Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

dreamstime_xs_15112562-300x200Here’s some horrible news: on Saturday a 19-year-old woman from Central Texas left her two and one-year-old daughters in a hot vehicle for 15 hours, causing their deaths. How can this happen?

The high today will be 92 degrees, but people don’t realize that inside a car without air conditioning, that temperature will quickly climb to a deadly 165.

Being in a hot car even for a short time can result in heat stroke or death.  Continue reading

The temperatures have warmed up and more motorcycle riders are hitting the streets. To get car and truck dri 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

dreamstime_xs_76135020My heart goes out to the North Side families of a 2-year-old girl who died yesterday and a 3 year-old boy who was killed last week when cars hit them.

The little girl was crossing the street in front of her house west of the Stockyards when a drunk driver hit her Sunday evening.  The man has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

The little boy was chasing his ball not far away in a neighborhood just off of Jacksboro Highway when he was struck. The driver didn’t even have a license. The collision happened in a cul-de-sac, so investigators said speed was not a factor. But even at a slow speed, a vehicle can seriously injure or kill a pedestrian.

In March, an 8-year-old girl on a scooter in front of her house died after being struck in east Fort Worth.

That’s a horrifying statistic: three children killed here in our streets in two months.

There seems to be no end in sight to pedestrian injury cases.

More than 5,000 pedestrians of all ages are struck and killed by vehicles each year. A whopping number of them (550) died in Texas in 2015.

I was just hired to represent a 7-year-old girl who was critically injured when she was hit by a truck in southwest Fort Worth several weeks ago.

And I’m going to court next week to finalize the case of a young girl seriously injured when she was crossing in front of a stopped school bus in north Fort Worth.

Like any personal injury lawyer, I have unfortunately represented many pedestrians and their families who have suffered injuries and deaths. Here are a few things I have learned about these devastating injury cases.

Children Are More Likely to Be Killed By a Car 

Children remain a higher than average percentage of these pedestrian deaths until they are 15 years old. For children ages 5 to 9 years old, getting hit by a car is the third leading cause of death.

Why are kids at greater risk of traffic fatalities? A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explained some of the reasons. Continue reading

imagesWant to see who can snap a selfie while driving the fastest? Or chase cartoon characters across Texas? OK, just download an application and put the pedal to the metal.

This is just another reason why there are so many auto and truck collisions here.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cited drivers using apps as a major factor in the biggest spike in traffic fatalities in a half century.

During the past 50 years, innovations have drastically improved car and roadway safety — thanks in part to the legal crusaders Clarence Ditlow, and Ralph Nader and their Center for Auto Safety that I blogged about yesterday. Seat belts, air bags, improved body design, increased corporate accountability — and yes, lawsuits — drove the steady decline in highway fatalities. Then everything changed.

2015 was previously named the worst year for traffic accidents in five decades. And it looks like 2016 will far outdo even that deadly year, based on the first 6 months. 17,775 people were killed in traffic accidents during the first half of 2016. This number does not include the July 4th, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and the Christmas holiday season, when alcohol related accidents skyrocket.

Texas leads the United States in the number of traffic deaths each year.

Is any one paying attention?

Continue reading

460xEarly Sunday morning, the most recent mass casualty casino bus crash occurred in southern California. A shocking 13 people died and dozens more suffered catastrophic injuries in the horrific collision.

The bus driver who slammed into the back of the stopped 18 wheeler was going so fast that the bus ripped a gaping hole in the back of the semi and came to a stop 15 feet inside its trailer.

Investigators have already determined that the tread on multiple tires were worn down so low that they were far below federal safety standards.

“The vehicle was out of compliance with Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspection criteria, and it could have been placed out of service,” an NTSB board member reported yesterday.

In addition, since the driver never applied his brakes, driver fatigue was another cause of the deadly collision, all too common in these early morning bus and other commercial vehicle collisions.

