imagesYesterday I attended my first Mothers Against Driving Advisory Board meeting in Dallas. As a long-time supporter of MADD, I am glad to be able to work closer with this worthwhile organization so we can prevent drunk driving in Dallas-Fort Worth.

This is crucial. DWIs are far too common. There were over 4,000 crashes caused by drunk drivers in Dallas and Tarrant Counties last year. Tragically they took the lives of 139 people and injured over 3,000 people. This has got to stop.

Just since Saturday night, the news media reported that

This board provides direction and support to MADD, the only group trying to stop these senseless deaths and injuries.  Continue reading

https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-08-at-2.21.24-PM-e1510168946365.pngA driver crashed into a motorcyclist in Bedford several weeks ago, then the driver sped away in broad daylight. Another hit-and-run driver almost got away with it. Fortunately police received tips based on this security video of the horrific accident and arrested a 22 year-old man.

Unfortunately this happens all too often here in Dallas Fort Worth. But you shouldn’t be left holding the bag.

I recently settled two of these cases. A mother and her child were struck by an SUV as they crossed the street and were seriously injured but the driver fled. I was able to obtain all available insurance policies for them. In another, a man was hit walking into a San Antonio restaurant when another young woman hit him with her SUV and took off. Witnesses tracked her down and I made her insurance company pay him a large amount of money.

I’m about to file suit against an Uber driver’s insurance company after he was crashed into in Fort Worth and that driver fled.

Here are some tips on how you can recover your damages.

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collision

courtesy of dfw.cbslocal.com

After a car crash, a police officer comes to the scene, interviews the drivers, and writes a detailed Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). Its importance cannot be overstated.

Why? It provides an unbiased account of the crash and is written by a trained expert. The insurance company and/or jury will use it to help decide what happened, who is at fault, and how much money to pay you.

The officer records the information about all of the people who were in the vehicles, such as seating position and severity of injuries. The officer also notes whether the drivers were impaired by drugs or alcohol and sometimes even the blood alcohol level — one of the most powerful ways to enlarge your recovery.

I have been reading these accident reports almost daily for almost 40 years and know what to look for. It is essential to get and scrutinize the report as soon as possible.

The report is often useful to you. But it can be inaccurate or just plain wrong and be kept out of evidence as hearsay. How this report is handled can make or break your case whether you are trying to obtain a high settlement or jury verdict – or any money at all.

I go over these reports with a highlighter. The items in orange to the right are some of the things I look for.

Identification and Location 

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The top section on page one gives basic information about the crash including the date, time and location.

If it happened at night, an injury lawyer immediately investigates if alcohol, drugs, drowsiness, or recklessness are involved.

Which road the wreck was on, traffic lights, street signs, stop signs, video cameras, speed limits, and other considerations are vital pieces of information.

For example, school zone, construction zone, and high speed interstate cases are treated much differently than low speed residential street, four way stop, or parking lot accidents.

Pinpointing the exact place and time of the accident is essential in reconstructing and locating evidence at the crash scene.

Lighting, weather, obstructions to vision, rush hour traffic, holidays, and other considerations must be factored into the evaluation.

Vehicle, Driver and Persons

There are two sections on the remainder of page one that ask for information about two drivers involved in the crash. The officer records the name, address, age, sex, race, driver’s license status, state, and type, level of injury, seating position and severity of injuries of the drivers. The officer also notes whether they were impaired by drugs or alcohol and sometimes even the blood alcohol level — one of the most powerful ways to get a large recovery of money in a DWI case.

All passengers are listed with some of this same information.

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https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/10/0601busax2_1464821017896_2633261_ver1.0-1.jpgHow To Recover Damages After Government Employee Causes A Crash.

Special laws apply if you are involved in a collision caused by a state worker like a school bus driver.

I just obtained the total amount available under state law for my client. He was driving this 18-wheeler last summer when a school bus driver loaded with children failed to yield at a stop sign and caused this crash. My client had to have surgery to his shoulder and ankle. I have also made his workers compensation carrier agree to substantially cut its reimbursement lien.

But suing state agencies and their employees can be difficult, if not impossible, since our state legislature has imposed strict limitations on liability, damages amounts, and legal procedures.

Here’s how this legal process differs from most injury cases.

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Distracted driving, infotainment systemOne of the main selling points for a vehicle used to be its safety ratings. Now it’s the computer settings.

Why? We drivers want to be entertained while we go to our destinations. So automakers compete on which infotainment system best fulfills the instant demand for the internet, music, directions, phone connectivity, sports scores, stock quotes, and you name it.

The problem with this trend is obvious. Driving is not supposed to entertaining. It’s a dangerous task that requires the driver’s full attention.

Which infotainment systems are distracting?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety rated the distracting qualities of 30 of the most popular infotainment systems.

Which were distracting? You guessed it — all of them.

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Third Involving Girl USEIs On Tuesday. Why So Many?

This week I was in court finalizing two cases where small children were hit by big vehicles. And I will be in court on Tuesday where the young front seat passenger was seriously injured when her driver started ingesting drugs and crashed into the concrete median.

What in the world is going out there?

