A chain reaction car accident is all too common here in North Texas. Late last night in Plano, an intoxicated driver of a Mustang crashed into a BMW which hit two other vehicles, causing four drivers to be rushed to hospitals. Last week in Dallas, Central Expressway was shut down all night after a four vehicle pile-up which took the life of a young man and injured three other drivers. And several weeks ago, Interstate 20 in Arlington was the site of interconnected accidents that claimed the life of a man and hurt others. This post explains what you should do if you are unfortunately injured in a multiple vehicle collision here.

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Questions you will have after being in a multiple vehicle collision

These are some of the questions we hear our new clients asking us after they have been injured in a chain reaction:

Students at Texas Christian University returning from spring break today must be heart-broken to learn that popular Assistant Dean Jamie Dulle tragically died last week in a Fort Worth DWI crash. She was rear ended by an intoxicated driver not far from their campus.

This story makes you want to cry. Ms. Dulle’s future was bright. She was only 41 and had been awarded a Ph.D. a few months ago. To make things worse, she leaves behind two children.

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A 33-year-old woman, Cristen Hamilton, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. KDFW-TV reported that the drunk driver was speeding and the crash was severe, of course.

Here’s another tragedy in the never-ending saga of DWIs here in North Texas.

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“Car accidents” are not accidents. They are intentionally caused by careless and reckless driving, often speeding. A driver doesn’t accidentally speed or run a red light. Car CRASHES caused by a driver who chooses to exceed the speed limit needlessly claim the lives of countless victims each year. In the United States, car accident deaths took the lives of 37,133 people, with speeding responsible for almost 10,000 deaths in 2017.

Car accident deaths caused by speeding drivers happen here all the time

DFW and Texas are meccas for speeders. In just the latest shocking stories reported in the press in the last few days:

USE-1We were delighted to get $155,000, the full amounts from two insurance policies, to resolve the claim of a Fort Worth woman crashed into last year.

The case was difficult. One of the first things the adverse claims adjuster and attorney look at when they are estimating a jury verdict are photographs of the damaged vehicles. Our client’s car sustained little property damage, as you can see. And the smaller Volkswagen Jetta that hit her had even less damage.

As a result, the other driver’s insurance company denied that she could have been very injured from what it denigrated as a MIST (Minor Impact Soft Tissue) case.

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UnitedHealthcare slammed for violations of federal and Texas law

A federal judge in Northern California released a 106 page decision Tuesday which held that UnitedHealthcare fraudulently created guidelines that denied benefits to its members solely to save money.  The court found that United’s mental health subsidiary had used self-serving guidelines to justify the denials of badly needed mental health treatment for over six years. The guidelines conflicted with generally accepted medical standards as well as federal and state law, including our statutes in Texas. The story sounds like it came from a John Grisham novel like The Rainmaker.

Judge Joseph Spero wrote that the primary factor in the development of internal company guidelines was the maximization of profit, not adopting generally accepted medical practices. The provider had focused on its ‘bottom line as much or more” than the health of its policyholders and had illegally denied badly needed treatment to thousands of them.

How can we stop the epidemic of Texas traffic deaths?

Car and truck accidents take the lives of thousands of Texans each year. Naturally, most of us don’t stop to think how devastating driving can be until it affects us personally. For example, in less than one hour early on Sunday morning, these three residents of our area tragically died on or near Interstate 20: a 16-year-old girl in South Dallas, an Arlington man, and a former running back from Mansfield who played for the University of Iowa. These Texas traffic deaths are heart-breaking. We at Berenson Injury Law send our sincerest condolences to the families of the deceased.

But on a brighter note, there was a little good news on our roads we can share. Our streets were a little safer in 2018. Texas traffic deaths declined by four percent from 3,720 people to only 3,567, according to a new report.Demolished-vehicle-death-texas

What caused this to happen? The only thing that was different is that our state legislature finally passed a law that banned some texting while driving.

But the number of Texas traffic deaths is still extremely high.

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One of the greatest things about living in Fort Worth these last 40 years and in Texas going on 50 is how wonderful people are here. OK, I wasn’t born here but I got here as fast as I could!

So it was a pleasure to stumble upon the fifth annual Dance Marathon on Saturday morning when I was going to a spin class at the TCU Recreation Center.

Over 500 students and supporters of the Cook Children’s Medical Center stayed on their feet for 12 hours, often dancing, to raise money for this nationally ranked hospital. They raised $131,723.60, a huge amount of money. And the national Children’s Miracle Network has raised an incredible $250 million since it was founded. Congratulations to everyone who spent the last year preparing for this event.

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March may be rushing in like a lion today, but soon it will be spring and more people will be outside walking. Maybe you and your spouse or friend will head down the street getting some exercise. Or maybe you’ll just be walking into the grocery store. Unfortunately, far too many people are being crashed into and seriously hurt. This post explains who is responsible if this should unfortunately happen to you or a family member, who pays for damages, and how a pedestrian hit by a car in Texas can win his case.

These are often very serious injury or even deadly cases. And they happen a lot. Last year this number rose by another four percent to the highest in the past 28 years. That’s shocking. This week, a driver hit a man standing on the side of the road in East Fort Worth, killing him, then fled and a drunk driver in the Houston area ran over a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

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Medical bills after car or truck accidents often become financial nightmares. Money Magazine just wrote that a trip to an ER can destroy a typical family’s finances. But this is especially a crisis in Texas where exorbitant “surprise bills” are mailed at two times the national average. One third of Texans who go to a hospital get stuck with them. To combat this abuse, state lawmakers set up a medical bills mediation program ten years ago. The word is finally getting out and the demand for this invaluable service has overwhelmed the Texas Department of Insurance.

Why we need medical bills mediation

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Obviously no one ever plans to be in a car accident or have any kind of medical emergency. He certainly doesn’t think he will be rushed to an expensive hospital and charged enormous amounts by the ambulance, hospital, ER doctors, radiologists, and specialists.

Most people don’t have the ability to pay these bills and assume they will be paid quickly by the at-fault driver’s liability company and his own health insurance plan.

But the injured person won’t know until months later which charges, if any, were paid — assuming he was insured and met his annual deductible. Many are not paid by the health insurance company because a provider was out of the plan’s network or the hospital was is in but the doctor was out of network so the physician’s bill has to be paid in full.

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Hughes-2We have just recovered another maximum recovery for a wonderful client who was injured in late 2017 in Arlington. She was at a stop at a light when another driver was confused by construction barriers in the road (pictured in the rear right) and hit the vehicle next to her, which collided with her SUV.

However, the police officers blamed both drivers, causing a liability problem. Our investigation proved which driver was at fault and we proceeded against his liability carrier, an aggressive giant known for aggressively fighting claims like this one.

She had already selected her own chiropractor (who wrongfully said she had preexisting problems, which the adverse driver’s company used to argue for a lower verdict in court). We arranged for our client to get medical care.

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