Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Our Roads Will Be Safer With Fewer Bad Teen Drivers

Sadly, car crashes are the leading cause of adolescent deaths across the United States. Worse, the rate of teenage motor fatalities is on the rise. But we make bad teen drivers drive more responsibly and protect their lives as well as our own. How? Here are some useful tips that will help parents keep kids safer behind the wheel.

Teenagers Become Better Drivers

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New Low For A Distracted Driver in Texas

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A Stephenville woman was arrested Friday after she caused the deaths of two young girls and serious injuries to their mother. Alyssa Litwin, 33, was driving her truck on U.S. Highway 281 southwest of Fort Worth at a speed of approximately 60 mph. But she was texting while driving and didn’t see the SUV in front of her at a complete stop waiting to make a left hand turn. A distracted driver usually doesn’t.

The high-speed crash pushed the SUV into oncoming traffic where it was struck by a truck.

As if her reckless driving were not bad enough, Litwin deleted her text messages. However a forensics exam of her cell phone showed her shocking act of tampering with evidence.

The mother had to be rushed by air ambulance to the ICU at Harris Hospital in Fort Worth. Fortunately, she is in stable condition and two other children in her vehicle were not hurt.

But this is such a heartbreaking story, especially at Christmas time. Please join our office in making a donation to the GoFundMe account that has been set up to assist the family.

Funeral

We here in Dallas-Fort Worth have some of the most dangerous roads in the U.S.

This weekend, the news media reported three deadly crashes from Friday night through Saturday night which highlight the constant dangers from bad drivers:

1. East Fort Worth: Two children, six years and 11-months-old, tragically lost their lives Saturday night on East Loop 820 at Craig Street when a speeding pickup truck hydroplaned on the highway and hit their car.

2. South Dallas: A man driving while intoxicated failed to yield the right of way and crashed into another car on East Ledbetter Drive on Saturday at midnight, taking the life of his 23-year-old passenger. The driver was arrested for intoxication manslaughter.

3. East Dallas: A woman walking on Garland Road near East Northwest Highway was struck and killed by a driver who hit-and-ran on Friday night. The driver was found only because her license plate fell off at impact.

Fatal car and truck wrecks are constant here. In Dallas on Wednesday night, a speeding driver in a Porsche 911 sports car lost control, hit another car, and flew off the ramp. He and his passenger flipped and landed below on Central Expressway, killing both. Today, former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent will testify in the case filed against the bar accused of over-serving him before he was in a crash that killed his teammate and best friend.

We at Berenson Injury Law send our sincerest condolences to the families.

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If you have been in a car crash, you need to understand that the auto claims process is designed to cheat you. Insurance companies use tactics designed to keep you from getting your damages paid back for car repair, medical bills, lost wages, pain, and other items. This includes not just the other driver’s  insurance company but your own if you have purchased collision, rental car, personal injury protection, medical payments, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist benefits. This post will explain what you can do to protect your rights and make more money.

Auto Claims

Insurance companies are obviously in business to make as much money as possible. They make less profits if they pay out substantial amounts in claims. So an  adjuster looks for ways to save his company money.

Even if he seems friendly, he is trained to use often abusive tactics that guarantee that he (or a jury if you take your case to trial) pays less than what a claimant deserves. Smart people know this and seek immediate help from a personal injury specialist.

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Drunk Customers, Car Crashes, And The Dram Shop Act

Background: Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was driving his teammate and best friend Jerry Brown, Jr. home almost exactly six years ago.  They and other Cowboys had been drinking for hours at a private night club in North Dallas. Brent hit the curb and flipped over his Mercedes in Irving at a speed of 110 miles an hour just a few minutes after leaving the bar. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but the sentence was probated and he only served six months in jail. The deceased’s family filed a Dram Shop lawsuit against the bar in 2013. The case finally goes to trial today in Dallas.

Case: The family has claimed that Beamers Private Club was at fault because it served Brent an excessive amount of alcohol. His blood alcohol level was .18 — more than two times the legal limit. The bar denied liability and filed a cross-claim against Brent, claiming that he was the sole cause of the crash. The jury has to decide if the bar violated the Dram Shop Act by continuing to serve Brent when he was obviously intoxicated.

Questions answered in this post:

  1. What is a Dram Shop lawsuit?
  2. Can a bar or restaurant be held liable for a car or truck collision when a driver is intoxicated?
  3. What laws and court cases control the outcome of the case?
  4. Will these affect the trial of the former Dallas Cowboy?

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Why Do Drivers Suffer Broken Bones After a Car Accident?

