Latest Fort Worth crash a shocking reminder of danger. 

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On Sunday morning several young women who had been celebrating a birthday in the Fort Worth Stockyards were walking back to their car near this iconic scene. But a truck speeding on North Main at 25th Street ran into Amber Underwood and Brooklyn Wammack and almost hit another woman.

The high-speed collision sent the two friends flying into the air, knocked them unconscious, and seriously injured them. The driver fled the scene — of course.

The Fort Worth Police Department has just asked the public to contact them to identity the hit-and-run driver of a 1998-2000 Ford 150 crew cab truck that is black on the top and bottom and tan through the center and has a missing headlight and a paper license tag in the back. There can’t be many trucks like that here. Call 817-392-4891 if you have any information.

Amber

Amber Underwood photograph courtesy of WFAA

I hope this criminal is found, sentenced to a lengthy jail term in a criminal court, and a judgment is taken against him or her in a civil court to pay the victims’ damages.

My wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the two young women.

It is ridiculously dangerous to cross a street in America or even be outside of a vehicle. A recent poll showed that Texas was the third worst in the U.S. for pedestrian deaths. Over 5,000 people are killed after being hit by a car or truck each year with 550 Texans among them.

What can you do if  you have been crashed into while you were a pedestrian or the other driver speeds away from a collision?  Continue reading

https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/08/Screen-Shot-2017-08-14-at-12.23.04-PM-300x148.pngMayhem on Dallas Fort Worth highways continues

On Friday night a man was driving while intoxicated as he sped down Interstate 30 in Grand Prairie at speeds of over 100 MPH. The drunk driver lost control of his Honda Civic and crashed into a light pole. The impact killed his 29-year-old girlfriend and his two children, who were only four and three years old. Adding to the horror, the driver had recently been convicted of DWI and been arrested on other charges and his children were not restrained in their required child seats.

Then on Saturday night a driver lost control of the vehicle on the I-20 ramp to Loop 820 in Southeast Fort Worth. During the roll-over accident another 4 year-old girl died after being ejected. It is not clear how fast the driver was going or how the child was thrown out of the car. But you can guess that alcohol was probably involved here too.

My condolences go out to the families of these young victims.

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Our High Rate Of Uninsured And Underinsured Motorists Is A Serious Problem

Last week local drivers started being stopped by police to see if they had licenses and liability insurance. DL-signIt’s about time. I hope other police departments in the Dallas Fort Worth area start doing this. It’s for our own protection.

At just one checkpoint, police wrote 36 citations and ticketed 24 uninsured drivers on Bardin Road in Arlington in just a 1½-hour period.

With 1.6 million uninsured drivers, Texas was in the top five states last year. While our officials estimate that 13 percent of drivers in the state do not have car insurance, as a personal injury lawyer I have seen that this number is much higher. The Dallas News estimated the number of uninsured drivers in Dallas County at 16%.

But that doesn’t count the drivers who officially have insurance and the policy expired or is fraudulent, or the driver has been excluded from coverage, hits and runs, disappears, denies responsibility, or fails to cooperate with his insurance carrier.

The checkpoints have exposed important information about the high number of uninsured drivers driving in North Texas (photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune). What happens if you are hit by one of these drivers? Who will pay your damages?

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https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/08/Screen-Shot-2017-08-09-at-12.09.48-PM.pngDriving While Shooting Encounters Show That Some In North Texas Are Still Living In The Wild West

Ever since the Lone Star State was founded in 1836 after a war with Mexico, we have been famous for being a gun-loving and sometimes dangerous place to live. Here in Fort Worth, shoot-outs in the Stockyards were common and Butch Cassidy and his gang hung out in “Hell’s Half Acre” (now downtown) when they weren’t robbing banks. There’s a reason our sports teams are named the Rangers, Cowboys, and Mavericks. We were the epicenter of the wild West — and still proud of it.

Today we in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are fortunately better known for our gracious hospitality, vibrant culture, booming economy, and numerous universities. But lately we have experienced an alarming resurgence of the wild West mentality on our highways.

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If you could (somehow) avoid certain areas on our Dallas-Fort Worth highways, you might be safer. That’s the conclusion of a new traffic study.

Sections of eight DFW roads were the sites of almost 200 deaths in 2015, adding to the dismal total that makes Texas the #1 ranked state for traffic fatalities in the U.S.

So which of our highways are the worst?

The misspelling on the sign is a clue as to North Texas’s #1’s most frightening road — and the area near mile marker 124 on I-30 just east of downtown Fort Worth is almost the deadliest place to drive in the entire state of Texas.

Stretches of Interstates 35, 20, and 635 and US Highway 175 in our Dallas-Fort area were also deadly. Here’s the list:

Rank in DFW Rank in TX City Road Mile point Crashes Deaths Miles Deaths/ mile
1 2 Fort Worth I-30 124 8 14 1.99 7.05
2 7 Dallas I-35 91 11 14 2.67 5.25
3 9 Duncanville I-20 70 11 11 2.16 5.1
4 13 Dallas I-35 161 38 42 8.87 4.74
5 15 Dallas US 175 129 29 36 8.01 4.49
6 18 Dallas I-635 66 37 39 9.54 4.09
7 22 Lancaster I-20 133 16 20 5.21 3.84
8 24 Grand Prairie I-20 94 10 10 2.62 3.81

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Quote-1I just got this email from a past client that reminded me why I love to practice personal injury law:

Hi Bill!