Fortunately all three young ladies have recovered from their injuries. I don’t know why we have so many pedestrian injuries. But a lot of good questions were asked by the parents about the legal process so I wanted to discuss how the personal injury case of a child differs from an adult’s.

For an example, today’s hearing involved a two year old who was walking next to her mother holding her hand in a crosswalk next to I-20 last year. They had the “walk” sign. Suddenly a young woman ran into them with her SUV. Then after apologizing, the woman fled the scene and could not be found.

I went to the scene and located several eyewitnesses. I then tracked down the driver and made her admit fault. I worked with the mother to get her daughter the medical, dental, and psychological help she needed, paying for some of this treatment up front so the mother didn’t have to. She was also badly injured and I assisted her in every way possible with her case.

I later negotiated with several adjusters and attorneys and collected the entire insurance limits from three different policies for both the mother and her daughter. To put more money into the four year old’s recovery, I reduced my attorney’s fee, waived expenses, slashed medical bills, and shopped for the best annuity plan which will allow the girl to attend college. The mother was thrilled — her very kind review is here.

Wednesday’s case successfully resolved the case where a seven year old girl was crashed into by a truck driver who refused to stop for her school bus on the side of the road with its red lights flashing. She broke her leg and required surgery. I again maxed out the driver’s large liability insurance policy, reduced my client’s medical bills, cut my fees, didn’t charge expenses, and set up a favorable annuity for her college tuition. I also made the driver’s insurance company pay a large sum for the emotional distress of the girl’s brother who was standing next to her and could have also been hit. My client was also very happy with the outcome.

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download-1-1A 19 year-old teen was shot and killed in Arlington after he got into a lane change dispute on I-20 in June. Nobody has been arrested in this gut-wrenching homicide.

At least the death of young Dylan Spaid inspired Arlington police to take action and police began cracking down on overly aggressive drivers. As an Arlington sergeant noted, there are a lot of angry people on the road. This new program is stopping those crazed drivers before they hurt anyone.

Undercover patrol officers constantly scan highways for aggressive motorists during sting operations. The officers look for such typical angry behavior as tailgating, cutting off other drivers, passing on the shoulder, weaving in and out of lanes, making obscene gestures and excessive speeding.

A WFAA reporter who rode along with unmarked officers saw a driver who was clocked going an unbelievable 102 mph. A crash at that speed would likely kill the driver and innocent people he ran into. This is an example of the type of conduct the sting operation is targeting.

Arlington officers aren’t messing around. So far, they’ve issued citations to more than 1,000 drivers and arrested 15 aggressive drivers.

Not only were numerous road rage injuries likely averted, but Arlington is getting a reputation for a place where drivers need to be on their best behavior. Continue reading

IMG_8010The Fort Worth Walk Like MADD on Saturday was a painful but hopeful morning.

There were memorials left and tributes paid to those who lost their lives or have been injured due to driving while intoxicated collisions in our area.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is the only organization that fights to keep our roads safer by eliminating DWI crashes. It has helped reduce the number of drunk driving deaths by one-half since it was started in 1980 by the mother of a young woman who was crashed into by a DWI driver.

Dallas Has Almost 3rd Worst Traffic in the Country.

images-2We all know how dangerous and frustrating driving on Dallas-Fort Worth roads can be.

And if you think Dallas is the worst city to drive in, you’re close. It was recently ranked almost tied for the #3 spot on the list for cities with the worst traffic in the United States. Only Los Angeles and New York City, the top two most densely populated cities and famous for their bumper-to-bumper gridlock, have more traffic jams. Remember the opening to the movie La La Land when people danced on their stopped cars?

The study analyzed 108,000 “hotspots” in American cities to identify where they are and why they happen. They represent problem areas that cause congestion and crashes.

The researchers found 6,720 traffic hot spots in Dallas. The worst area was on Interstate 20 West from south of downtown to Collins in Arlington. Improving these areas would make our lives better and reduce the enormous number of car wrecks we have – over 80,000 a year in Dallas and Tarrant Counties each year. Continue reading

As a 5th year Presenting Sponsor and a Fort Worth injury lawyer who unfortunately sees many drunk and drugged driving crash cases, I support Mothers Against Drunk Driving in its fight to stop this deadly problem.

MADD-Walk-Fort-Worth-Injury-Lawyer-Car-Wreck-Crash-Truck-Accident-Mark-Anderson-Jim-Adler-David-Kohm-Brian-Loncar-2

MADD is the only organization that provides victim support, judicial and legislative reform, technology research, and education to curtail drunk and drugged driving.

The Walk Like MADD is its signature fund raiser, memorial, and rallying cry. The atmosphere is one of sadness, love, and hope.

I always leave feeling like we can make a difference and defeat the deadly drunk driving epidemic that has inflicted our roads in Texas. There is no reason that we should be the #1 state for the number of people who die from DWI crashes.

It’s not too late to form a team of family members, neighbors, or coworkers. And I will match the registration fee in a donation to MADD for anybody who lets me know he or she has signed up.

The walk takes place in the Botanic Garden down the street from my office Saturday morning at 8:30.

Learn more and register here.

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