Getting injured in a car accident can alter your life, especially if you unfortunately broke a bone. The amount of money you receive in a settlement or jury verdict can be substantial but this will depend on the type of fracture, severity, treatment, bills, and other factors. This can be a complicated subject that requires the services of a personal injury attorney.

Broken Bones After Car Accident

When another vehicle crashes into yours — especially one like a tractor-trailer that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds or a heavy pickup truck or SUV –the inertia causes a violent force within your vehicle that can throw you against the door frame or steering wheel. If you are traveling 65 miles an hour on an interstate and another vehicle hits you at this or a faster speed, your body will continue moving quickly forward and sideways, even if restrained by a seat belt and shoulder harness. Further, your arms, hands, legs, or feet can get twisted and trapped. This sudden jerking motion can cause fractures.

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

You’ll be joining a record 54 million travelers. 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 since 2005.

48.5 Million will be on the roads, a 5 percent increase over last year.

Check out these travel stats, courtesy of ICE Portal

  • 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving (a 3.3% increase over last year.)
  • Eighty-nine percent of travelers are planning a Thanksgiving road trip.
  • Consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013.
  • 3.95 million travelers will fly by air (a 5% increase from last year.)
  • Thanksgiving Travel by other modes (train, buses, cruises) is expected to increase by 1.1% from last year (1.48 million travelers.)

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

Car accidents don’t always result in injury fortunately. Sometimes all you need to do is to file a property damage claim and get reimbursed by the insurance company. But sometimes getting the money you need to repair or replace your car isn’t that easy. Sometimes problems arise because of the circumstances of the crash. Other times it’s a matter of miscommunication. Below are some things you need to know about filing a property damage claim.

Filing a Property Damage Claim

1. File with the insurance company of the at-fault driver

If it is clear that the other driver is at-fault, file with his or her insurance company. If you aren’t sure at this point, go ahead and file with your own insurance company as well, which is always faster. Even if you learn the other driver was at fault after your insurance company pays your damages, they will seek subrogation to get the damages they paid reimbursed and get your deductible back. You have time limits for filing a property damage claim so don’t delay.

IMG_0956-1The only thing worse than being in a car wreck is seeing the other driver take off. But this happens often — over 700,000 times each year in our country. In your shock, pain, and anger, you will not know what to do. This post will help you be ready if, God forbid, this happens to you – like it did to our clients injured in this photograph.

The latest hit and run in North Texas happened Wednesday night in Cleburne where a Dodge pickup truck was driving on the wrong side of the highway and hit a 26-year-old man head-on, tragically killing him. Then the truck driver ran away. Liquor bottles were found inside the truck. Police found him walking down the road the next morning and arrested him for failing to stop and render aid, driving a stolen vehicle, and driving with a suspended license. The criminal, who had a very long record including DWIs, never had the decency to call 911 which might have saved the man’s life.

I hate to read stories like this. Criminals who kill or injure innocent people should be punished and made to repay the damage they cause. This mayhem has got to stop.

Hit and Run Crash Laws

Texas like all states regulates and punishes hit and run drivers. Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021 requires drivers involved with a collision that causes injury or death to

  • Stop their vehicle as close to the collision site as possible without blocking traffic;
  • Remain at the scene;
  • Exchange certain information; and
  • Wait for the police to arrive.

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A fracture or an open wound is easy to see, but how do you know if you have a soft tissue injury after a car accident? Let’s look at some of the different types of these more subtle injuries and examine what to expect if one happens to you.

What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft Tissue Injury After a Car Accident

The soft tissue of the body includes ligaments, muscles, tendons, skin, and fat. Any tissue that is soft to the touch is a type of soft tissue. Even blood vessels and nerves are types of soft tissue. Types of soft tissue injuries include sprains to the ligaments, bruises, and strains due injuries to tendons.

If you have a soft tissue injury after a car accident, it occurred due to the impact of a crash, angle of impact, seating position, and other factors. When a vehicle crashes into another car, truck, or roadside barrier, it causes a great deal of force. This depends on the weight and speed of the vehicles involved. The impact changes the direction of the body producing a reaction known as “muscle splinting.”

The body is an amazing machine, often responding to stimuli or changes on its own with minimal delay. When it experiences violent motions, the body sometimes shuts down certain muscle groups. The nervous system releases hormones that create a “fight or flight” state. Sometimes that causes the ligaments to relax, making them more vulnerable to injury. A soft tissue injury after a car accident can either be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-lasting.) The latter obviously denotes a longer healing time. A critical job for medical professionals is knowing the difference so that you get the most effective treatment.

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