Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

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When Bad Weather Crashes Happen To Good Drivers

A massive downpour has brought another three inches of rain to North Texas, this on top of soil that is saturated from last week’s deluge. Treacherous driving conditions increase the chances of people getting into bad weather crashes. And determining which driver’s insurance company must pay for the associated costs can become a complicated legal question. But hundreds of drivers have unfortunately been in wrecks here just in the past week and may be unexpectedly facing this problem.

In Fort Worth yesterday there were at least 80 crashes. Two people tragically died in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In South Dallas, a man’s car got stuck in the mud of the median and he was struck when he attempted to cross the highway and just west of Fort Worth, an 18-wheeler jack-knifed and a van crashed into it. Our law firm is handling a crash case at almost that same location when an automobile driver and 18-wheeler were driving too fast on a rain-slick Interstate 20 and caused a six-vehicle pile-up last year at about this same time last year.

It is common for people to have head and brain injuries after a car accident. Although these injuries vary in severity, when it comes to your brain, they are never minor and should not be ignored. The brain is your body’s control center. You need it to move, to think, and to breathe. And a traumatic brain injury can be severely debilitating and lead to a coma, lifetime paralysis, or even death.

Head and Brain Injuries After a Car Accident

More than half of all traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are caused by vehicle accidents. They can occur in one of two ways. Some injuries occur from blunt force trauma, when the person’s head strikes something, usually the steering wheel or door. When people don’t buckle up, they are at a greater risk of striking their head during an accident.

The second way that people get TBIs from car accidents is from the force of the impact. If the impact is strong enough, it can cause the brain to move around inside the skull. When the brain hits against the bones of the skull, it can cause bruising and bleeding that often isn’t visible at the time. The jolt can cause the brain to pull loose from connective tissue that holds it inside the skull. This results in an injury to that area as well.

People often confuse filing a personal injury claim with going to court. Most of the time, a personal injury settlement can be reached without ever filing a lawsuit. An agreement occurs when the two parties negotiate to reach a settlement amount that is reasonable. Sometimes the injured person attempts to handle the negotiation on his or her own. But they rarely get the best outcome when they handle the negotiations themselves. Insurance companies are known to use every trick in the book to take advantage of them.

Negotiating

Negotiating is a fine art that requires skill and experience. When it is used to settle something as important as a personal injury claim, it is best left to a trained professional. The process follows a fairly structured process that needs to be understand in-depth. There are many ways to do the case substantial harm. A personal injury victim only has one chance to get a fair settlement. He cannot afford to gamble on his own capabilities.

Before you talk to anyone about your personal injury settlement, you should talk with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows your rights. The first meeting is free and will be invaluable.

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.

UPDATE 10-8-18     I recovered more money from the underinsured motorist 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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