Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Who can watch the road with all this to see and do? 

171204174617-gm-marketplace-780x439Dashboards can do everything these days. Search for the latest tune on Spotify? Check. Know the latest NFL score? Of course.

But encourage you to order dinner? General Motors just added an application that allows drivers to place restaurant orders while driving. GM is launching the Marketplace app in millions of its new models so millions of hungry drivers can study menus as they drive at 70 MPH.

Just as unnerving, the driver can also book a hotel on Priceline or peruse shopping sites on this new app.

Of course internet connectivity can help improve safety if used responsibly. Instead of looking at a map, you can keep your eyes on the road while listening to voice-activated GPS directions. If you’re in a car accident in a remote area, your Wi-Fi could be a God send to get help more quickly.

But bad driving is already out of control in North Texas. We all see drivers not looking at the road and weaving into our lanes. Playing with these apps is unnecessary and dangerous. Shame on GM and the other auto makers for allowing them on dashboards. They should be illegal.

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IMG_854498% of cases settle out of court. In my 37 years of practicing personal injury law, I have never met any one who wanted to testify in a trial. My job is to get my client as much money as possible. Attempting to reach a favorable out of court settlement is often in his or her best interest.

After a thorough investigation and compilation of medical records, lost wages, and other documents, with the consent of my client, I often forward a complete demand package to the at-fault driver’s insurance company adjuster and attempt to negotiate a favorable out of court settlement.

The key to success is a well written demand letter. It’s a powerful tool that maximizes my client’s damages and has these distinct advantages:

  • It can resolve the claim in months — not up to the two or more years in can take to actually get to trial;
  • It saves thousands of dollars in additional legal fees, filing fees, court expenses, deposition fees, expert’s bills, and a host of other expenses; and
  • It avoids the anxiety of testifying and leaving the decision in the hands of 12 strangers who may rule against our side or even be biased against lawsuits or injury cases in general.

Of course I plan as if I’m going to be in trial, knowing that any case may not be successfully resolved.  And some cases must be filed in court immediately and others will never settle for as much money as I want my client to receive and suit is filed.

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An-illuminated-wrong-way-sign-in-San-Antonio-at-night

Driving down 635 (LBJ Freeway) in North Dallas, the last thing you’d expect to see is a car heading straight toward you at 70 MPH, right? But that’s exactly what two shocked drivers experienced the other night.

A man drove onto LBJ going the wrong way at 10 p.m. on Sunday. Other drivers frantically called 911 when they saw him but before police could stop him, he had crashed into two cars. Miraculously nobody was killed.

What’s the cause? You guessed it.

The wrong-way driver was high. Most are or are drunk. In fact, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study found that an incredible 61 percent of wrong-way drivers were intoxicated. Most of intoxicated wrong-way drivers are extremely drunk, with BACs above .15 percent. The third most common factor in wrong-way crashes is drugs.

Here’s another shameful statistic compiled by the NTSB: Texas leads the nation in wrong-way accidents.

What is our state doing to fix the problem?

Getting drunk and drugged drivers off the road would drastically reduce all traffic accidents, which is why I constantly advocate for stricter drunk driving laws in Texas.

Good news: the state is taking measures to stop drivers from entering the highway in the wrong direction. Continue reading

dreamstime_s_99820598Are you driving to a relative’s house for the Thanksgiving holiday?

You’ll be joining a record 45.5 million Americans. No wonder Thanksgiving is just as well known for stressful travel as for feasts, family and football.

Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year. This year’s holiday promises to be the biggest in a decade. 3.3 percent more Thanksgiving travelers are expected this year over last and 89 percent will travel by car.

Unfortunately American roads are the most deadly in the industrialized world. This is a new phenomenon. In the 1990s the fatality rates were among the lowest in the world. These days, Slovenians’ roads are safer.  Continue reading

Uber-signWith millions of people using ride share companies, their drivers are involved in more and more crashes.

In Dallas the outrageous story about the drunk assistant district attorney fired last week for abusing her Uber driver shined a local spotlight on these increasingly popular services.

The problem is that their drivers are less regulated than if they drove for other businesses. Anybody can drive. I get emails asking me if I would like to and you probably do as well. No training or testing is required and until four months ago, no background checks into the driver were performed in Texas.

Further these drivers can be distracted by looking at their GPS, drive as much as they want, and are paid bonuses for  increased pickups. It follows that distracted, untrained, and hurried  drivers can be accidents waiting to happen.

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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 

top

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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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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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

National Teen Driver Safety Week Is A Good Startimages.

Here’s a great idea that gives parents and schools the chance to focus on this critical safety issue.

The U.S. Department of Transportation devised this excellent awareness program to curtail the tragic loss of 2,333 teens and 221,313 teens severely injured after being in an auto accident in 2015.

Parents are not usually usually driving with their teens so they must teach and enforce these five crucial driving behaviors to prevent car and truck crashes:

  • No using a cell phone or texting
  • No piling passengers in the car
  • No speeding
  • No drinking alcohol
  • No driving without wearing a seat belt

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