 percent. The third most common factor in wrong-way crashes is drugs.

Here’s another shameful statistic compiled by the NTSB: Texas leads the nation in wrong-way accidents.

What is our state doing to fix the problem?

Getting drunk and drugged drivers off the road would drastically reduce all traffic accidents, which is why I constantly advocate for stricter drunk driving laws in Texas.

Good news: the state is taking measures to stop drivers from entering the highway in the wrong direction. Continue reading

Law-schoolYesterday it was with great pride that I established the William K. Berenson Endowed Scholarship at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. The gift is for $125,000.00.

I wanted to express gratitude to those who have made my career possible. I received my degree from SMU Law in 1979. Yesterday was Giving Tuesday, the perfect day to make my donation, and I just celebrated my 63rd birthday on Thanksgiving.

I did not receive any scholarships to SMU (only a few were available) and worked at part-time jobs all three years, sometimes without a car. Law school was a struggle.

After graduation, I moved to Fort Worth to work for a large law firm. However I enjoyed helping individuals more than representing corporations and insurance companies. I opened my law office several years later and decided to specialize in personal injury law.

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Why not?

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How can you possibly know who to choose as the best lawyer for your car accident? You can’t possibly review the qualifications for dozens of attorneys and word of mouth from friends and family or TV ads can be unreliable and incomplete.

Fortunately the Texas Board of Legal Specialization helps you make an intelligent decision.

The board tests and screens attorneys who want to specialize in one area of law. It whittles down 100,000+ lawyers to about 1,500 in the field of Personal Injury Trial Law. That’s only 1.5% of all Texas attorneys.

I joined this select group of lawyers back in 1994.  Continue reading

dreamstime_s_99820598Are you driving to a relative’s house for the Thanksgiving holiday?

You’ll be joining a record 45.5 million Americans. No wonder Thanksgiving is just as well known for stressful travel as for feasts, family and football.

Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year. This year’s holiday promises to be the biggest in a decade. 3.3 percent more Thanksgiving travelers are expected this year over last and 89 percent will travel by car.

Unfortunately American roads are the most deadly in the industrialized world. This is a new phenomenon. In the 1990s the fatality rates were among the lowest in the world. These days, Slovenians’ roads are safer.  Continue reading

I was very happy with the Berenson Group, they were very helpful in advising us our rights and options. Got me and my wife a fast and great settlement.

Hopefully you won’t need their service, but if you’re in an accident don’t hesitate to call these folks!!”  

Thank you for that wonderful review, Nestor. I’m glad you were so pleased. It was a pleasure representing you.

My wonderful staff just surprised me with a card, balloons, and a thoughtful gift of a bicycle computer — guess they thought their old boss would need some help after I mentioned I’m riding 63 miles tomorrow to celebrate my 63rd birthday.

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Thanks guys — wishing you and everybody a Happy Thanksgiving!

Uber-signWith millions of people using ride share companies, their drivers are involved in more and more crashes.

In Dallas the outrageous story about the drunk assistant district attorney fired last week for abusing her Uber driver shined a local spotlight on these increasingly popular services.

The problem is that their drivers are less regulated than if they drove for other businesses. Anybody can drive. I get emails asking me if I would like to and you probably do as well. No training or testing is required and until four months ago, no background checks into the driver were performed in Texas.

Further these drivers can be distracted by looking at their GPS, drive as much as they want, and are paid bonuses for  increased pickups. It follows that distracted, untrained, and hurried  drivers can be accidents waiting to happen.

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