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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Does the State of Texas have a duty to warn drivers about a dangerous road condition? Last week’s decision by a Texas appellate court ruling said that it did.The Dallas court affirmed a jury’s verdict in favor of a motorcyclist who crashed when his wheels hit a large crack in the highway. The trial court capped the $1,200,000 verdict at $250,000, the maximum damages allowed under the Texas Tort Claims Act, and the state appealed.

Brian Milton was traveling on FM Road 148 in Kaufman in 2012 at night. He couldn’t see the deep cracks in the road pictured here until he hit one and crashed his bike into a ditch. Milton had never driven on this road before. He was severely injured.

Testimony from state employees and other evidence showed that the TxDOT clearly knew about the problem before the crash. The responding officer noted the “big cracks” in the roadway.

A few days later, Milton’s wife took this photo of the severely eroded highway. And just one month earlier, a TxDOT worker had taken pictures of the poor road conditions and ordered signs to warn drivers about the failing road but the signs weren’t placed in the correct location.

In addition, the agency had begun roadwork nearby but had not yet made its way to the area of the crash where work orders were in place.

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Our client was seriously injured riding his bicycle in Fort Worth several weeks ago. The police officer was not able to get his side of the story as he lost consciousness and did not awake until he was in the ER where he spent the next four days so the police report blames him.

To combat this error, I had a staff member immediately take our client to the pound so we could secure his bike. I took it to my bike shop and the head mechanic confirmed that my client had been rear ended, not hit as he cut across a busy road as the other driver told the police. I got a written report that the only part of the bike that was damaged was the rear wheel which I emailed to the insurance adjuster with color photos and what the police report should have stated. Today my client gave the driver’s insurance company a statement with my assistance. I am going to file suit if the company does not accept liability by Monday and pay its driver’s entire insurance policy limit.

On a similar note, we were hired today to represent a man who was crossing the street earlier this week when he was run over.

These two cases are reminders of how dangerous North Texas roads are for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. Last year, 65 people cyclists, 496 motorcyclists, and 678 pedestrians tragically died in collisions with vehicles, up a huge 21% from the previous year. I know this all too well, having represented thousands of injured people including those riding bikes.

I’ve spent more time on my bicycle this year, riding 75 miles on Sunday, and ran on streets for years when I was training to run many marathons.  I ride and used to run on the Trinity Trail and off road as much as possible and encourage others to do so. Here’s a great link to Dallas-Fort Worth trails and roads that cyclists and pedestrians can more safely ride and walk on.

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The parents of a man who died in a tragic motorcycle crash in Fort Worth obtained the total from two insurance policies. Their son was test riding a Honda when another car pulled out in front of him in Fort Worth. He had no time to react and was killed upon impact.

But the other driver’s insurance company refused to honor the claim, claiming its driver was not at fault, there was no proof of conscious pain and suffering, and other ridiculous excuses. I was about to take the case to court to court when the company paid the full amount. Its insured driver had no assets that could be seized for a further recovery of money so there was no reason to file a lawsuit.

We had also located an under insured motorist policy owned by a family member, but again the company resisted payment due to an alleged lack of coverage, etc. We prevailed again. The parents netted $150,000.00. But no amount of money could ever replace their wonderful son and this kind man.

Review written by clients

The man’s parents, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Colorado, were happy with our service and I was humbled by their Google review:

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The temperatures have warmed up and more motorcycle riders are hitting the streets. To get car and truck drivers to be on the lookout for them, the Texas Department of Transportation has just launched a campaign with an important message for us motorists. Look twice for motorcycles.

The campaign aims to reduce the thousands of motorcyclists fatally stuck or injured at intersections and crossing from adjoining lanes.

This message also applies to the increasing number of people getting hit by vehicles as they are riding bicycles.

Sure, motorcycles and bicycles are smaller and sometimes more difficult to see. However that does not excuse the motorist from making certain the coast is clear before changing lanes, crossing an intersection, passing, turning or u-turning. Motorcyclists have the right to be on the road and motorists have the obligation to share that road.

I am about to file a lawsuit on behalf of a man who was seriously injured when a driver crashed into his motorcycle, seriously injuring him. The driver said she never saw him. I’ve heard many excuses like this one during my 37 years of representing injured motorcyclists. Continue reading

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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Another Reminder Why Riders Should Wear Safety Gear

Motorcyclists may sometimes feel like the conditions are right to ride without wearing a helmet and proper gear.  You may feel safe on a sunny day taking a short ride up the road. 

