If you have been in a car crash, you need to understand that the auto claims process is designed to cheat you. Insurance companies use tactics designed to keep you from getting your damages paid back for car repair, medical bills, lost wages, pain, and other items. This includes not just the other driver’s  insurance company but your own if you have purchased collision, rental car, personal injury protection, medical payments, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist benefits. This post will explain what you can do to protect your rights and make more money.

Auto Claims

Insurance companies are obviously in business to make as much money as possible. They make less profits if they pay out substantial amounts in claims. So an  adjuster looks for ways to save his company money.

Even if he seems friendly, he is trained to use often abusive tactics that guarantee that he (or a jury if you take your case to trial) pays less than what a claimant deserves. Smart people know this and seek immediate help from a personal injury specialist.

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Drunk Customers, Car Crashes, And The Dram Shop Act

Background: Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was driving his teammate and best friend Jerry Brown, Jr. home almost exactly six years ago.  They and other Cowboys had been drinking for hours at a private night club in North Dallas. Brent hit the curb and flipped over his Mercedes in Irving at a speed of 110 miles an hour just a few minutes after leaving the bar. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but the sentence was probated and he only served six months in jail. The deceased’s family filed a Dram Shop lawsuit against the bar in 2013. The case finally goes to trial today in Dallas.

Case: The family has claimed that Beamers Private Club was at fault because it served Brent an excessive amount of alcohol. His blood alcohol level was .18 — more than two times the legal limit. The bar denied liability and filed a cross-claim against Brent, claiming that he was the sole cause of the crash. The jury has to decide if the bar violated the Dram Shop Act by continuing to serve Brent when he was obviously intoxicated.

Questions answered in this post:

  1. What is a Dram Shop lawsuit?
  2. Can a bar or restaurant be held liable for a car or truck collision when a driver is intoxicated?
  3. What laws and court cases control the outcome of the case?
  4. Will these affect the trial of the former Dallas Cowboy?

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Why Do Drivers Suffer Broken Bones After a Car Accident?

Getting injured in a car accident can alter your life, especially if you unfortunately broke a bone. The amount of money you receive in a settlement or jury verdict can be substantial but this will depend on the type of fracture, severity, treatment, bills, and other factors. This can be a complicated subject that requires the services of a personal injury attorney.

Broken Bones After Car Accident

When another vehicle crashes into yours — especially one like a tractor-trailer that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds or a heavy pickup truck or SUV –the inertia causes a violent force within your vehicle that can throw you against the door frame or steering wheel. If you are traveling 65 miles an hour on an interstate and another vehicle hits you at this or a faster speed, your body will continue moving quickly forward and sideways, even if restrained by a seat belt and shoulder harness. Further, your arms, hands, legs, or feet can get twisted and trapped. This sudden jerking motion can cause fractures.

What You Should Know about Texas Car Accident Laws

If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas, you might want to familiarize yourself with basic Texas car accident laws. This will give you a better understanding of how to recover your financial damages and know what questions to ask a personal injury lawyer who can assist you.

Texas Car Accident Laws

Reporting the Accident

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

You’ll be joining a record 54 million travelers. 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 since 2005.

48.5 Million will be on the roads, a 5 percent increase over last year.

Check out these travel stats, courtesy of ICE Portal

  • 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving (a 3.3% increase over last year.)
  • Eighty-nine percent of travelers are planning a Thanksgiving road trip.
  • Consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013.
  • 3.95 million travelers will fly by air (a 5% increase from last year.)
  • Thanksgiving Travel by other modes (train, buses, cruises) is expected to increase by 1.1% from last year (1.48 million travelers.)

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

Enjoy Family Dinners and Football Games … and Try to Stay Clear of Drunk Drivers 

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I thoroughly enjoy sharing a meal with my family and enjoying my blessings. I’m looking forward to seeing my Texas Longhorns win and there are a lot of other great games on this weekend. 

I will also be very careful about when I drive this weekend. 

Car accidents don’t always result in injury fortunately. Sometimes all you need to do is to file a property damage claim and get reimbursed by the insurance company. But sometimes getting the money you need to repair or replace your car isn’t that easy. Sometimes problems arise because of the circumstances of the crash. Other times it’s a matter of miscommunication. Below are some things you need to know about filing a property damage claim.

Filing a Property Damage Claim

1. File with the insurance company of the at-fault driver

If it is clear that the other driver is at-fault, file with his or her insurance company. If you aren’t sure at this point, go ahead and file with your own insurance company as well, which is always faster. Even if you learn the other driver was at fault after your insurance company pays your damages, they will seek subrogation to get the damages they paid reimbursed and get your deductible back. You have time limits for filing a property damage claim so don’t delay.

IMG_0956-1The only thing worse than being in a car wreck is seeing the other driver take off. But this happens often — over 700,000 times each year in our country. In your shock, pain, and anger, you will not know what to do. This post will help you be ready if, God forbid, this happens to you – like it did to our clients injured in this photograph.

The latest hit and run in North Texas happened Wednesday night in Cleburne where a Dodge pickup truck was driving on the wrong side of the highway and hit a 26-year-old man head-on, tragically killing him. Then the truck driver ran away. Liquor bottles were found inside the truck. Police found him walking down the road the next morning and arrested him for failing to stop and render aid, driving a stolen vehicle, and driving with a suspended license. The criminal, who had a very long record including DWIs, never had the decency to call 911 which might have saved the man’s life.

I hate to read stories like this. Criminals who kill or injure innocent people should be punished and made to repay the damage they cause. This mayhem has got to stop.

Hit and Run Crash Laws

Texas like all states regulates and punishes hit and run drivers. Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021 requires drivers involved with a collision that causes injury or death to

  • Stop their vehicle as close to the collision site as possible without blocking traffic;
  • Remain at the scene;
  • Exchange certain information; and
  • Wait for the police to arrive.

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Gilliam-TT-hits-SUVSteps You Should Take If You Are Hurt in an 18 Wheeler Crash

You may be looking for advice on how to proceed after a tractor-trailer hit you because you tried to deal with the company and got a low offer of settlement. Insurance companies know that many people will accept far less money than the fair settlement value or expected jury verdict amount. Maybe they’ve never made you an offer. But if you were injured in an 18 wheeler crash, your damages can be substantial. How do you know whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer and file a lawsuit or settle out of court?

We at Berenson Injury Law know what to do. We’ve filed many vehicle collision lawsuits over the last 38 years. We filed another yesterday on behalf of a Fort Worth man who has had to go through two surgeries after a tractor-trailer crashed into his car and other vehicles, tragically killing a woman. Here’s a photo from the scene on Interstate 35.

You might not think this could ever happen to you and we certainly hope it doesn’t. But there are a shocking 34,000 collisions involving commercial vehicles that took the lives of 601 people and injured over 17,000 people in the United States. That’s the number of people who watch a sold out concert or game at the American Airlines Center, to put the destruction in perspective.

Commercial truck collisions are often difficult legal battles because they cause serious injuries. You need to hire a good personal injury attorney who can build a strong case and win your case in court or mediation.

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Electric Bicycles To Be Available in Fort Worth Soon

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You are starting to see a few people riding around on electric bicycles and electric scooters and might think they are good ideas. They encourage people to exercise, reduce our ever-increasing road congestion, and help protect the environment, so I was interested when Fort Worth just announced that its B-Cycle bicycle sharing program will add 50 electric assisted bicycles in April.

B-Cycle had test rides available yesterday so I hopped on one at City Hall before work to check them out.

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