The eyes of Texas may be upon you but they sure aren’t on the roads.

Several nights ago a man rear-ended a stopped vehicle in Plano, killed its driver, and seriously injured its passenger.

Car wrecks are usually caused by a driver’s negligence. What’s the biggest reason these days? His or her distracted driving.

The driver is probably using his cell phone and may also be eating and drinking, playing with his music controls, talking to passengers, and/or zoned out.

That’s why April is Distracted Driving Month and why we must end this incredibly dangerous practice.

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IMG_0045Victory of the month

Fort Worth injury attorney Bill Berenson has successfully recovered $710,000 for a passenger who was seriously injured when his vehicle was rear-ended last year.

The other driver fled the scene on foot and was later arrested but he had no liability insurance. We conducted a full-scale investigation and located a substantial uninsured insurance policy and other sources of  recovery that could help our client.

Sure, Ride-sharing is Convenient — But Are You Always Safe?

Last week police arrested an Uber driver charged with a shocking crime: sexually assaulting a 77-year-old Fort Worth woman.

Another Uber driver was convicted in Boston several weeks ago for having sex with his passenger, a young college student who was intoxicated.


Seizure of President’s lawyer’s files sheds light on client protection.

A federal judge will rule on an urgent motion filed by attorney Michael Cohen’s attorneys who have challenged the controversial search of his home, office, and hotel room on Monday.

They claim that the documents and items seized were protected by the attorney-client privilege and cannot be disclosed to the special counsel or anyone else.

Mr. Cohen, of course, is the longtime attorney for President Donald Trump and has been representing him in various lawsuits and legal matters.

Whether you are involved the personal injury cases I specialize in or any other legal proceeding, communications between you and your attorney are usually confidential under the attorney-client privilege.

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MC-BEFORE-crash-BLOG-B-LeongIt’s April — time for motorcyclists (and cyclists) to start riding more. But unfortunately serious injuries and deaths in Texas from cycle-vehicle collisions have risen dramatically here.

500 people tragically die on motorcycles every year in Texas. Just last night in Arlington, a motorcyclist was crashed into by an SUV changing lanes on State Highway 287 and tragically lost his life.

As a motorcycle accident attorney and advocate for the safety for all all people driving a vehicle, this upsets me. And I went to another funeral of a client hit riding his motorcycle several months ago so thought to write this post to try to prevent another injury or death.

Most motorcycle and bicycle crashes are caused by two things:

  • People do not see the cyclist at all — or until it is too late; and
  • People see the cyclist but fail to yield the right of way, especially in intersections.

To prevent these collisions, here are some suggestions:

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MARTINTexans witnessed these three calamities in the last three days:

  1. Ethan Couch was released from jail after only two years for killing four people and crippling our client;
  2. Lou Diamond Phillips was sentenced after his DWI arrest; and
  3. A drunk driver crashed early this morning in Dallas, killing her passenger.

Why do driving while intoxicated collisions keep happening?

If law enforcement and courts don’t crack down on outrageous drunk drivers (#1) and high profile movie stars and celebrities are constantly being shown after they are busted (#2), what can we expect?

Last year, over 3,700 Texans tragically died due to intoxicated drivers. That’s shameful.

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You probably think that the driver who rears-ends another car or truck is automatically at fault.

Since there are a shocking 1.7 million rear-end collisions each year in the U.S. which take the lives of 1,700 people and injure 500,000 others, they are serious problems that need to be prevented.

But juries and courts have eased up on the quality and quantity of the evidence required to defeat these cases.

A new decision from the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, Lee v. Carmona,  appears to make it harder to win rear-end lawsuits.

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With the explosive news that the attorney for Stormy Daniels, the “adult film actress,” just filed a motion to take the depositions of President Trump and his attorney, you might be wondering what they are.

(Latest update on President Trump’s deposition: Judge denies motion)

Without getting into politics here, it was almost exactly 20 years ago that the deposition of former President Clinton was released in the lawsuit filed by Paula Jones that lead to his impeachment.

What is a deposition?

It is an intense question and answer session taken under oath. The involved parties and people involved with a lawsuit are interrogated at length about facts and opinions related to the litigation.

Plaintiffs, defendants, and other parties and witnesses can be ordered to provide testimony. If a corporation is a defendant, it must designate a person with knowledge of facts.

Since our office specializes in car and truck collision cases, this post will concentrate on how they are used in personal injury cases.

Why take a deposition?

Just because there was a car crash and the police report blames one driver and a person is injured doesn’t mean the at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to be fair about making an offer of settlement.

Usually the opposite is true. The injured party must often file a lawsuit and prove his case to get paid his damages.

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dreamstime_s_104477322Or if he doesn’t carry a large enough amount?

This is unfortunately a common question since here in Texas, 20% of drivers don’t have a liability policy, and from my personal experience, this number is much higher.

That means there are at least four million uninsured drivers on our roads. Yikes!

And that doesn’t even count the huge number of highly restricted “junk policies” our state legislators allow to be sold where the driver has been excluded from coverage by the owner.

A good personal injury lawyer will chase down these subprime companies, their insureds, and drivers and demand proof that there is no insurance. We have been successful at making some of them change their coverage decisions and pay claims, and when this doesn’t happen, sue the driver (and by extension his company) for our client’s damages and collect money that way.

Usually the other driver will have liability insurance coverage, but probably in the minimum amount of $30,000 for any one person’s injuries, $60,000 for all people he injured, and $25,000 for all vehicle damage.

Of course, this is often insufficient, especially if there are serious injuries with large medical bills and lost wages and/or multiple vehicles involved in the highway chain-reactions we see far too often on the highways in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In this case, if you and your attorney can negotiate a successful settlement with his liability adjuster or you have to file suit and either settle at a later stage of the litigation (which happens 99% of the time) or go to a trial, you will be paid this amount.

But what happens if and when he or she didn’t have insurance — or didn’t have enough? If you file a lawsuit and take a judgment, how will you collect your damages?

This is a serious problem that Texas drivers often have to deal with.

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President John F. Kennedy wrote a revolutionary Consumer Bill of Rights in 1962 which would have given Americans the new rights to be safe, informed, able to make good choices, and be heard as consumers. The U.S. Congress never approved it but the Texas Department of Insurance fortunately created its own version for insurance policyholders.

The Texas Consumer Bill of Rights gives you rights that help you when you are

  • Buying insurance
  • Cancelling or not renewing a policy
  • Filing a claim on your insurance
  • Enforcing your rights

Furthermore, insurance companies are prohibited from discriminating against you or unfairly using credit information to decide who to insure or how much of a premium to charge.

Did your automobile liability company give you a copy of the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights along with your policy? If it didn’t, it has already violated one of your rights as the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) requires all insurance companies to issue a copy to all of its policyholders.

The Texas Bill of Rights is not part of your policy but your insurance company must nonetheless abide by the rules it contains. It is extensive and filled with important information. You should review it before buying or amending your policy or if you think you have been treated unfairly.

When you are filing your claim and enforcing your rights as a consumer, how does this help you? Continue reading

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