This was an accident just waiting to happen. The bus was old. It was manufactured 50 years ago in 1966. The bus company driving it only operated this one bus. However it was not allowed to be on the road No one had apparently inspected the bus or its tires recently. Further, the driver was obviously unqualified.

As if that weren’t bad enough news, you can bet that the company has inadequate liability insurance. The minimum required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is $5 million. This will not be enough to pay the damage claims of the families of the 12 passengers (not counting the driver) who died and the many others who were seriously injured.

Why do so many bus collisions like this happen? According to the FMCSA, an estimated 3,290 crash each year. That’s incredible.

Why are insurance limits so low?

And more importantly, how can we stop these crashes from happening over and over again?

Continue reading

The race car movie star Paul Walker died in a fiery crash in 2013 that devastated his fans. His friend and business associate — also a race car driver and the owner of a Porsche dealership – was driving a 2005 Porche Carrera GT. Both men died.

The super car, which sold for $450,000 and was powered by a giant V-10, 610-hp engine, was reportedly being driven at a speed of 80 to 90 miles per hour on a suburban street outside of Los Angeles. The driver lost control, hit a curb, the car spun, hit a tree, and erupted into flames.

A lawsuit filed by representatives of Paul’s 15-year-old daughter settled for $10 million.

However a second lawsuit against Porsche claiming that the car was defective and failed to protect its occupants lost in court.

Speed is by far the leading reasons collisions happen here in Texas. We were just hired to represent the victim of one of those crashes today. Last year, over 100,000 so-called accidents were caused by drivers driving excessively fast and failing to control their speeds.

But in addition to the Porsche driver’s recklessness, what was the cause of that — and far too many other — crashes?
Continue reading

Berenson Injury Law has recovered $2.75 million on behalf of the wife, adult children, and mother of a man who died in a collision in Fort Worth on Valentines Day last year.

The man was driving to work early in the morning when his car collided with highway equipment.

After conducting a detailed investigation into what caused the collision and opening an estate in probate court, we filed a lawsuit.

An 18-year-old all-state pitcher at Paschal High School, Drew Medford, who was about to start college at TCU, tragically died early this morning on the new Chisholm Trail Parkway.  The news shocked his family and friends. But given that at least one Texan has died every day in a traffic crash for the past 15 years, the story wasn’t as surprising as you might think.

Traffic deaths increased last year by a whopping 7.7 percent, the largest percentage in 50 years.2015-12-30 Pics- Caldwell

This  photo was taken on I-35 in north Fort Worth after a man died and his passenger was severely injured while they were at a complete stop. I’m filing a lawsuit this week to help the passenger recover her tremendous damages. Our investigation has found that the 18 wheeler driver, who was only four feet eight inches tall, was exceeding the speed limit. Further, his truck had not been properly inspected or repaired. In addition, the commercial driver admitted that he was not paying attention to the vehicles on the road and he had just received a phone call before the crash.


Another deadly crash in North Texas

Early on Sunday morning, the life of a beautiful 21-year-old woman who had just moved to Dallas was cut short on Central Expressway. She was a passenger in a car driven by her best friend when they were struck by a driver, possibly drunk.

After they got out on the median, an Audi hit the young woman. That driver fled the scene but police found the abandoned Audi and arrested another 21-year-old. Here’s the article from the Dallas Morning News about this tragic intoxication manslaughter crash.

What happens if the family of the deceased woman has to file a lawsuit against driver to recover the estate’s damages and she refuses to cooperate with her insurance company or her liability carrier claims that she is excluded from coverage based on a technicality?

Continue reading

09XP-DRUNKDRIVING-blog427Far Too Many Repeat Offenders Are On Our Roads

16 year-old Joshua Hayden was driving home from the grocery store in Houston when a vehicle turned into his lane and crashed into his car head on. Thankfully the teen was not injured in the crash.

The man who hit him, Donald Middleton, ran into a convenience store and begged to be hidden from police. He had good cause to believe he would be arrested. He had been driving drunk — again.

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