New decision is a rare victory for plaintiffs

If you are injured in a crash caused by someone driving while intoxicated, file a lawsuit, and receive a punitive damages award from a jury, will you be paid? A surprising federal court ruling from the country’s most conservative federal appellate court of the 13 circuits decisively answered that question.

Background: Carlos Sanchez got drunk at a bar in San Antonio, ran a red light, and slammed into this car driven by Richard Frederking in 2004. Sanchez pled guilty to DWI.

dallas-county-court-building-1…. and who shot J.R.?

Berenson Injury Law has filed suit on behalf of a husband and wife who were seriously injured when they were rear ended by a commercial vehicle on Interstate 35. Both could have died. They suffered multiple fractures, had to undergo surgeries and extensive physical therapy, and have a very difficult time recovering from their massive injuries.

The young commercial driver admitted that he looked away and didn’t notice the traffic in front of him slowing down. We intend to prove that he was texting while driving in violation of state and federal laws.

BLOG-W-FT-W-CRASH-FRIDeadly car and truck accidents happen across the DFW area almost every day. One happened near our office last week when an SUV rolled over on I-30 which critically injured several people and took the life of a 22-year-old woman. Here’s a photograph from the scene. And on Sunday night, two people were ejected from a truck in a rollover accident east of Dallas. Since rollovers accidents have the highest fatality rate of any collision, this is an important public safety topic for all of us.

Causes of rollover accidents

Rollovers happen for a number of reasons and are more complex from a liability viewpoint than other vehicle accidents.

On Independence Day we celebrate the birth of our great nation and the best form of government that has even been invented — democracy. The holiday is a highlight of the summer and can be a lot of fun. But July 4th is also the most dangerous day of the year according to the National Safety Council. There are so many ways people can get injured. This blog and our commercial truck blog are always trying to keep people from being injured, so here are some useful tips about how to stay safe this weekend.

1. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles

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Let’s start with the only cases we handle. There are more crashes over the July 4th weekend that at other times of the year. Sadly, 42 Texans lost their lives on July 4th or the day before last year in motor vehicle collisions. Here’s why.

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We are proud to sponsor the first city-wide Bike Rodeo next Friday, July 12th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

It will take place at the Fort Worth Police Department’s training facility at 505 West Felix Street in south Fort Worth.

Both children and adults will have the chance to learn how to ride bicycles or practice their handling skills in a safe environment.

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When three drivers are speeding at 100 mph, a deadly crash is inevitable

There is no excuse for driving too fast. Anytime you do, you put yourself, your passengers, and every one else on the road at tremendous risk. People who speed will crash into other vehicles at a much higher rate of speed, set off violent chain reactions, and cause injuries and even deaths. These become heart-breaking stories, like what happened recently in a Dallas crash that tragically ended the life of a 9-year-old girl.

Olivia Mendez was in a car that was making a left turn at Lake June Road in Dallas. She had just graduated from her school that evening and was almost home. But three muscle cars were speeding down the road from the other direction. The driver of a Dodge Challenger couldn’t stop in time and slammed into the girl’s car, throwing her from it. Her parents and her 3-year-old sister were also seriously injured. The police arrested the three racers and I hope they get long sentences. But nothing can replace the life of this sweet young child. We made a donation to the family’s GoFundMe site and hope you can as well.

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Mayor-Betsy-Price-Bill-BerensonTemps are up, so are bicycle and motorcycle accidents in Fort Worth

Yesterday kicked off the annual Tour de Fort Worth sponsored by Fit Worth and it was an honor to get to ride with our wonderful Mayor Betsy Price. But the warmer weather unfortunately brings an increase in the number of bicycle and motorcycle accidents in Fort Worth.

Saturday sadly marked the latest motorcycle death in our area. Texas leads in the country in the the number of fatal motorcycle crashes with almost 500 riders losing their lives each year.

And though it happened it happened in New Hampshire on Friday, it was horrible to read that seven people riding motorcycles died when a man who was driving in the wrong lane crashed into the group of former Marines. He had to be either texting while driving or driving while intoxicated, or both.

What causes all of the bicycle and motorcycle accidents?

Bicycles and motorcycles are similar. They are small and offer no protection from injuries. Drivers often don’t see them or ignore them; some probably consider them an annoyance. They are often ridden by younger people who enjoy going fast and take unsafe risks.

So there’s a constant friction between the motorists on four wheels and riders on two wheels. On the one hand, motorists must yield the right of way, pay attention to vehicles on the road, slow down, stop looking at cell phones while they drive, and not drink and drive, the usual causes of crashes. But cyclists must also obey the rules of the road, stop at red lights and stop signs, and not engage in risky maneuvers. If there is a crash, the negligence of all drivers and riders will be weighed.

There are too many motorists and bicycle/motorcycle riders who don’t seem to know basic traffic laws — or follow them. So here’s a refresher.

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The governor’s final day to sign or veto bills passed by the state legislature was Sunday. Fortunately, the right of Texans to access the courts and recover damages was not adversely affected. Of the 7,500 bills introduced and 1,400 passed, here are several that affect the car and truck crash cases we have specialized in for almost 40 years at Berenson Injury Law.

HB 1693 AFFIDAVITS TO PROVE MEDICAL RECORDS AND BILLS

The plaintiff must file his medical records and bills with affidavits proving that the service was reasonably priced and necessary and itemize how much of the bill was paid and how much is due. The new law accelerates the filing deadlines by requiring that affidavits be filed 90 or 120 days after the defendant’s answer is filed/experts deadline.

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You may have seen that crazy show called “1,000 Ways to Die.” You can guess that its sequel, “1,000 Ways to Crash on Texas Roads,” is being filmed now. News stories often report the countless ways that over 250,000 of us — yes that’s one-fourth of a million people –  get injured each year in car accidents. They have one thing in common: someone didn’t use the basic level of caution required of anyone behind the wheel, especially in Texas lane-change crashes.

Most recently, a Garland teen was a passenger in a sports car north of Austin when she met a tragic ending due to an unsafe lane change. The 17-year-old driver of his car was going too fast and when she caught up to a slower moving vehicle, swerved to get around it. The car flew off the road and flipped multiple times and the young man sadly lost his life.

Too many Texas lane-change crashes result from “the 3 I’s”

Near Same Location as Deadly Wrong-Way Crash Last Year

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Texas leads the country in many ways. But not all of them are good, like being #1 in the number of times a wrong-way crash happens. Sadly, 237 Texans die in these collisions each year and one of these easily preventable collisions just happened again. This time a driver sped down the wrong side of Jacksboro Highway near Lakeside and slammed head-on into another vehicle. The other driver was hospitalized and was lucky to survive.

There are several reasons why these idiotic wrong-way crashes happen. Usually of course it’s alcohol and/or drugs. But sometimes a driver is on medications, drowsy, easily confused, or elderly. And in crazy cases, these crashes happen when the driver is fleeing the police, as was the case earlier this year at almost the same location.

In all cases, we must do more to stop innocent motorists from being hurt.

Using Modern Technology to Reduce Their Frequency 

Texas transportation authorities are taking steps reduce the number of wrong-way crashes. These techniques include sensors and related technological devices that notify law enforcement officers when a driver has entered a highway going the wrong way.

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