Articles Posted in Car Accidents

CHIf you have been injured in a collision in Fort Worth, you might be wondering how much money you might get.

Before going through a trial and waiting for a jury to award you damages, I can meet with you and help you understand what money a typical jury awards in cases like yours.

I have handled several thousand car crash cases over the past almost 40 years.

I have a good handle on what they are worth and how to get my clients the financial results they want.

What damages can be paid?

Economic damages pay you for actual financial losses, usually your

  • Medical bills paid or incurred
  • Lost wages, lost job benefits, and loss of wage earning capacity

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What happens after you are in a car accident and are rushed by ambulance to a hospital for treatment?

There are 80,000 car wrecks each year in Dallas and Tarrant Counties — about 90 every hour — so this happens a lot here.

But the largest health insurance company in Texas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, recently announced that its HMO members may have to pay for these super expensive ER bills themselves.

If BCBS concludes that the patient’s medical problem was not that serious to justify emergency attention, he or she will be stuck with payments that often exceed $10,000. No criteria or appeal process have been announced.

This draconian new policy begins on June 4th.

How is this fair?

How does someone know when his pain is so serious that it should be immediately treated or whether he should take a chance and just go home? Is he supposed to know enough medicine that he can diagnose himself and determine if he needs diagnostic testing to rule out a brain injury, herniated disc or heart attack?

This recording of a woman who called 911 in France complaining of pain and who soon died of a heart attack after being brushed off by a dispatcher is shocking — and could become the norm.

The new policy will affect 500,000 of the 5,000,000 Texans who have BCBS.

And a lot more of us, once the other health insurance companies start doing this with their HMOs and PPOs.

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11867031-stethoscope-on-money-dollar-cash-currency-banknote-background-using-for-healthy-financial-and-insuraBadly Needed Victory for Injured Texans.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an uninsured woman who challenged her whopping hospital bill of $11,000.

The opinion written by Debra Lehrmann, formerly a district court judge in Fort Worth, held that hospitals must disclose the lower rates that are given to people covered by health insurance or government assistance.

The case

Crystal Roberts was injured in a car wreck in Houston in 2015 and taken to North Cypress Medical Center. After x-rays, CT scans, and routine care she was discharged.

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dreamstime_s_80813313-768x580People are unfortunately hurt in car crashes in Fort Worth and Dallas every day. And to compound their injuries, enormous medical bills add up quickly.

Who pays for the ambulance, emergency room, diagnostic tests, doctors, and prescriptions — the other driver’s automobile liability company, your auto liability company, your health insurance company, government agencies, or the other driver? When? In full or will you have to pay some of the bills up front?

This can become a nightmare if it is not handled correctly from the start.

What should you do?

The problem begins when you cannot direct the ambulance driver to a hospital that takes your insurance or might accept you for financial reasons, such as John Peter Smith or Parkland. You probably don’t even know which hospitals are in-network on your insurance plan. And you may not even have a health insurance policy, or if you do, you might not have met the annual deductible yet or can’t afford the co-pays and other expenses.

But the EMTs are trained to rush you to the nearest ER so you can be diagnosed and treated for your injuries. Especially when computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance images (MRIs) are needed, your first day’s medical expenses can easily be $5,000 — and often $10,000 or more. There are horror stories like this all over the internet.

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dreamstime_xs_7781316-300x205It’s way too dangerous to drive. There are over 80,000 car accidents each year here in Dallas and Tarrant Counties.

But ironically the very safety devices you count on to protect you if you are in a car wreck can be lethal.

A whopping 42 million vehicles in the United States and 100 million around the world have had to be recalled due to deadly problems with the Takata airbags.

There are still over 60,000 of these dangerous cars, trucks, and SUVs on American roads.

Are you driving one of these so-called “time bombs?”

Jewel Brangman unfortunately was. The 26-year old rear-ended a minivan while driving a Honda rental car in California.  Although the impact was minimal, the airbag exploded and Ms. Brangman tragically bled to death from a neck artery severed by metal shards.

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IMG_0045Victory of the month

Fort Worth injury attorney Bill Berenson has successfully recovered $710,000 for a passenger who was seriously injured when his vehicle was rear-ended last year.

The other driver fled the scene on foot and was later arrested but he had no liability insurance. We conducted a full-scale investigation and located a substantial uninsured insurance policy and other sources of  recovery that could help our client.

Sure, Ride-sharing is Convenient — But Are You Always Safe?

Last week police arrested an Uber driver charged with a shocking crime: sexually assaulting a 77-year-old Fort Worth woman.

Another Uber driver was convicted in Boston several weeks ago for having sex with his passenger, a young college student who was intoxicated.

MARTINTexans witnessed these three calamities in the last three days:

  1. Ethan Couch was released from jail after only two years for killing four people and crippling our client;
  2. Lou Diamond Phillips was sentenced after his DWI arrest; and
  3. A drunk driver crashed early this morning in Dallas, killing her passenger.

Why do driving while intoxicated collisions keep happening?

If law enforcement and courts don’t crack down on outrageous drunk drivers (#1) and high profile movie stars and celebrities are constantly being shown after they are busted (#2), what can we expect?

Last year, over 3,700 Texans tragically died due to intoxicated drivers. That’s shameful.

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You probably think that the driver who rears-ends another car or truck is automatically at fault.

Since there are a shocking 1.7 million rear-end collisions each year in the U.S. which take the lives of 1,700 people and injure 500,000 others, they are serious problems that need to be prevented.

But juries and courts have eased up on the quality and quantity of the evidence required to defeat these cases.

A new decision from the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, Lee v. Carmona,  appears to make it harder to win rear-end lawsuits.

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With the explosive news that the attorney for Stormy Daniels, the “adult film actress,” just filed a motion to take the depositions of President Trump and his attorney, you might be wondering what they are.

(Latest update on President Trump’s deposition: Judge denies motion)

Without getting into politics here, it was almost exactly 20 years ago that the deposition of former President Clinton was released in the lawsuit filed by Paula Jones that lead to his impeachment.

What is a deposition?

It is an intense question and answer session taken under oath. The involved parties and people involved with a lawsuit are interrogated at length about facts and opinions related to the litigation.

Plaintiffs, defendants, and other parties and witnesses can be ordered to provide testimony. If a corporation is a defendant, it must designate a person with knowledge of facts.

Since our office specializes in car and truck collision cases, this post will concentrate on how they are used in personal injury cases.

Why take a deposition?

Just because there was a car crash and the police report blames one driver and a person is injured doesn’t mean the at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to be fair about making an offer of settlement.

Usually the opposite is true. The injured party must often file a lawsuit and prove his case to get paid his damages.

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