Articles Posted in Hit-and-Run Accidents

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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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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 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.

Hit And Run

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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Latest Fort Worth crash a shocking reminder of danger. 

On Sunday morning several young women who had been celebrating a birthday in the Fort Worth Stockyards were walking back to their car near this iconic scene. But a truck speeding on North Main at 25th Street ran into Amber Underwood and Brooklyn Wammack and almost hit another woman.

The high-speed collision sent the two friends flying into the air, knocked them unconscious, and seriously injured them. The driver fled the scene — of course.

The Fort Worth Police Department has just asked the public to contact them to identity the hit-and-run driver of a 1998-2000 Ford 150 crew cab truck that is black on the top and bottom and tan through the center and has a missing headlight and a paper license tag in the back. There can’t be many trucks like that here. Call 817-392-4891 if you have any information.

Amber Underwood photograph courtesy of WFAA

I hope this criminal is found, sentenced to a lengthy jail term in a criminal court, and a judgment is taken against him or her in a civil court to pay the victims’ damages.

My wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the two young women.

It is ridiculously dangerous to cross a street in America or even be outside of a vehicle. A recent poll showed that Texas was the third worst in the U.S. for pedestrian deaths. Over 5,000 people are killed after being hit by a car or truck each year with 550 Texans among them.

What can you do if  you have been crashed into while you were a pedestrian or the other driver speeds away from a collision?  Continue reading

Driving While Shooting Encounters Show That Some In North Texas Are Still Living In The Wild West

Ever since the Lone Star State was founded in 1836 after a war with Mexico, we have been famous for being a gun-loving and sometimes dangerous place to live. Here in Fort Worth, shoot-outs in the Stockyards were common and Butch Cassidy and his gang hung out in “Hell’s Half Acre” (now downtown) when they weren’t robbing banks. There’s a reason our sports teams are named the Rangers, Cowboys, and Mavericks. We were the epicenter of the wild West — and still proud of it.

Today we in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are fortunately better known for our gracious hospitality, vibrant culture, booming economy, and numerous universities. But lately we have experienced an alarming resurgence of the wild West mentality on our highways.

It was another deadly weekend on the roads of North Texas. Unfortunately driving on our highways is getting more dangerous every year.

Here are a few of the sometimes astonishing automobile, truck, and motorcycle collisions and illegal activities that were reported in the news:

  • A Garland father on his motorcycle tragically died Monday night in Forney when a presumably DWI driver of an SUV swerving and speeding the wrong way on Highway 80 crashed into his bike. Fortunately his son who was riding with him — not to mention other people — was not hurt seriously.
  • A man tragically died in north Fort Worth Monday in a multi-vehicle pileup on N.E. Loop 820 near Mark IV Parkway at noon.
  • Three people were tragically killed in a collision early Monday morning at 1:45 PM. An 18-year-old man lost control of his car when he hit the guardrail in Arlington near Kelly Elliott Road on Interstate 20. The vehicle rolled over and he was ejected, killing him and his passenger. A good Samaritan who stopped also died when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver. That driver has contacted Arlington Police and is cooperation with its investigation.
  • The new Dallas Cowboys cornerback, Nolan Carroll, was arrested Monday morning for DWI. He was pulled over after committing a traffic violation on McKinney Avenue in the bar-heavy Uptown area of Dallas around 2:15 AM after overindulging at a nightclub which had used him to promote a big party. Not that these guys can’t afford it (Carroll signed a $10 million contract) but the Cowboys offer a free Uber ride to their players who need assistance leaving bars, a good idea after this player’s death several years ago in a terrible tragedy.
  • A Dallas police officer’s car plunged 30 feet from an overpass Monday after a pickup truck ran a light and crashed into the officer’s car on South Westmoreland Road in west Dallas. Several people gallantly jumped into a creek to save the officer. He was in critical condition but fortunately is now reported as stable. Police are searching for the driver of the 2007 white Chevrolet Silverado pickup that hit him.

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Apparently local drunk drivers still haven’t gotten the memo that fleeing a car wreck is a bad idea, especially here in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

Intoxication is one of the biggest reasons drivers speed off from the scene of a crash. They seem to believe they will not get caught, and if they do, they won’t get a DWI conviction.

