We don’t know why every weekend produces another round of fatal car and truck crashes across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Or why we treat this news as if it is inevitable. Or that there is nothing we can do about it. But we all know that it can be frightening to drive on our North Texas highways. This past weekend produced more tragedies including these:
- South of Fort Worth: two people lost their lives in Burleson Sunday evening at 6:30 when a car traveling north on Interstate 35 crossed through the cable barrier and hit a southbound vehicle head-on. Two people in the north-bound car perished and other people were injured, some critically.
- South Dallas: a woman crashed into a truck and car that had already collided and were on the shoulder on Interstate 20, taking her life.
- Cleburne: Two people from Austin died Saturday afternoon on U.S. 67 after a man driving a Chevrolet attempted a U-turn in front of a Ford truck pulling a cattle trailer
How this affects you
Did you know that about 4,000 of us Texans lose their lives each year in a car or truck wreck and that over 250,000 of us are hurt?
You may not care until this has happened to you or a loved one. We hope it hasn’t, but if you are searching for answers to your questions about what you should do next after a car, truck, 18-wheeler, motorcycle, or pedestrian crash, this information will help you.
What money can be recovered for injuries?
Most cases settle out of court but whether your case does or goes to a trial, damages will be paid by the at-fault driver or his company’s insurance policy for the following categories:
- Medical bills
- Funeral bills
- Lost income and benefits
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Disability and impairment
- In certain limited cases, punitive damages
What can the surviving family members do to collect the damages that were caused?
There can be nothing worse than losing a loved one, especially in a violent and unexpected way. We understand. We will help you get through this nightmare.
The best thing is to consult an injury lawyer who will explain the legal, medical, and insurance process. This is a complicated subject that cannot be answered in a short blog post here.
How much money could be available to pay the family?
While each crash case is different, often the other driver carries what is called the standard policy which limits the maximum payment to $30,000 for any one person injured and $60,000 for everyone who was injured, in addition to $25,000 for property damage.
If this is the case, the family presumably does not need to hire a personal injury lawyer and can get paid this amount directly by the insurance company. We have assisted families at no charge when this happens, most recently last month in a tragedy in Dallas where two women were killed.
But if a commercial vehicle, say an 18-wheeler owned by Coca Cola, causes the death, the amount of money available can be far greater and in that case, the services of an injury attorney who knows these cases inside and out are definitely required.
How can we reduce the deaths and injuries on our DFW roads?
It can be done, but no, it won’t be easy. For starters we need to do these things:
1.Curb or stop DWIs: Limit the BAC (blood alcohol content) level to zero. We realize that there is a zero chance of that happening, so let’s start with a more modest .05% from the current level of .08%. And while we are at it, make this a War on DWIs the way we’ve had War on Drugs or a War on Cancer. Flood the streets from the prime drinking hours of 10:00 p.m. through 3:00 a.m. with police officers. Set up roadblocks in high alcohol areas like the Stockyards in Fort Worth and McKinney/Uptown in Dallas. Crack down on bars who overserve their customers.Arrest and convict more people who willfully break our traffic laws. Mr. Berenson proudly supports Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He is a member of its advisory board of directors for the North Texas region.
2. Curb or stop distracted driving: Make phone companies install software that disables cell phones while a vehicle is moving. Enforce the new law that prohibits texting while driving. Promote more public awareness with PSAs and road signs warning people how dangerous it is to drive a vehicle while your eyes are not on the road. We write about this topic all the time to try to get the word out.
3. Curb or stop negligent drivers: Sue and enforce verdicts in civil courts against people who negligently crash into other vehicles. Make their insurance rates go up and take away their driver’s licenses. Sue them. Collect judgments. We just got large settlements from a chain that allows customers to pour their beer themselves from their tables and one of its customers got intoxicated and crashed head-on into our clients on an interstate. We have taken to trial or received good settlements for thousands of other people who were crashed into over almost four decades. Mr. Berenson fiercely advocates for the rights of his clients.
A good personal injury lawyer can help you
Any motor vehicle crash can be devastating, especially with major bodily injuries and of course when a death tragically happens. While the damages can be enormous, often the amount of money available to pay them can be limited. That is why you should consider at least speaking with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible so you can find out what your legal rights are and how you should proceed.
For these reasons, the services of a good car accident lawyer can be invaluable.
Berenson Injury Law only practices in the field of motor vehicle collisions. We have successfully represented injured people and their families for almost 40 years.
Please contact us for a free meeting to discuss your case. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.