Articles Posted in Car Accidents

New Law Not Working

The number of injuries and deaths caused by distracted driving in Texas keeps increasing every year.

It’s the new normal. We take it for granted. But this is a serious mistake we are making.

We at Berenson Injury Law were hopeful when Texas finally became one of the last states to adopt an anti-texting while driving law last year. But unfortunately that hasn’t stopped — or even slowed — this deadly problem on our roads.

The Texas Department of Transportation reported a shocking increase of 20% of distracted driving crashes last year.

Texts on the Rise

Those collisions were responsible for at least 450 of the more than 3,721 people who sadly perished on our roads.

And there’s good reason to believe that this number is far higher, as it is often impossible to know exactly what caused a car crash.

Even before the new state-wide texting while driving law was finally passed, this was such a vital issue to public safety that 100 cities had already enacted statutes to prevent their residents.

It’s also made drivers far less likely to admit they were texting before the accident. They know it’s illegal and no one wants to take the blame for an accident; especially if they are responsible for another person’s serious injuries or death.

There’s also the issue of single driver accidents. A car might run off the road because of a deer . . . or be distracted by an incoming text. If there aren’t any witnesses, it’s often a matter of taking the driver’s word about what happened.

If the accident ends in a fatality, law enforcement officers never know what caused the wreck, so the numbers are artificially lowered and we are not as afraid to text as we blissfully drive on roads at 65 or more miles per hour.

We talk about this alarming topic a lot on our site because this is a problem that needs to stop.

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If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, you will have a lot of questions especially these:IMG_7993

  1. Will I have to go to court?
  2. How much money can I receive?
  3. How long will it take?

This post answers the first question and the other two are addressed in these posts:

How much money is my car accident case worth?

The litigation process

Will my case settle out of court or go to a trial?

There are two ways that someone can collect his or her damages: an insurance company can pay them an agreed amount of money or a jury can award them monetary damages.

Statistics show that about 99% of all injury cases settle outside of the courtroom, usually before a lawsuit is filed.

So the chances of your case settling are excellent. But that answer as well as the amount of money you might receive and the length of time the process may take depend on many factors including the following:

Key information that is needed

  • Your case’s strengths and weaknesses;
  • Your liability facts and vehicle damage;
  • Your chance of winning a trial totally or partially, as negligence is attributed between all drivers and companies involved;
  • Your injuries – are they permanent or temporary, hard tissue or soft tissue, did you have surgery, etc.
  • Your medical expenses – how many are outstanding, were paid, and were written off;
  • Your lost wages, lost job benefits, and lost capacity to earn a living;
  • Your disability, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and other damages;
  • Your financial condition – your need for a quick recovery of money or your ability to wait for a trial;
  • Your desire to go through the usually frustrating and slow court process;
  • Your injury lawyer – his experience, ability, and reputation;
  • Your negotiating ability (if you are trying to represent yourself) and knowledge of legal, insurance, and medical issues;
  • Your goals; and
  • The other driver’s/company’s insurance company insurance policy limits and his/its assets

We at Berenson Injury Law evaluate these and other variables when we first meet with our new clients. We ask if our clients would prefer us to try to get the maximum amount of money from the insurance company or sue. After practicing personal injury law for almost 40 years, Mr. Berenson has never had a client who wanted to go to court if he could avoid it.

Later, we analyze these variables and recommend that our clients take their case to court or accept a settlement offer. We then try to reduce outstanding medical bills and perform other services to make our clients more money.

If you are undecided between entering into settlement negotiations, accepting a settlement offer, and going to a jury trial, we are happy to analyze your car or truck accident in a free no-obligation meeting or phone call. Continue reading

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Everything you wanted to know about Ezekiel Elliott

The Cowboys’ young sensation was sued yesterday in Collin County district court after he caused a wreck in January 2017, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Zeke Elliott was driving to the Cowboys headquarters at 7:00 o’clock a.m. when he ran a light on the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco and apparently severely injured Ronnie Hill.

We here at Berenson Injury Law are obsessed with car wrecks and sports and we blogged about the crash here.

Zeke, who is 23, ran for 983 yards last season and scored seven touchdowns despite being suspended for six games for legal reasons. He  was the #1 rusher in the NFL his rookie season.

