Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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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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USE-bus

A charter bus was taking a group of senior citizens from DFW to the casino owned by the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma.

Lloyd Rieve (photo courtesy of nbcdfw.com), who worked for Cardinal Coach, lost control of the bus in Irving. It flipped over and landed on its side. Sue Taylor, who had organized the trip, and two women, Alice Stanley and Paula Hahn, sustained fatal injuries.

Family representatives filed a lawsuit for the wrongful deaths of Ms. Stanley and Ms. Hahn. The plaintiffs settled with Mr. Rieve and Cardinal before trial and proceeded against the Choctow Nation, which denied any liability. It blamed Rieve and Cardinal for the crash.

The plaintiffs argued that the casino derived most of its income from bus trips like this, with most of them from here in North Texans. Cardinal had apparently failed to perform the required safety background check on its employee, Mr. Rieve, who had a bad driving record.

The trial took two weeks. The jury deliberated for four days.

The verdict awarded the Hahn family approximately $6 million and the Stanley family $5 million.

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dreamstime_xs_7781316-300x205It’s way too dangerous to drive. There are over 80,000 car accidents each year here in Dallas and Tarrant Counties.

But ironically the very safety devices you count on to protect you if you are in a car wreck can be lethal.

A whopping 42 million vehicles in the United States and 100 million around the world have had to be recalled due to deadly problems with the Takata airbags.

There are still over 60,000 of these dangerous cars, trucks, and SUVs on American roads.

Are you driving one of these so-called “time bombs?”

Jewel Brangman unfortunately was. The 26-year old rear-ended a minivan while driving a Honda rental car in California.  Although the impact was minimal, the airbag exploded and Ms. Brangman tragically bled to death from a neck artery severed by metal shards.

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tx-auto-580x362The latest roadway statistics were just released. They are not good.

Texans experienced a startling 10 percent increase in traffic fatalities from the year before.

Since 2010, the toll has shot up a whopping 34 percent.

It’s possible that our highways could be safer.

As this chart shows, from 2003 to 2010 the annual Texas traffic fatality rate decreased from 3,371 to 2,781.

Then the trend reversed and the number shot up to 3,720.

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useBased on our first week, unfortunately no.

After an extremely dangerous New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day caused by icy roads and the drunks driving on them, the first week in North Texas started on a sad note with four people dying in car accidents Six people tragically were killed here since that time.

And on Friday police announced the cause of the crash that killed former Dallas Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn in Irving several months ago.

The causes of this weekend’s fatal Dallas-Fort Worth auto accidents were the usual suspects:

  • Rear-end collision at intersection. A mother and her seven year-old daughter were killed when their passenger van was struck from behind while making a left turn. The driver of the pickup truck that rear-ended the van claimed not to have seen the vehicle at the Johnson County intersection. In other words, he wasn’t paying attention.
  • Drunk driver heading wrong way. A wrong-way driver on Texas 121 in Grapevine killed a Fort Worth man when he crashed head-on into his vehicle. The wrong-way driver was drunk at the time, and he survived with only minor injuries, of course. He’s been charged with intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle and intoxication assault with a vehicle.

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dreamstime_s_34718220The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released its highly anticipated 2016 crash report this week. The results are very discouraging.

More people died in traffic crashes last year than in any year in the past decade.

And what’s more, there were increases in every means of transit. Death rates increased for those driving cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicycles.

Overall traffic deaths increased by almost 2,000 people — an enormous 5.6 rate of increase from 2015. Since 2008, traffic fatalities had been on a downward trajectory but began to climb in 2012. We’ve now surpassed the 2008 numbers with no apparent end in sight.

I’ve been riding my bicycle long distances to stay in shape as I turn 63 next month (yikes!) and this picture of a “ghost bike” memorializing the death of a cyclist is especially disturbing to me.

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fatal087-cover-e1504799924455Did you know that almost 4,000 people died in auto accidents in Texas in 2016? And that this was a huge increase of 5 1/2 percent just over the previous year?

Who ever talks about Texas having such a startling number of serious injuries each year —close to 20,000 in 2016? Those people would fill up the AAC Arena in Dallas, to put that number in perspective.

Texas roads are way too dangerous. But they shouldn’t be.

I am always amazed at how easy making driving safe could be. If we could make people not drink and/or take drugs, pay attention to the road, put down their cell phones, slow down, not suddenly change lanes or tail gate, and be cautious, we would all be a lot safer.

Most “car accidents” could be avoided if drivers took this life-and-death task more seriously.

Every day there are more and more crashes reported in our local news. We take them for granted. We shouldn’t.

But take a look at these local stories in just the last few days:

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https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/08/Screen-Shot-2017-08-14-at-12.23.04-PM-300x148.pngMayhem on Dallas Fort Worth highways continues

On Friday night a man was driving while intoxicated as he sped down Interstate 30 in Grand Prairie at speeds of over 100 MPH. The drunk driver lost control of his Honda Civic and crashed into a light pole. The impact killed his 29-year-old girlfriend and his two children, who were only four and three years old. Adding to the horror, the driver had recently been convicted of DWI and been arrested on other charges and his children were not restrained in their required child seats.

Then on Saturday night a driver lost control of the vehicle on the I-20 ramp to Loop 820 in Southeast Fort Worth. During the roll-over accident another 4 year-old girl died after being ejected. It is not clear how fast the driver was going or how the child was thrown out of the car. But you can guess that alcohol was probably involved here too.

My condolences go out to the families of these young victims.

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dreamstime_xs_567292Good news: for years teenage traffic fatalities declined in Texas. From 2005 to 2014, the number of teen deaths dropped by 51 percent. Texas’s graduated licensing program, education, and safer cars seemed to be making a positive impact.

Bad news: in 2015 things took a turn for the worse when teen deaths unfortunately spiked by 9 percent. And based on what I’ve seen in my practice as an injury lawyer, I’m not optimistic about the release of the  2016 statistics.

How can we stop this from happening? And what can you do if you crashed into by a teenage driver?

Teens: drunk driving and speeding are nothing to brag about

Last week’s horrific YouTube video of an 18 year-old driving drunk and killing her younger sister and a Snapchat video which recorded a woman partying in the days before she was killed in a drunk driving crash have gone viral.

These videos ended tragically, but others in which drunk and speeding teen drivers miraculously survive continue to pop up on social media and actually be liked by peers and followers. The teens enjoy a few moments of minor fame for their risky escapade, which may be encouraging others to follow suit.

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https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/07/Screen-Shot-2017-07-31-at-3.19.28-PM-300x124.pngAlcohol causes a variety of symptoms that make driving extraordinarily dangerous. Thanks to driver’s education and wonderful organizations like MADD, all drivers know this — or should. But one of the biggest dangers is a drunk driver’s inability to quickly react to problems on the road.

That’s what happened last week after 20 year-old Mikayla Prince lost control of her Mitsubishi on I-635 and hit a guardrail. She and her friend got out of the car and stood on the side of the highway. A good Samaritan, James Fofanah, stopped to help. Moments later, 23-year-old Ashlynn Hurley plowed into the accident scene and tragically killed Ms. Prince and Mr. Fofanah. Hurley’s Toyota caught on fire but she escaped with minor injuries. Hurley was arrested for DWI.

Had Hurley not been intoxicated, she would have the mental faculties to see the car crash sooner.

This is why we must support Mothers Against Drunk Drivers so these horrendous crashes stop. According to MADD, each day 27 people are killed in a drunk driving crash and hundreds suffer injuries, with one-third of the drunks being repeat offenders. And Texans spend over $6 billion every year due to drunk driving collisions.

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