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Articles Posted in Seat belts and child seats


Can an unbelted passenger win their Texas car accident case?

Were you injured in a crash where another driver was at fault but you were not wearing a seat belt? If so, you may be wondering if you are allowed to pursue a Texas car accident case to recover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. This post examines Texas seat belt laws and how they can alter or eliminate injury claims.

Texas seat belt laws


Child deaths are incredibly devastating. Why is Texas number one in this horrible statistic and why aren’t we doing more to stop them?

Today the Star Telegram sadly reported that Texas has ranked #1 in the country over the past 30 years for child deaths in hot cars and trucks. We have lost 135 of our youngest Texans during that time and the country has lost almost 1,000 small children due to the criminal negligence of their drivers.

Here’s another terrible fact: Texas somehow suffers twice as many of these tragedies as California, but they have 10 million more people than we do.


Our state’s annual Click It or Ticket” campaign kicked off last week. It reminds us that we face a fine of $250 if we don’t wear seat belts in Texas and also lets us hear from the families of people who chose not to and lost their lives. The campaign is urgent. Almost 1,000 unbuckled drivers and passengers died in auto accidents in Texas in 2016 — up almost 100 from the year before.

Statistics show that seat belts have prevented the deaths of over 300,000 people and reduce injuries and deaths by up to 60%.

And it won’t be much of a surprise to learn that the leading group of drivers and passengers who refuse to buckle up are teenagers.

Somehow despite laws and plain common sense, there are still hundreds of thousands of people who won’t wear seat belts in Texas. As you can see from the chart below, 10% of Texans choose to ignore the obvious safety risk.

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National Teen Driver Safety Week Is A Good Start.

Here’s a great idea that gives parents and schools the chance to focus on this critical safety issue and stop teenage car accidents.

Teenage Car Accident

The U.S. Department of Transportation devised this excellent awareness program to curtail the tragic loss of 2,333 teens and 221,313 teens severely injured after being in an auto accident in 2015.

Parents are not usually usually driving with their teens so they must teach and enforce these five crucial driving behaviors to prevent car and truck crashes:

  • No using a cell phone or texting
  • No piling passengers in the car
  • No speeding
  • No drinking alcohol
  • No driving without wearing a seat belt

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has designated this week as the Child Passenger Safety Week. Parents, here is a good opportunity to learn more about how to prevent your children from being injured in a car or truck crash. And on Saturday you will be able to speak to a child seat expert if you still have  questions.

Even if you think you’re strapping your children in correctly, recommendations change, equipment changes, and it can’t hurt to double check that you are making your child as safe as possible.

Why is this so important? The numbers speak for themselves. 43 percent of children who were killed in auto accidents were not properly retrained.

Sadly, many well-meaning, devoted parents just didn’t know what they were supposed to do or had trouble correctly installing the sometimes complicated car seat apparatus.  Continue reading

I’ve seen far too many car wreck injuries caused by people not using seat belts. This angers me.

I was reminded of this today when I read that nine members of a North Texas family were injured after their minivan was rear ended and flipped over into a ditch on I-30. Seven children were hurt, with one in critical condition. Some weren’t restrained and were ejected from the car. That’s inexcusable.

I want to again call attention to this serious problem to try to stop these senseless injuries.

Everyone must know that it’s the law that front and back seat passengers have to buckle up. Texas has a tough primary enforcement law where a police officer can issue you a misdemeanor citation even if no other traffic law has been violated. The ticket can cost up to $250.00 plus court costs.

If that doesn’t get your attention, presumably everyone knows that seat belts reduce the likelihood of injuries and deaths.

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Berenson Injury Law announces that it has successfully obtained the total available insurance limits of $305,000.00 for our client.He was driving in Decatur last year when a van without its lights on crashed into his Mercedes. Liability was disputed, as the van driver said that his lights were on and that our client failed to yield the right of way at the intersection.

The man had to be rushed by ambulance to a hospital where he spent several days recovering from his serious injuries, including fractures.

In June our client underwent arthroscopic surgery to his right shoulder.

Why do 20% of new teenage drivers cause a car wreck within the first six months of driving?

Their rampant alcohol, drug, and cell phone use and other distractions added to their inexperience make the odds they crash into you rise dramatically.

The National Teen Driver Safety Week ends tomorrow. Its theme of Five to Drive addresses the five major causes of teens causing and getting hurt in accidents:

  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Being distracted by passengers
  • Not wearing seat belts

Sadly, automobile accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States.A whopping 2,679 teens died and 123,000 were injured in car wrecks just in 2014.

Avoiding these five problems will reduce these tragic statistics dramatically. Continue reading

Shocking video shows dangers of tailgating 

I am sometimes told by insurance company attorneys and adjusters that unless my clients were in a high speed crash with major property damage to the vehicles, my clients could not have injured very seriously. I never allow them to continue arguing this when I am negotiating their cases to get them the compensation they deserve to receive for their damages.

This video from the dash board camera in the 18 wheeler shows you why.The car was being driven by a young woman from Texas, Briana Disaia who was riding the tail of a pickup truck in Arizona.

As they both passed the tractor trailer, the pickup truck driver swerved to avoid hitting a mattress jutting out into traffic.

The car driver didn’t see the mattress until too late, jerked her wheel to the right, and spun her car out of control. It hit the 18 wheeler which sent her car flying into the side of a mountain at a high rate of speed.

Her car rolled several times before coming to rest on its roof.

Somehow the Texan walked away without any injuries. Her seat belt saved her life.
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Lack of seat belt use a serious problem

I just settled a major wrongful death lawsuit against a construction company where the insurance company’s lawyer in Dallas tried to prove that the decedent was not wearing his seat belt. I won the dispute. But why was this even at issue?

Because the Texas Supreme Court ruled last year that seat belt non use is now admissible as evidence at trial. So defendants can now blame the injured driver/his family for not wearing a seat belt and reduce, even zero out their damages award — when the other driver is 100% at fault.

Why do I occasionally see new clients who have been injured in car wrecks but who refused to buckle up? God only knows.

The seat belt holds your body in place and prevents you from hitting the steering wheel, flying through the windshield or being crushed in a rollover crash. This important device is one of the greatest safety innovations of the 20th century.

Seat belts can help divert tragedy, like the one Friday in Fort Worth on West Loop 820. A woman was ejected from her vehicle when it collided with another car. Fort Worth police pronounced her dead at the scene. Had she just taken those two seconds to strap on her seat belt, she might be alive today.

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