Hill’s attorney said that his client was left with “serious, life-altering injuries,” so apparently his neck and back discs have been damaged.

Hill’s expensive BMW was totalled with over $33,000 in property damage. Media accounts initially downplayed the wreck, calling it a fender-bender. Both vehicles were driven away from the scene and no ambulance was called for Hill.

Of course injuries can be delayed and in the state of shock — and maybe here a little celebrity worship — the injured person may not rush to an ER or begin feeling pain until hours or even days afterwards.

Zeke was driving a huge GMC Yukon when he “accidentally” ran a red light, according to the police report which was apparently written by a big Cowboys fan.

The Yukon hit the BMW on the front driver’ side panel and, according to the lawsuit, caused it spin more than 90 degrees. A tow truck was required to pull the two vehicles apart, as they were wedged together. The air bags deployed in the Yukon but not in the BMW.

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When Is the Deadliest Day To Drive Your Car? Today

We hope you are having a good summer. But June through August is the most dangerous time of the year to drive. So please be extra cautious on our roads this month.

And today, August 2nd, is the worst day to drive in America according to a new report.

Why is that? You might think it would be a traditional night of heavy drinking, say Super Bowl Sunday or New Year’s Eve, right?

The answer is that more people are rushing to or from their beach vacations, are more in a hurry and more careless, according to the report.

Dallas-Fort Worth is a very dangerous place to drive 

We assume that when we start driving to a destination, we will arrive there safely.

But we have a shocking number of car wrecks here — 80,000 each year in Dallas and Tarrant Counties.
And just in the past two days, the press has chosen to report these two tragedies:
  •  two people died in Keller late last night; and
  • an 18-year-old passed away on Tuesday after being in a crash in Grand Prairie last week. And as bad as that news was, the city has reached an all-time high record for the number of fatalities to date for a single year.

We extend out sincerest condolences to the families of the deceased.

And Texas in the deadliest state in the U.S.

It is horrible to think that almost 4,000 Texans perished in vehicle collisions in 2016. That’s a shocking one death every two hours.

Here are more sobering details.

We were #1 in the country in this dismal category, even though California has 10 million more people than we do so they should be first.

And an additional 265,000 Texans were injured in crashes.

Care to guess where the most dangerous highway is? Here in Fort Worth, the two-mile section of Interstate 30 between I-35 and Oakland.

Dallas also had many of the most dangerous roads on the list of the most dangerous roads. Of course.

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BLOGVictory of the month

Bill Berenson finalized the lawsuit for a 10-year-old girl who was injured when her vehicle crashed into a commercial truck. She was rushed to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth after she fractured her leg and had two surgeries.

Unfortunately, the download of her vehicle’s black box confirmed the police officer’s finding that her driver was solely at fault. Further, the company’s driver stated his vision was partially blocked and the girl was not wearing her seat belt.

Mr. Berenson negotiated the settlement at mediation. He then made her driver’s liability insurance company pay his entire liability insurance policy and other benefits.

After medical expenses (which he reduced to $85,000) and legal expenses, the girl will receive $210,000 in graduated payments beginning when she reaches the age of 18. We are delighted she has fully recovered from her injuries.

Our client’s review 

Our client’s family was extremely happy with the amount of the recovery. The father kindly wrote this review online:

What can I say, Bill Berenson is the man! If I ever have to deal with anything along the lines of what I have been through previously, I would love to have him and his team along for the ride. Bill, Jessica, Andrew, and Mindy have been more than a rock for me and my family … and when it came down do it they got the job done! It was amazing watching Bill Berenson work … such a ball of fire! From what I was able to gather a case like mine was impossible to achieve the settlement amount that awarded! My life will never be the same! Thank you Bill Berenson and the Berenson Law Firm!

Other reviews from clients can be found here if you are searching for a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer who can get you the compensation you deserve.

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We gave important advice about what you should do if you have been in an auto accident in our last post.20130614_095558Medium-300x225

Unfortunately, stuff happens. Here’s a photo of our client’s car after an 18-wheeler suddenly pulled out in front of her on a dark country road. She was seriously injured – it’s lucky she survived – and called us the next day. That was a smart move since the 18-wheeler company blamed her for the wreck. We quickly filed suit and fought to get her a large recovery of money.

