Articles Posted in Car Accidents

A chain reaction car accident is all too common here in North Texas. Late last night in Plano, an intoxicated driver of a Mustang crashed into a BMW which hit two other vehicles, causing four drivers to be rushed to hospitals. Last week in Dallas, Central Expressway was shut down all night after a four vehicle pile-up which took the life of a young man and injured three other drivers. And several weeks ago, Interstate 20 in Arlington was the site of interconnected accidents that claimed the life of a man and hurt others. This post explains what you should do if you are unfortunately injured in a multiple vehicle collision here.

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Questions you will have after being in a multiple vehicle collision

These are some of the questions we hear our new clients asking us after they have been injured in a chain reaction:

Medical bills after car or truck accidents often become financial nightmares. Money Magazine just wrote that a trip to an ER can destroy a typical family’s finances. But this is especially a crisis in Texas where exorbitant “surprise bills” are mailed at two times the national average. One third of Texans who go to a hospital get stuck with them. To combat this abuse, state lawmakers set up a medical bills mediation program ten years ago. The word is finally getting out and the demand for this invaluable service has overwhelmed the Texas Department of Insurance.

Why we need medical bills mediation

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Obviously no one ever plans to be in a car accident or have any kind of medical emergency. He certainly doesn’t think he will be rushed to an expensive hospital and charged enormous amounts by the ambulance, hospital, ER doctors, radiologists, and specialists.

Most people don’t have the ability to pay these bills and assume they will be paid quickly by the at-fault driver’s liability company and his own health insurance plan.

But the injured person won’t know until months later which charges, if any, were paid — assuming he was insured and met his annual deductible. Many are not paid by the health insurance company because a provider was out of the plan’s network or the hospital was is in but the doctor was out of network so the physician’s bill has to be paid in full.

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Good Injury Settlement Depends on Your Lawyer

Getting a good personal injury settlement means getting your vehicle repaired or totaled, healing as quickly as possible, and obtaining the financial compensation you are entitled to receive. This post explains the steps you should take to ensure these things after being in a car accident.

Fair Personal Injury Settlement

1. Seek Legal Advice ASAP

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A Dallas woman who was paralyzed in a van-truck crash was awarded a $37.6 million jury verdict on Thursday. She sued Honda, claiming her horrific injuries were caused by its defective rear seat belt. Sarah Milburn, who is now 27, was a passenger in the third row in a Honda Odyssey minivan on a December night in 2015.

She and her friends were celebrating her upcoming college graduation. Her future was bright. The women called for an Uber to drive them home.

Unfortunately their Uber driver ran a red light on McKinney Avenue. The van was hit so hard by a pickup truck driven by a man who was DWI that it rolled over two times and landed upside down.

Sarah tragically suffered a fractured neck and is now a quadriplegic.

After months in a hospital and rehabilitation facility, she had to move home with her parents.

Her lawsuit alleged that Honda’s seat belt was defective because it required the passenger to buckle two different belts. One hung down from the ceiling, which she buckled. A second had to be latched into the seat. Almost every one who tested them out couldn’t figure out how to safely secure them, which obviously angered the jury.

How does a wrong way crash even happen?

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Imagine that you were driving home late last night on an interstate in Fort Worth or Dallas. Maybe you had worked the late shift or saw a movie. Suddenly a speeding car or truck was headed straight at you. You had little, if any, time to react and may have no unoccupied lane to swerve into. This is how a wrong way crash occurs.

No, this was not some kind of horror movie. It happens here a lot, far too often. Texas leads the U.S. in the number of these wrong way crashes.

Yesterday morning, for example, a man driving a Honda led Springtown police on a high speed chase across Tarrant County. It started when the driver fled a police officer near Lake Worth. He accelerated and drove east in the westbound lanes of Interstate Loop 820. He wove in and out of traffic dodging oncoming vehicles at a speed of up to 100 mph. Officers from Fort Worth and Reno joined the chase and used road spikes to prevent the driver from going further. The driver spun out of control as he exited 820 and crashed his car. Miraculously, no other cars were hit during the chase or his wipe out.