Where this assumption might have been true in the past, police now have ever better tools for tracking down and arresting hit-and-run drivers. Cameras and cell phones that produce higher resolution images are everywhere. Law enforcement has better technology and techniques for identifying vehicles through paint splotches and auto parts inevitably left behind at the crash scene.And social media spreads the word quickly to witnesses. We just contacted several critical eyewitnesses thanks to photos posted by a local TV station to its website.  Here are two photos of my client’s cars in hit-and-run cases I’ve handled recently.

Yes, some hit-and-run drivers do get away with it. But at least those who are arrested face harsher penalties than drunk drivers.

This was not always the case. In the past, an intoxicated driver who seriously or fatally injured somebody might flee and lay low until he sobered up. If he were subsequently convicted of a hit-and-run, he would get a slap on the wrist.

Texas lawmakers passed a sensible hit-and-run law in 2013 that increase the penalties to do away with the incentive for drunk drivers to take off.
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It  was another incredibly dangerous weekend on our North Texas roads. Intoxicated and hit-and-run drivers killed or injured innocent drivers in Dallas- Fort Worth. These were just the crashes reported in the newspapers:

  • At 9:35 p.m. on Friday, a Ford Focus hit a Kia Sportage, sending it over a guardrail and down a hill. The Kia driver was ejected from his car and died on the scene. The Focus driver was later determined to be under the influence of drugs and was charged with intoxication manslaughter.
  • A hit-and-run in Richardson just before 11 p.m. on Friday night left a motorcyclist with a broken arm. The northbound driver was changing lanes near Prestonwood Drive when they hit the motorcyclist. Police have no leads on the driver.
  • Early Saturday morning an Arlington police officer was treated for injuries after being involved in a crash with a suspected drunk driver. The officer was working to re-open lanes of I-30 after overnight construction.
  • Note that this is only one of the 10 DWI arrests made in Arlington Saturday night. This compares to a typical weekend night of four to six driving while intoxicated arrests, still a ridiculous number.
  • At 9 p.m. Saturday in Dallas, a man died after his speeding SUV spun out of control and careened into a ditch, ejecting him from the car. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and alcohol presumably played a role in the crash.
  • A collision on Berry Street in Fort Worth early Sunday morning tragically killed a woman and left a child critically injured.
  • Early Sunday morning, a wrong-way driver killed a man on I-30 in Grand Prairie. At around 5 a.m. a woman driving east in the westbound lane struck another car, killing its driver on the scene and shutting down I-30 for nearly five hours. The woman is in critical condition and police suspect alcohol was involved.
  • Note that this accident is the second fatal accident in January in Grand Prairie.

These are just a few of the hundreds of accidents across North Texas in January.

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Two women were sitting outside of a restaurant in Flower Mound last week when a black Kia suddenly jumped the curve and crashed into the women! And as if this weren’t horrible enough, the driver fled the scene.

Because of video camera footage (shown here), the driver was easy to identify. The 46-year-old man finally turned himself into police yesterday.

Let’s hope he gets nailed in the criminal and civil courts. It would only be fair that he serves time, he/his insurance company pays a large civil judgment, he loses his driver’s license, and/or has to pay much higher rates through the high risk Texas Automobile Insurance Plan.

Stories like this — there are hundreds each year in Dallas-Fort Worth — anger me  My firm is currently representing clients in four of these cases.  In one we just were hired on, my injured client and four men in the other car were taken to JPS Hospital and they walked out the door.  In another, a car crashed into my client’s car at a light in Arlington and the at-fault driver and his passenger ran away on foot.

Outrageous, right?

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What if you’re driving on I-30 and get rear ended — and then the other car speeds away?

Don’t think this happens here? Last night a man rammed his truck into another car in north Fort Worth and peeled out only to flip it over and die.

I’ve been representing people hurt in these hit and run cases for 36 years in Fort Worth and this is the craziest ending to one I’ve heard of.

Why do drivers flee the scene of a crash?

They panic. They want to avoid civil liability and criminal prosecution. They know they may be jailed, sued in civil court, cancelled from their insurance policy, and/or pay a higher rate. They may have a prior criminal record, be drunk or stoned, and/or have no insurance.

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