National Teen Driver Safety Week Is A Good Startimages.

Here’s a great idea that gives parents and schools the chance to focus on this critical safety issue.

The U.S. Department of Transportation devised this excellent awareness program to curtail the tragic loss of 2,333 teens and 221,313 teens severely injured after being in an auto accident in 2015.

Parents are not usually usually driving with their teens so they must teach and enforce these five crucial driving behaviors to prevent car and truck crashes:

  • No using a cell phone or texting
  • No piling passengers in the car
  • No speeding
  • No drinking alcohol
  • No driving without wearing a seat belt

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redMotorcycle death yields $200,000, maximum amount available.

The parents of a man who died in a tragic motorcycle crash in Fort Worth obtained the total from two insurance policies. Their son was test riding a Honda when another car pulled out in front of him in Fort Worth. He had no time to react and was killed upon impact.

But the other driver’s insurance company refused to honor the claim, claiming its driver was not at fault, there was no proof of conscious pain and suffering, and other ridiculous excuses. I was about to take the case to court to court when the company paid the full amount. Its insured driver had no assets that could be seized for a further recovery of money so there was no reason to file a lawsuit.

We had also located an under insured motorist policy owned by a family member, but again the company resisted payment due to an alleged lack of coverage, etc. We prevailed again. The parents netted $150,000.00. But no amount of money could ever replace their wonderful son and this kind man.

Review written by clients

The man’s parents, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Colorado, were happy with our service and I was humbled by their Google review:

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dreamstime_s_34718220The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released its highly anticipated 2016 crash report this week. The results are very discouraging.

More people died in traffic crashes last year than in any year in the past decade.

And what’s more, there were increases in every means of transit. Death rates increased for those driving cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicycles.

Overall traffic deaths increased by almost 2,000 people — an enormous 5.6 rate of increase from 2015. Since 2008, traffic fatalities had been on a downward trajectory but began to climb in 2012. We’ve now surpassed the 2008 numbers with no apparent end in sight.

I’ve been riding my bicycle long distances to stay in shape as I turn 63 next month (yikes!) and this picture of a “ghost bike” memorializing the death of a cyclist is especially disturbing to me.

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Fiery-crashStudy finds hospitals charge people an outrageous 340% too much for ER care.

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have analyzed the records of over 12,000 emergency rooms in all 50 states and discovered that prices for the same procedures varied wildly between different hospitals. Rubbing more salt on the wound, the most vulnerable, least insured, and poorest patients were often charged the highest prices.

The researchers then compared the prices charged to the amount listed by Medicare. On average, patients were billed 340 percent more for their services than the Medicare listing price.

The researchers aptly referred to the practice as “price gouging.” This has got to stop. Car wrecks are not profit centers to support the rest of the hospital. Continue reading

Honda-at-sceneA Dallas jury just awarded a catastrophically injured couple a jaw-dropping $42 million.

Matthew and Marcia Seebachan were driving to visit her grandmother near Austin a few days before Christmas in 2013. Suddenly a truck hydroplaned in a rain storm and collided into their small car. But a routine collision became a catastrophe when the roof of their Honda Fit collapsed and crushed them. Then shards of metal punctured their gas tank and the car burst into flames. The doors would not open and they were locked in an inferno.

Fortunately a passing motorist broke the glass and rescued the couple, but not before Matthew suffered horrifying third degree burns and he and Marcia sustained shattering injuries and extreme mental trauma. Medical bills were over one million dollars and lost wages were enormous.

How could this nightmare happen?

Investigators discovered that John Eagle Collision Center had only glued the roof in place after a previous hail storm — not welded it back in the 104 places required by Honda’s specifications and industry standards.

The couple filed suit.  Pretrial discovery, including the deposition answers of Eagle’s body shop manager admitting fault, were especially damning.

A doctor testified that that they should have only sustained minor injuries, bolstered by the fact that the driver and occupants of the truck were not hurt.

Continue reading Cause Of Job Deaths? Crashes.

Drive Safely Work Week begins today and I want to promote this excellent idea. Companies are being being asked to remind their employees about driving safety and enforce policies that will prevent auto and truck accidents.

