Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

It was a typical Thursday two weeks ago when a horrific crash on I-40 in New Mexico reminded drivers across the country the very real dangers from commercial truck accidents. In a disaster scene straight out of Hollywood, a tractor-trailer swerved over the median and crashed into a Greyhound bus head-on.

Commercial Truck Accidents

Eight people tragically died and more than two dozen, including three children, were rushed to area hospitals with serious injuries.

How could such a disaster happen? News reports reveal that the truck lost the tread on a tire. The truck driver’s and his California company’s inspection and maintenance of the truck are being scrutinized. The front tires have been sent to the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, D.C. to be examined. Two lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the victims and their families to learn more about what caused this avoidable crash — and hopefully prevent future ones.

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Photo courtesy of NBCDFW.com

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 and another insurance policy.

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

If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, you will have a lot of questions especially these:IMG_7993

  1. Will I have to go to court?
  2. How much money can I receive?
  3. How long will it take?

This post answers the first question and the other two are addressed in these posts:

How much money is my car accident case worth?

The litigation process

Will my case settle out of court or go to a trial?

There are two ways that someone can collect his or her damages: an insurance company can pay them an agreed amount of money or a jury can award them monetary damages.

Statistics show that about 99% of all injury cases settle outside of the courtroom, usually before a lawsuit is filed.

So the chances of your case settling are excellent. But that answer as well as the amount of money you might receive and the length of time the process may take depend on many factors including the following:

Key information that is needed

  • Your case’s strengths and weaknesses;
  • Your liability facts and vehicle damage;
  • Your chance of winning a trial totally or partially, as negligence is attributed between all drivers and companies involved;
  • Your injuries – are they permanent or temporary, hard tissue or soft tissue, did you have surgery, etc.
  • Your medical expenses – how many are outstanding, were paid, and were written off;
  • Your lost wages, lost job benefits, and lost capacity to earn a living;
  • Your disability, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and other damages;
  • Your financial condition – your need for a quick recovery of money or your ability to wait for a trial;
  • Your desire to go through the usually frustrating and slow court process;
  • Your injury lawyer – his experience, ability, and reputation;
  • Your negotiating ability (if you are trying to represent yourself) and knowledge of legal, insurance, and medical issues;
  • Your goals; and
  • The other driver’s/company’s insurance company insurance policy limits and his/its assets

We at Berenson Injury Law evaluate these and other variables when we first meet with our new clients. We ask if our clients would prefer us to try to get the maximum amount of money from the insurance company or sue. After practicing personal injury law for almost 40 years, Mr. Berenson has never had a client who wanted to go to court if he could avoid it.

Later, we analyze these variables and recommend that our clients take their case to court or accept a settlement offer. We then try to reduce outstanding medical bills and perform other services to make our clients more money.

If you are undecided between entering into settlement negotiations, accepting a settlement offer, and going to a jury trial, we are happy to analyze your car or truck accident in a free no-obligation meeting or phone call. Continue reading

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When Is the Deadliest Day To Drive Your Car? Today

We hope you are having a good summer. But June through August is the most dangerous time of the year to drive. So please be extra cautious on our roads this month.

And today, August 2nd, is the worst day to drive in America according to a new report.

Why is that? You might think it would be a traditional night of heavy drinking, say Super Bowl Sunday or New Year’s Eve, right?

The answer is that more people are rushing to or from their beach vacations, are more in a hurry and more careless, according to the report.

Dallas-Fort Worth is a very dangerous place to drive 

We assume that when we start driving to a destination, we will arrive there safely.

But we have a shocking number of car wrecks here — 80,000 each year in Dallas and Tarrant Counties.
And just in the past two days, the press has chosen to report these two tragedies:
  •  two people died in Keller late last night; and
  • an 18-year-old passed away on Tuesday after being in a crash in Grand Prairie last week. And as bad as that news was, the city has reached an all-time high record for the number of fatalities to date for a single year.

We extend out sincerest condolences to the families of the deceased.

And Texas in the deadliest state in the U.S.

It is horrible to think that almost 4,000 Texans perished in vehicle collisions in 2016. That’s a shocking one death every two hours.

Here are more sobering details.

We were #1 in the country in this dismal category, even though California has 10 million more people than we do so they should be first.

And an additional 265,000 Texans were injured in crashes.

Care to guess where the most dangerous highway is? Here in Fort Worth, the two-mile section of Interstate 30 between I-35 and Oakland.

Dallas also had many of the most dangerous roads on the list of the most dangerous roads. Of course.

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RiibeMIST is a term that many insurance companies use to denigrate a car accident with minimum visible damage that causes injuries to the soft tissue in the neck and back.

MIST cases are often the hardest collision cases for a personal injury lawyer to handle. The liability is clear and the pain is real but insurance company offers are often low. Many cases have to be taken to trial.

The liability carrier’s argument that the crash does not appear to be so jarring that someone could have been injured is medically invalid. The goal of Berenson Injury Law is to prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of people who have been hurt. But with all of the trucks and SUVs and the increased traffic on the roads in North Texas, we see these crashes often. We fight to get fair settlements and jury verdicts for our clients.