Car crashes happen far too often here in North Texas, so we want to give you more tips about things not to do if you have been unfortunately involved in one and are thinking about representing yourself — which we do not recommend unless you want to get shafted.

1. Do not give a statement 

Adjusters will insist on “asking you a few questions.” People agree and later regret the answers they gave. For example: “how are you?” – “fine” – will be used against them later.

Our office never allows statements unless there are extraordinary reasons and then Mr. Berenson refuses to allow them to be used in court. He meets with his clients after emailing a list of probable questions and practices with them so they are not blindsided.

Mr. Berenson objects to any questions asked to obtain confidential information about his clients. Adjusters dig to find damaging information including past injuries and doctors, criminal charges, bankruptcies, and other data that has nothing to do with their claims.

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If you have just been in a wreck, do you know the most important things you should do?

How you proceed is important. The stakes are high.

There are an incredible 80,000 car and truck wrecks in Dallas and Tarrant Counties each year. They happen in the blink of an eye.

But in the shock and pain you are feeling, you won’t be thinking clearly.

So you can easily damage your medical and legal recovery by doing the wrong things. The insurance company is hoping you do and will also try to harm your case so it can pay you less money — or none at all.

Bill Berenson Injury Law handles several hundred crash cases each year. Mr. Berenson only handles vehicle collisions and has almost 40 years experience that can help get you the best possible results.

If you want to try to represent yourself — usually a bad idea — here is what you should do if you have been involved in a car collision in North Texas.

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RiibeMIST is a term that many insurance companies use to denigrate a car accident with minimum visible damage that causes injuries to the soft tissue in the neck and back.

MIST cases are often the hardest collision cases for a personal injury lawyer to handle. The liability is clear and the pain is real but insurance company offers are often low. Many cases have to be taken to trial.

The liability carrier’s argument that the crash does not appear to be so jarring that someone could have been injured is medically invalid. The goal of Berenson Injury Law is to prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of people who have been hurt. But with all of the trucks and SUVs and the increased traffic on the roads in North Texas, we see these crashes often. We fight to get fair settlements and jury verdicts for our clients.

Good recovery obtained for our client

For example, last week we finalized a $35,000 recovery for our client who was driving this truck. It was rear-ended by another pickup truck at a low rate of speed. Neither driver claimed injuries and they drove away. But our client’s head, neck, and back began hurting an hour later and the next day he had to go to a minor emergency clinic to be checked out. Later when the pain continued to increased he went to a hospital and chiropractor. An MRI was inconclusive.

The insurance company attorney for the at-fault driver did not believe our client could have been very injured. He also argued that our client was already 50-years-old, as if that proved he was hurt already. However with the help of our experts, we convinced the attorney that these property damage photographs were irrelevant, that our client was hurt, and that his company had to pay a reasonable settlement.

We then substantially reduced our client’s outstanding medical bills and our fee, waived expenses, and he received $21,700.

Our client was very pleased with our work and very nicely wrote this review on Google:

***** Mr. Berenson and his team did a thorough job on my case. I was happy with the settlement and the communication with me as it progressed. Highly recommend!

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If you have been injured in a crash caused by another driver you might be asking these questions:

  • Who do you contact to get your car repaired and doctor bills and lost wages paid?
  • Should you file on your health insurance?
  • Are you required to give a recorded statement?
  • How much is your case worth?
  • Will you have to file a lawsuit?
  • Can you handle all of the details yourself?

Unless you were involved in a fender bender and were not injured, navigating the complicated legal/insurance/medical process is almost impossible on your own.

You should hire a good car accident lawyer to handle the investigation and paperwork and fight to get you a good recovery of money. The sooner you hire an experienced professional, the better.

You especially need an injury lawyer in these situations:

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Berenson Injury Law has resolved a Fort Worth man’s injury case for the available Colorado insurance policy of $25,000.

We then continued to fight for our client and negotiated with his liability company to get him more money. We got him an additional $6,000.00 from his underinsured motorists benefits.

Almost all of the vehicle crash cases we handle are here in Texas but our client had traveled to Denver in December to visit a friend. Since we rarely see snow here, Joe wanted to go up into the Rockies to see mountains covered in snow.

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