For businesses like 18 wheeler and bus carriers, driving safety should already be a given, right? But see this photo from a case I am working on where a bus driver driving children home from school ran the stop sign and crashed into my client driving the tractor trailer, seriously injuring him.

Why don’t businesses take steps to stop the rampant number of car and truck crashes we see here on a daily basis? A personal injury lawyer sees far too many wrecks caused by company employees — and there’s no end in sight.

Traffic accidents in DFW have shot up over the years as more and more employees move here. Fort Worth and Dallas are two of the fastest growing cities in the United States, with 400 people moving here every day. It’s a recipe for disaster since almost every one (91 percent) commutes to and from their jobs by a private vehicle. 

With so many people rushing to get home, more people surprisingly die in auto accidents during the evening rush hour than at any other time of the day — including after midnight when many intoxicated drivers are out.

This week puts companies in a good position to influence traffic safety. From distributing simple educational and marketing programs to implementing widespread changes in workplace policies, businesses can make our lives much safer.

Drive-Focused-Drive-Smart-Get-Home-Safely-email Continue reading

maxresdefaultDWI collisions in North Texas have skyrocketed.

A two vehicle collision in south Dallas the other night resulted in one death and two DWI arrests. That’s right, not one but both drivers were drunk. My first reaction was are you kidding me?

But considering the out-of-control drunk driving statistics, it is not hard to believe that two intoxicated drivers would crash into each other.

The first drunk driver was speeding through an intersection in the Red Bird area when he slammed into a Buick making a left turn. The other intoxicated driver suffered minor injuries — of course — but his passenger tragically died. The speeding driver was charged with intoxicated manslaughter and three counts of intoxication assault, while the driver making the turn was charged with a simple DWI.

This sad story highlights how alcohol impairs judgment, reaction time and vision that affect the driver’s ability to effectively respond to a sudden situation, especially at night.

Too many families have experienced too high medical bills, painful injuries, lost wages, totalled vehicles and other damages because too many people drink too much and drive.

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ER clinics must now give patients billing information up front.

You will need prompt medical care after you are injured in a car crash. But you don’t necessarily need to be taken by an expensive ambulance (the typical cost in Fort Worth is $1,600.00) to a huge level one trauma center and have to pay the hospital, emergency room, and radiology company $5,000.00 or more.

This is where freestanding ERs can fill the gap. But they can also sometimes come with an enormous price that is shocking.

After years of complaints about excessive bills for minor emergency clinics, the Texas legislature stepped in. A new Texas law will hopefully alleviate these surprise bills.

As of September 1st, freestanding emergency clinics must post which insurance companies cover their services.

I just discussed a similar problem about how air ambulance companies gouge people after auto collisions here and what you can do about it. Continue reading driver pulls up to another driver and points a gun at him. After a high speed chase, police officers lose control and crash into a bank. The armed driver races into a neighborhood where he wrecks his car, flees on foot, and breaks into a house. The officers are rushed to emergency rooms and one is seriously hurt. Other police officers eventually arrest the man.

This unbelievable police chase was not a scene in the latest Hollywood action movie. It happened yesterday afternoon in Fort Worth. It was so violent it made national headlines.

The driver, a 21-year-old male, was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, evading arrest, and unlawful possession of a firearm and already had seven outstanding arrest warrants. His passenger, a 21-year-old female, was arrested for possession of marijuana and had five warrants.

Our residents are almost always known for their hospitality and courtesy. But our roadways are sometimes turning into battlefields. Road rage has become a  common occurrence. Continue reading

dreamstime_s_20865098Air ambulance bills are sky high

When 17-year Colton Lightfoot crashed his motorcycle, his parents didn’t hesitate when doctors suggested that he rushed to the emergency room by air ambulance. At that alarming moment, they didn’t think to ask questions like how much that would cost or whether their insurance covered it in full or at all.  Naturally all they cared about was their son’s recovery.

But nothing could prepare the East Texas family for the enormity of the bill for that flight — $58,000. After their health insurance carrier only paid $15,000, they were stuck with a whopping $43,000 bill. And many of these carriers refuse to pay all medical bills when they find out that they were the result of a car wreck.

Their story is typical and I’ve seen the victims of car accidents grapple with this serious problem. Continue reading

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