Good recovery obtained for our client

For example, last week we finalized a $35,000 recovery for our client who was driving this truck. It was rear-ended by another pickup truck at a low rate of speed. Neither driver claimed injuries and they drove away. But our client’s head, neck, and back began hurting an hour later and the next day he had to go to a minor emergency clinic to be checked out. Later when the pain continued to increased he went to a hospital and chiropractor. An MRI was inconclusive.

The insurance company attorney for the at-fault driver did not believe our client could have been very injured. He also argued that our client was already 50-years-old, as if that proved he was hurt already. However with the help of our experts, we convinced the attorney that these property damage photographs were irrelevant, that our client was hurt, and that his company had to pay a reasonable settlement.

We then substantially reduced our client’s outstanding medical bills and our fee, waived expenses, and he received $21,700.

Our client was very pleased with our work and very nicely wrote this review on Google:

***** Mr. Berenson and his team did a thorough job on my case. I was happy with the settlement and the communication with me as it progressed. Highly recommend!

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Front-plate-SmallBerenson Injury Law has filed suit in Cameron County (Brownsville) on behalf of a Fort Worth man whose vehicle was crashed into by this 18-wheeler.

Our client, who was also driving a tractor-trailer, sustained serious injuries and had to undergo a lumbar surgery. He has huge medical bills and lost wages and may have to have a second operation.

Injured victims of car and truck crashes can face years of physical pain and emotional injuries caused by negligent drivers.

***** Mr. Berenson is Awesome!! He has helped me and my father, and my father wife with our car accident. I was in a car wreck 2/18 a few days later I was going to therapy working on getting my broken finger back to working. lol His wonder staff always kept me updated on my case! They are wonderful. Mr. Berenson is the funniest man alive once you meet him! And believe me, when he says he going to do something he gets it done. I recommend any one that gets into a car accident your best bet is to choose Bill Berenson!

Alexus

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18-wheeler-fire-in-GrapevineWhy are there so many horrible truck collisions here?

Last week in Dallas there was another catastrophic collision between an 18-wheeler and a vehicle that took someone’s life. And last night near DFW Airport the tractor-trailer shown here crashed and caught on fire. We see these wrecks far too often in North Texas.

The federal government recently released a study that showed that 120,000 truck crashes happened in two years, and this was back in the early 2000’s. Since then, the population and number of vehicles have exploded, so the number is much higher. Seeing a speeding or reckless 18-wheeler driver or resulting crash is common. 

If you or someone you love have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, you need the best legal assistance — and fast. There are three reasons:

  • A good lawyer will investigate liability, hire accident reconstruction experts, interview police officers and eyewitnesses, secure evidence, and prove that the trucking company driver and his company were at fault. On the other hand, the truck company will send out its attorneys and investigators to the scene immediately to do the exact opposite.
  • Survivors often suffer from permanent injuries. The attorney can arrange necessary medical care, help get expensive bills paid, and secure a good settlement or verdict to pay for damages.
  • Multiple vehicles and insurance policies are usually involved.

The key to winning  your case is to obtain as much evidence as possible. By doing so, a victim of a truck crash will greatly increase his or her chances of receiving the best financial results.

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One of the reasons I love living in Texas is how nice people are. And I grew up in Nashville where folks were just as friendly.

Most of us drive responsibly and even go out of our way to help others get around.

But should there be a limit to our Southern hospitality if it endangers others?

What if a driver is slowing down for a red light and another driver signals to turn left. After Driver 1 waves Driver 2 across and he darts across, Driver 3 crashes into 2’s car. Which of the three people caused the collision to happen?

Multi-vehicle cases can be difficult. I just settled a lawsuit when my client was driving on a busy road at night in the rain. A young woman claimed that she was waved through and was therefore not responsible for causing the collision. I took her deposition, made her admit that she was in fact responsible, and successfully resolved the lawsuit.

This tactic of blaming other drivers is often raised in-car accident cases.

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dreamstime_s_80813313-768x580People are unfortunately hurt in car crashes in Fort Worth and Dallas every day. And to compound their injuries, enormous medical bills add up quickly.

Who pays for the ambulance, emergency room, diagnostic tests, doctors, and prescriptions — the other driver’s automobile liability company, your auto liability company, your health insurance company, government agencies, or the other driver? When? In full or will you have to pay some of the bills up front?

This can become a nightmare if it is not handled correctly from the start.

What should you do?

The problem begins when you cannot direct the ambulance driver to a hospital that takes your insurance or might accept you for financial reasons, such as John Peter Smith or Parkland. You probably don’t even know which hospitals are in-network on your insurance plan. And you may not even have a health insurance policy, or if you do, you might not have met the annual deductible yet or can’t afford the co-pays and other expenses.

But the EMTs are trained to rush you to the nearest ER so you can be diagnosed and treated for your injuries. Especially when computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance images (MRIs) are needed, your first day’s medical expenses can easily be $5,000 — and often $10,000 or more. There are horror stories like this all over the internet.

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