Hope all is well with you and your family!

I wanted to send this picture along to you to say thank you yet again for all your help and hard work for our kiddos (the photo is her daughter standing next to a new car).

With the settlement A___ received , she purchased a 2017 Ford Focus. She is attending Texas Women’s University this Fall. The balance of the settlement will fund her tuition.

Thank you again!

D___ P___

Her family’s case

In case you’re wondering what she was writing about, my client’s two children were crashed into by a man driving while intoxicated several years ago. Both only treated at a chiropractor and suffered relatively minor neck and back strains.

I fought to get the children a total of $84,000 before a trial, with them receiving $50,000 after medical expenses that I reduced to only $6,000 and fees. The money was set up in structured annuities to increase their yields and enable a court to approve the settlements since they were minors.

This is an example of what we do here at Berenson Injury Law to get our clients the maximum compensation possible for their injuries.

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dreamstime_xs_567292Good news: for years teenage traffic fatalities declined in Texas. From 2005 to 2014, the number of teen deaths dropped by 51 percent. Texas’s graduated licensing program, education, and safer cars seemed to be making a positive impact.

Bad news: in 2015 things took a turn for the worse when teen deaths unfortunately spiked by 9 percent. And based on what I’ve seen in my practice as an injury lawyer, I’m not optimistic about the release of the  2016 statistics.

How can we stop this from happening? And what can you do if you crashed into by a teenage driver?

Teens: drunk driving and speeding are nothing to brag about

Last week’s horrific YouTube video of an 18 year-old driving drunk and killing her younger sister and a Snapchat video which recorded a woman partying in the days before she was killed in a drunk driving crash have gone viral.

These videos ended tragically, but others in which drunk and speeding teen drivers miraculously survive continue to pop up on social media and actually be liked by peers and followers. The teens enjoy a few moments of minor fame for their risky escapade, which may be encouraging others to follow suit.

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https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/07/Screen-Shot-2017-07-31-at-3.19.28-PM-300x124.pngAlcohol causes a variety of symptoms that make driving extraordinarily dangerous. Thanks to driver’s education and wonderful organizations like MADD, all drivers know this — or should. But one of the biggest dangers is a drunk driver’s inability to quickly react to problems on the road.

That’s what happened last week after 20 year-old Mikayla Prince lost control of her Mitsubishi on I-635 and hit a guardrail. She and her friend got out of the car and stood on the side of the highway. A good Samaritan, James Fofanah, stopped to help. Moments later, 23-year-old Ashlynn Hurley plowed into the accident scene and tragically killed Ms. Prince and Mr. Fofanah. Hurley’s Toyota caught on fire but she escaped with minor injuries. Hurley was arrested for DWI.

Had Hurley not been intoxicated, she would have the mental faculties to see the car crash sooner.

This is why we must support Mothers Against Drunk Drivers so these horrendous crashes stop. According to MADD, each day 27 people are killed in a drunk driving crash and hundreds suffer injuries, with one-third of the drunks being repeat offenders. And Texans spend over $6 billion every year due to drunk driving collisions.

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Mary-McLin-in-wheel-chair-300x225And do I even need a personal injury lawyer?

Important questions you are probably asking if you have been injured in a car wreck are

  • how much money can I get from the other driver and his insurance company?
  • won’t they pay me as much money as I want? 
  • will a lawyer charge me so much that I should just represent myself?

These are all great questions. I’ve been asked them countless times over the past 37 years as an injury lawyer in Fort Worth.

And I get it. I don’t like paying for something I could do myself either – if I have the skill and time, which I often don’t.

Here I’ll give you answers that will help you make a good decision about your car wreck case.

I’ve discussed this topic repeatedly on my web site, in a book for injury attorneys, and at a presentation to the members of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association at its annual conference.

And I think about how do this every day: how to get the most compensation for my clients, make the insurance company pay my fee, cut my client’s medical bills, and put as much money as possible into his bank account as quickly as possible. Continue reading

How To File A Wrongful Death Claim In Auto Crash In Texas

In less than eight hours Thursday night – Friday morning, DFW highways were shut down due to these tragic car wrecks:

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10:30 p.m. in Grand Prairie – car driven by a young man cut off 63-year-old woman on Carrier Parkway and causes her SUV to tumble down a hill;

3:30 a.m. in Garland  – young woman crashed into a barrier wall on Interstate 635; second car driven by a young woman driving while intoxicated killed the first driver and a Good Samaritan; and

6:00 a.m. in Fort Worth – speeding car flipped over on Highway 287

Of course, no one thinks that a fatal car accident will ever affect them. But it happens more than you might think. Almost 3,800 people were killed in traffic accidents in Texas last year — almost an all-time record — with about 1,000 of those caused by a person driving while intoxicated. Our highways are far too dangerous.

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