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Articles Posted in Trials

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An injured person must prove their case at trial. They must introduce pertinent evidence including proof of medical bills that are reasonably priced. The defendant can attack this evidence.

The judge rules on the admissibility of the medical bills and other damages and the jury decides how much compensation the injured party receives.

To make trials more efficient and fair, Texas law has allowed the parties to prove and disprove medical bills and records with affidavits since 1979.

The New In Re Allstate opinion

The Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion on Friday that will dramatically curb the use of these affidavits and require doctors to testify in person.

The justices directed a Corpus Christi trial court to vacate its order that struck a counter-affidavit filed by the plaintiff’s car insurance company.

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The Texas Supreme Court issued its 36th Emergency Order since the pandemic began one year ago. It permitted live Texas jury trials to proceed if safeguards are in place.

Governor Abbott is fully reopening Texas businesses and withdrawing the mask mandate tomorrow.

Trying to achieve a happy medium

IMG_9163-1The Texas Supreme Court issued new rules that took effect for petitions filed on or after January 1st. The 2021 Texas lawsuit changes affect service of process, discovery, and trials.

The revised Texas Rules of Civil Procedure are a belated Christmas present to many litigators. In an attempt to extend the holiday cheer, this was the festive scene at the Tarrant County Courthouse in Fort Worth.

Which rules did the court change?

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Almost every Texas personal injury case has been altered by the pandemic. Going to court is far different now. For example, it is impossible to imagine the Texas Supreme Court (pictured above) holding a hearing on Zoom earlier this year. What does the future look like for legal proceedings?

A Texas Personal Injury Case During the Pandemic

Back when things were normal, Texas courts conducted about 200 jury trials a week. People that testified had no fear of getting sick and infecting others.

tarrant-county-courthouse-1Getting in a car accident can be a living hell. You may have already had a surgery or need one. You won’t be able to move without pain.  You can’t sleep. You won’t have your car. You might not be able to work. You will owe a ton of money to a hospital and doctors. For example, today a client of ours found out she needed a major cervical fusion after she was rear-ended a few weeks ago in Dallas. If this has happened to you, here’s a question you need answered: should you settle with or sue the other driver?

This photo was taken from the Tarrant County District Courts building of the Tarrant County Courthouse after a hearing.

This is a difficult but critical decision. This is why your best course of action is to hire a good personal injury lawyer who will make the right decision and speed you through this complicated process.

We at Berenson Injury Law have seen this on a daily basis for almost 40 years and do everything possible to help people get through a horrible period of their lives.

Mr. Berenson met with a young man and his parents on Friday to give him his settlement check from his devastating DWI crash — which only happened two months ago. He had to have a major surgery to his back. He and his family were thrilled with the results. Now we are fighting to get him paid another sizeable insurance payment.

Later, after Mr. Berenson had obtained a giant settlement for a nice young woman and saved her over $100,000 in medical bills, her mother very nicely wrote him this email: “Thank you for being such a warrior and making the outcome positive. We would have been lost without you. Thank you always for your and your team’s valued support.”

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I successfully represented my client at a mediation where I resolved a complicated lawsuit several days ago. I have fought for people injured in collisions at numerous mediations over the past 38 years and wanted to share some thoughts about how to make them work.

The tractor-trailer pictured here crashed into seven stopped vehicles at 60 miles per hour. Three caught on fire. The tractor ended up on top of the bridge’s guardrail. The collision shut down I-35 in Fort Worth for the rest of the day.

Seven people were hurt, one critically. My client seriously injured his low back. It was a miracle no one died.

There was a minimum commercial insurance policy of $750,000 available to settle the claims, and only through an endorsement that adds unlisted vehicles like the 18-wheeler here to the existing liability policy.

I was able to recover a favorable amount of money for my client (the exact figure is confidential) and substantially reduce his medical bills. I am now working to obtain more money for him from his underinsured motorists (UIM) and another insurance policy.

Update on 10-8-18: I was able to recover additional money from the UIM policy.

The team at Berenson Injury Law specializes in these car, truck and tractor-trailer crash cases, but this post applies to all mediations.

Seizure of President’s lawyer’s files sheds light on client protection.

A federal judge will rule on an urgent motion filed by attorney Michael Cohen’s attorneys who have challenged the controversial search of his home, office, and hotel room on Monday.

They claim that the documents and items seized were protected by the attorney-client privilege and cannot be disclosed to the special counsel or anyone else.

Mr. Cohen, of course, is the longtime attorney for President Donald Trump and has been representing him in various lawsuits and legal matters.

Whether you are involved the personal injury cases I specialize in or any other legal proceeding, communications between you and your attorney are usually confidential under the attorney-client privilege.

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With the explosive news that the attorney for Stormy Daniels, the “adult film actress,” just filed a motion to take the depositions of President Trump and his attorney, you might be wondering what they are.

(Latest update on President Trump’s deposition: Judge denies motion)

Without getting into politics here, it was almost exactly 20 years ago that the deposition of former President Clinton was released in the lawsuit filed by Paula Jones that lead to his impeachment.

What is a deposition?

It is an intense question and answer session taken under oath. The involved parties and people involved with a lawsuit are interrogated at length about facts and opinions related to the litigation.

Plaintiffs, defendants, and other parties and witnesses can be ordered to provide testimony. If a corporation is a defendant, it must designate a person with knowledge of facts.

Since our office specializes in car and truck collision cases, this post will concentrate on how they are used in personal injury cases.

Why take a deposition?

Just because there was a car crash and the police report blames one driver and a person is injured doesn’t mean the at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to be fair about making an offer of settlement.

Usually the opposite is true. The injured party must often file a lawsuit and prove his case to get paid his damages.

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Our use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms is rampant. We think nothing of exchanging our private thoughts online. But those posts can come back to haunt people who have been injured in car wrecks. Look at what just happened to this woman.

A New York appeals court just delivered a decision that will help insurance company lawyers further pry into the social media accounts of people injured in car wrecks. The court held that a woman’s “private” Facebook status did not prevent disclosure of photos showing her physical condition before and after an accident.

In the discovery phase of lawsuits, one piece of evidence can lead to another. So courts are liberal in what attorneys can obtain if there is justification for its release. While you might assume that your post was not meant to be read by strangers, courts have taken the opposite approach.

Social media is a hot topic in the law. As the law and technology are rapidly evolving, questions about privacy versus their use at trial are common.

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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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