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Ticket for Texting and DrivingI call on Dallas, Fort Worth, and the other cities in North Texas to establish a car crash task force to reduce our high death and injury rate on our roads. I understand that no one wants to be stopped and given a traffic ticket. And sometimes the cop is overly aggressive and the driver hasn’t been speeding or isn’t over the blood alcohol limit. But we have a shocking 80,000 car wrecks in Dallas and Tarrant Counties every year — 220 a day — that injure and take the lives of innocent drivers.

An illuminating article last week in the Houston Chronicle followed up on its previous investigation into that city’s worst auto crash rate in the country ranking. And the newspaper found that there enforcement of traffic laws had been reduced although officials knew that fatalities and personal injuries were rising. Now, in only two days in Houston, the officers on a new task force made over 400 traffic stops, wrote almost 300 tickets, and arrested 38 people — including 23 for DWI.

You never think you will be injured in a car accident. But after work yesterday, I drove a settlement check to a client who had major surgery after a young driver ran a light. I was saddened that the poor woman is still hobbling around behind a walker six weeks later. I took her to her bank since she has no car and is not able to work.

And I met a client this morning to advance her money to help pay for the surgery she is having later today after a drunk driver crashed into her car.

It is obvious that we are not doing enough to protect the public from bad drivers.

My guess is that DFW area police would have the same results here as in Houston since we know we have a major problem.  Tarrant County has 10 “No refusal weekends” throughout the year where blood draws to curtail DWIs are mandatory. This past Super Bowl weekend was one of them and the Stock Show weekends going on down University Drive from my building are also on the list.

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When is owner at fault for letting unsafe driver drive his car?

Drinking and Driving

People usually cannot be found to be responsible when someone else is negligent. But what happens when someone loans his vehicle to another person who he knew — or should have known — was not a safe or qualified driver? A car accident could result due to the negligent entrustment of the vehicle and in some cases, the owner can also be at fault. Giving a dangerous driver access to a potentially deadly 6,000 pound vehicle can be just as deadly as handing a child a loaded gun.

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Texas needs to do more to stop elderly drivers.

Texas needs a law restricting the rights of its older citizens, if unqualified, from driving. Great Grandpa should not automatically be allowed to keep ambling around until he’s 100. The graying of the population and increased rate of dementia is inevitably adding to the carnage on our highways. In Texas, every 59 seconds a reported collision occurs and every two hours and 21 minutes, a Texan loses his life in a vehicle crash. Texas has the second highest number of drivers who are 65 or older dying in motor vehicle accidents. The age-old questions, if you’ll pardon the pun, is when should we make elderly drivers stop and how would we make this happen?

World-wide problem

This is a timely topic all over the globe. For example, it was just reported that Prince Philip, who is 97, wrote a letter apologizing to the two people he crashed into last week north of London. The husband of Queen Elizabeth II caused one woman to break her wrist and injured another. He obviously needs to stick to being driven in his horse and buggy.

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Texas needs a “Mr. Magoo law” to protect drivers

When I was young, I remember watching cartoons including one about Mr. Magoo, a bumbling old man with Coke bottle glasses who was always crashing his car. About 60 years ago, joke writers found humor in the declining physical and mental abilities of older people causing car wrecks. But being injured in a car accident isn’t a funny topic.

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Now that I’m going to be 65 this year, just got another invitation to join AARP, and my law firm continually gets cases where an old driver crashes into our clients,  I’m more interested in this topic that some people and wanted to share some ideas here. Continue reading

Wrecks and bad roads increasing at rapid pace.

Between all the drivers staring at their cell phones, our roads that are rated a D, and the thousands of new residents pouring into North Texas, you are probably lucky not to get into a car accident when you drive around Dallas-Fort Worth. Adding to the chances are the pavement problems caused by last year easily being the rainiest in our history with a whopping 53 inches falling, a lot of it last month. The latest reported example is a  10 foot wide pothole in Fort Worth that shut down an intersection for two weeks after a car sank into it and had to be towed out. You may be wondering if the state or local government is liable for your damages if you are injured in a car or truck wreck caused by bad roads, broken stop lights, missing stop signs, or poor highway design or maintenance. This post will explain how Texas law works.

Road Defects

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