Don’t take the chance. 

Even if you following all of the traffic laws, you can still be the victim of a driver’s careless actions. My client experienced this firsthand early this year. Thank goodness he was wearing his helmet and protective clothing when a car slammed into his bike at a red light. 

My client was at a complete stop on his 2013 Harley-Davidson on a Loop 820 service road. Behind him, a 24 year-old driver had been texting and speeding. That driver crashed into my client, sending him hurling into the air and into the rear of the SUV in front of him and onto the concrete pavement.

The weight of his heavy motorcycle and the fall crushed his body. He broke his leg and suffered a fractured foot and torn ACL that required surgery and  extensive rehabilitation. He lost consciousness, his head and face required multiple sutures, and his mental abilities have been diminished. 

Berenson Injury Law succeeded in settling his case with trial looming for a substantial amount which will compensate my client for his damages. They include medical bills, loss of wages, diminished future earning capacity, disfigurement, disability, and pain and suffering. We also slashed his outstanding hospital and medical bills.

With such severe injuries despite wearing safety gear, I believe the accident could have been fatal had my client chosen to skip the gear for this one ride.

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A video of a terrifying motorcycle wreck south of Fort Worth has attracted three million views since it happened Saturday. 

A motorcycle rider’s video shows Eric Sanders riding ahead of him on a motorcycle with his girlfriend Debra Simpson riding shotgun. As Sanders approached slow-moving cars, he illegally pulled across the double-line divider to pass. 

Suddenly a car swerved into Sanders and his passenger, sending them into a slide. 

The motorcyclist with the camera pulled up to the driver and demanded, “What were you doing? You hit them!”

Shockingly, the motorist responded, “I don’t care!” 

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A couple on a motorcycle crashed when the tire on their 2008 Harley Davidson blew out, causing the driver to lose control of the bike. In this motorcycle accident last Thursday at 8:50 p.m. on Interstate 35 near Waco, the passenger, 34-year old Crystal Shaw, was killed in the wreck. Neither driver nor passenger were wearing a helmet. I am currently working on a court case with the exact same facts, and three children will have to grow up without a mother. This “devil may care” attitude while riding these incredibly dangerous machines makes me angry.

Texas Motorcycle Laws Don’t Make Sense

Texas motorcycle laws require riders who are under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. However a rider who is older than 21 and who has completed a rider training program or who is covered by motorcycle accident medical insurance does not have to wear a helmet.

These laws assume that riders can fully protect themselves against an accident, which is far from the case. Riders can take precautions that substantially reduce the chance of having an accident, but some matters are out of their control. Training won’t stop a motorist from swerving into the path of a motorcyclist, cracked pavement from knocking the bike off balance or a defective motorcycle part from malfunctioning. I’ve handled too many of these cases.


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Husband Charged with Intoxication Manslaughter 

Here’s one of those stories that makes me angry: a 43 year-old woman tragically died early Sunday morning in a fiery car crash due to her intoxicated husband. The couple was involved in a single vehicle wreck at the 15200 block of State Highway 183 near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at around 2:30 a.m. 43 year-old Juan Salinas was behind the wheel when the truck swerved into a ditch. 

When police arrived, the truck was on fire. Good Samaritans pulled Juan from the truck and ran back to help his wife, Elva Salinas, but the truck was already engulfed in flames and they were unable to reach her. Elva was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Juan was transported to a local hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. Although he is expected to recover from his injuries, he will have to live with the fact that his decision to drive drunk resulted in his wife’s death. In addition, he faces intoxication manslaughter charges. I hope he gets a stiff sentence.

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Widely Loved Officer Became Chief in Corpus Christi 

Floyd Simpson died in a motorcycle crash on early Sunday evening in Port Aransas. The popular officer died swerving to avoid an oncoming truck. The 16-year-old truck driver’s fatigue has been cited as the cause of the collision. Especially given our country’s recent law enforcement conflicts, this careless wreck seems all the more tragic. Why was the 16-year-old driving by himself in violation of state law, and how could he have been fatigued at only 7:00 in the evening? Our hearts go out to the officer’s wife of 27 years and his four children.

Dallas Mourns Loss of Respected Police Officer

Floyd Simpson made history as the first African American Chief of Police in Corpus Christi, a majority Mexican American city. Before then, he had been a 25-year veteran of the Dallas Police 

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