Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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We know that we are operating in scary times, so we at Berenson Injury Law thought we would try to brighten things up a little at the end of the week. This is funny, at least in our world of car and truck wrecks.

Man causes road mayhem when he teaches his best friend to drive

This week, police in Seattle gave chase to a car that was driving over 100 MPH and had crashed into several vehicles.

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We are unfortunately in the grip of one of the greatest threats to humanity in our lifetimes. The death total from the coronavirus passed the number of casualties from 9/11 yesterday. We are all frightened.

If you are a client of our law firm or someone who has been in a recent car or truck crash and are seeking to hire a personal injury lawyer, you may be wondering if you should proceed with your case. This post will attempt to answer your questions and observe how the personal injury landscape has changed.

How is a car accident case affected?

coronavirus

I have been asked by several clients if the coronavirus will affect their car wreck cases. No one knows as we are in uncharted territory. On top of the anxiety we are all living through, as a Fort Worth personal lawyer, I am very concerned how the virus could affect injured people’s medical treatment and personal and financial outcomes.

Here are some specific questions I have.

       1. Will fewer police respond to crashes?

It is essential that the police come to the scene of a crash and determine which driver was at fault. Without a favorable police report and officers who can testify in court, a car accident can become a “he said/she said” dispute. These are often denied by the other driver’s insurance representatives so a lawsuit must be filed. Juries may not know which driver to side with.

Furthermore, the police report contains important information that the car accident lawyer can use to help his client win the case. This includes the names and identifying information about all drivers, insurance policies, date, time, location, speed limit, weather, vehicle damage, witness’s observations, admissions of fault made, injuries reported, alcohol use, etc.

My office obtains the police report for our clients at no charge. The sooner we get the report, the sooner we can get to work.

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Medical bills payment can be a huge problem after a vehicle collision

After you have been in a car or truck crash, you may have been rushed by ambulance to an emergency room. Expensive medical treatment and tests were performed. Worrying about how these medical bills were going to be paid was probably the last thing on your mind. So you will be shocked to find out later that you owe a huge sum of money for your medical bills. This happens often.

Berenson Injury Law has been representing injured Texans for the past 40 years and this can be one of the biggest hassles of the car/truck crash process.

We see one or more of these happening:

  • Objections and delays are made by health insurance companies and medical professionals to avoid paying medical bills;
  • The hospital or medical providers may be out-of-network; or
  • The deductible, copayment, or coinsurance rate is not paid; or
  • The patient is required to repay the medical bills later from his settlement or jury verdict.

If this sounds familiar, that is because you were not told any of this at the hospital or by your doctors. You may not find out until months later when you open your mail and see “surprise bills” which can be $10,000 or more. You naturally assumed that the other driver’s insurance company or your health insurance plan would have paid these by now.

The medical bills morass is unfortunately a common problem after a car wreck, especially here in Texas. A recent study showed that we had almost the highest number of these out-of-network charges in the U.S.

If you have health insurance, you probably do not know which hospitals and doctors (other than your PCP) are in-network. You will have no idea what medical procedures cost. Before this happens to you, you should study your plan’s directory and research costs so you will be prepared.

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New Year, same old results on our roads

New Year’s Eve, the holiday devoted to getting drunk, took its usual deadly toll in North Texas. Here are reports about the holiday’s DWI deaths in DFW and a related story about the poster child of drunk driving in North Texas – if not the country. These add to our dismal December drunk driving crashes.

Ethan Couch, who caused four DWI deaths in DFW and permanent paralysis to another teenager, is jailed

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We are all busy enjoying the holidays — some people too much. The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road in Texas. With all the Christmas parties and football games, driving while intoxicated collisions increase. Too many people decide to get too drunk, drive too recklessly, and cause too many car crashes.

Latest driving while intoxicated collisions

Consider these heart-breaking stories from the past few days:

  • Today — a man who was driving his BMW the wrong way on Loop 820 West in Fort Worth was sentenced to 20 years in jail for intoxication manslaughter. This is the maximum sentence under the Texas Penal Code, Section 49.08. The drunk crashed head-on into the car of Moses Elizondo, a kind 21-year-old who was working late to make money to go back to college.
  • Yesterday morning at 10:30 a.m. — a drunk driver in Dallas veered off Avondale Avenue near Turtle Creek Boulevard in Dallas. He killed a 72 year-old-woman who was getting a little exercise walking on a raised sidewalk.  The driver of the black Audi was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. He had a prior DWI conviction in nearby Uptown a few years ago and made no attempt to help the woman he struck. This crash should be the poster child for why we must do more to crack down on DWIs.
  • Yesterday about 2:30 a.m.  — someone drove the wrong way on the Dallas North Tollway near Forest Lane and hit another vehicle.  Fortunately only the wrong-way driver was injured. Often these are high-speed crashes that seriously injure or take the lives of one or multiple people.
  • Last week –a wrong-way driver crashed into other vehicles at 3:30 a.m. on Interstate 30 near Riverside Drive in Fort Worth. That driver died and another motorist was injured.

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Drunk DrivingThis is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most deadly for vehicle crashes caused by intoxicated drivers. The holiday season began on a heart-breaking note on Thanksgiving morning when a drunk Fort Worth driver crashed her car into a 17-year-old. Benjamin Floran Castaneda, a senior at North Side High School, tragically lost his life. The drunk Fort Worth driver was traveling the wrong way on Loop 820 and crashed into three vehicles. Other drivers were also injured.

It it hard to believe that the woman was driving while intoxicated just so she could go to the Cowboys game to tailgate and drink more — at 5:00 a.m. She was arrested for intoxication manslaughter. We hope she is given a lengthy jail sentence to serve as a deterrent to other people like her.

Benjamin was a fine young man who wanted to go to college so he could devote his life to teaching mariachi music, his passion. He was in the unique mariachi band at North Side High School.

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Last week our Fort Worth City Council approved the Vision Zero plan to make our streets safer. Bravo! And this came just a week after a worldwide protest called for a halt to traffic violence.

Fort Worth is just the fourth city in Texas to adopt Vision Zero. And there are only about 50 cities out of approximately 300 which have done so in the United States. All cities must adopt this bold concept. Our roads and highways are alarmingly dangerous.

What is Vision Zero?

driving-snowy-roadHistoric bad weather has hit much of the country on possibly the biggest travel day in history – today. What a terrible combination. Dangerous storms are heading towards the Panhandle of Texas, West Coast, Rocky Mountain states, Midwest, and East Coast. Snow, ice, and slick roads already cause about 500,000 crashes each winter. In case you are traveling today to one of the affected states, here is useful information that can hopefully keep you from being in a car wreck and protect you if, God forbid, you are in one.

Winter weather driving tips

  • Make sure your mechanic has inspected your vehicle before you leave, including your tires.

 

fairy-tale

If you have been injured in a car or truck wreck in North Texas, you may think you know how the insurance claims process works. But you might be operating under assumptions that are not accurate. Berenson Injury Law tries to keep the public informed about important car and truck crash topics. We have seen that too much wrong information is spread about how personal injury law works. We want to help debunk widely believed myths about car accident claims so injured people can make the best decision on how they should proceed.

Here are the TOP 10 MYTHS ABOUT CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS

Myth #1 – The insurance company is going to be fair

False!

This belief is out of a fairy tale book. Insurance companies are in business to make large profits. The best way is for them to do this is to question and fight every claim.

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