I was very happy with the Berenson Group, they were very helpful in advising us our rights and options. Got me and my wife a fast and great settlement.

Hopefully you won’t need their service, but if you’re in an accident don’t hesitate to call these folks!!”  

Thank you for that wonderful review, Nestor. I’m glad you were so pleased. It was a pleasure representing you.

My wonderful staff just surprised me with a card, balloons, and a thoughtful gift of a bicycle computer — guess they thought their old boss would need some help after I mentioned I’m riding 63 miles tomorrow to celebrate my 63rd birthday.

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Thanks guys — wishing you and everybody a Happy Thanksgiving!

Uber-signWith millions of people using ride share companies, their drivers are involved in more and more crashes.

In Dallas the outrageous story about the drunk assistant district attorney fired last week for abusing her Uber driver shined a local spotlight on these increasingly popular services.

The problem is that their drivers are less regulated than if they drove for other businesses. Anybody can drive. I get emails asking me if I would like to and you probably do as well. No training or testing is required and until four months ago, no background checks into the driver were performed in Texas.

Further these drivers can be distracted by looking at their GPS, drive as much as they want, and are paid bonuses for  increased pickups. It follows that distracted, untrained, and hurried  drivers can be accidents waiting to happen.

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imagesYesterday I attended my first Mothers Against Driving Advisory Board meeting in Dallas. As a long-time supporter of MADD, I am glad to be able to work closer with this worthwhile organization so we can prevent drunk driving in Dallas-Fort Worth.

This is crucial. DWIs are far too common. There were over 4,000 crashes caused by drunk drivers in Dallas and Tarrant Counties last year. Tragically they took the lives of 139 people and injured over 3,000 people. This has got to stop.

Just since Saturday night, the news media reported that

This board provides direction and support to MADD, the only group trying to stop these senseless deaths and injuries.  Continue reading

https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-08-at-2.21.24-PM-e1510168946365.pngA driver crashed into a motorcyclist in Bedford several weeks ago, then the driver sped away in broad daylight. Another hit-and-run driver almost got away with it. Fortunately police received tips based on this security video of the horrific accident and arrested a 22 year-old man.

Unfortunately this happens all too often here in Dallas Fort Worth. But you shouldn’t be left holding the bag.

I recently settled two of these cases. A mother and her child were struck by an SUV as they crossed the street and were seriously injured but the driver fled. I was able to obtain all available insurance policies for them. In another, a man was hit walking into a San Antonio restaurant when another young woman hit him with her SUV and took off. Witnesses tracked her down and I made her insurance company pay him a large amount of money.

I’m about to file suit against an Uber driver’s insurance company after he was crashed into in Fort Worth and that driver fled.

Here are some tips on how you can recover your damages.

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collision

courtesy of dfw.cbslocal.com

After a car crash, a police officer comes to the scene, interviews the drivers, and writes a detailed Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). Its importance cannot be overstated.

Why? It provides an unbiased account of the crash and is written by a trained expert. The insurance company and/or jury will use it to help decide what happened, who is at fault, and how much money to pay you.

The officer records the information about all of the people who were in the vehicles, such as seating position and severity of injuries. The officer also notes whether the drivers were impaired by drugs or alcohol and sometimes even the blood alcohol level — one of the most powerful ways to enlarge your recovery.

I have been reading these accident reports almost daily for almost 40 years and know what to look for. It is essential to get and scrutinize the report as soon as possible.

The report is often useful to you. But it can be inaccurate or just plain wrong and be kept out of evidence as hearsay. How this report is handled can make or break your case whether you are trying to obtain a high settlement or jury verdict – or any money at all.

I go over these reports with a highlighter. The items in orange to the right are some of the things I look for.

Identification and Location 

top

The top section on page one gives basic information about the crash including the date, time and location.

If it happened at night, an injury lawyer immediately investigates if alcohol, drugs, drowsiness, or recklessness are involved.

Which road the wreck was on, traffic lights, street signs, stop signs, video cameras, speed limits, and other considerations are vital pieces of information.

For example, school zone, construction zone, and high speed interstate cases are treated much differently than low speed residential street, four way stop, or parking lot accidents.

Pinpointing the exact place and time of the accident is essential in reconstructing and locating evidence at the crash scene.

Lighting, weather, obstructions to vision, rush hour traffic, holidays, and other considerations must be factored into the evaluation.

Vehicle, Driver and Persons

There are two sections on the remainder of page one that ask for information about two drivers involved in the crash. The officer records the name, address, age, sex, race, driver’s license status, state, and type, level of injury, seating position and severity of injuries of the drivers. The officer also notes whether they were impaired by drugs or alcohol and sometimes even the blood alcohol level — one of the most powerful ways to get a large recovery of money in a DWI case.

All passengers are listed with some of this same information.

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https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/10/0601busax2_1464821017896_2633261_ver1.0-1.jpgHow To Recover Damages After Government Employee Causes A Crash.

Special laws apply if you are involved in a collision caused by a state worker like a school bus driver.

I just obtained the total amount available under state law for my client. He was driving this 18-wheeler last summer when a school bus driver loaded with children failed to yield at a stop sign and caused this crash. My client had to have surgery to his shoulder and ankle. I have also made his workers compensation carrier agree to substantially cut its reimbursement lien.

But suing state agencies and their employees can be difficult, if not impossible, since our state legislature has imposed strict limitations on liability, damages amounts, and legal procedures.

Here’s how this legal process differs from most injury cases.

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Distracted driving, infotainment systemOne of the main selling points for a vehicle used to be its safety ratings. Now it’s the computer settings.

Why? We drivers want to be entertained while we go to our destinations. So automakers compete on which infotainment system best fulfills the instant demand for the internet, music, directions, phone connectivity, sports scores, stock quotes, and you name it.

The problem with this trend is obvious. Driving is not supposed to entertaining. It’s a dangerous task that requires the driver’s full attention.

Which infotainment systems are distracting?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety rated the distracting qualities of 30 of the most popular infotainment systems.

Which were distracting? You guessed it — all of them.

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Third Involving Girl USEIs On Tuesday. Why So Many?

This week I was in court finalizing two cases where small children were hit by big vehicles. And I will be in court on Tuesday where the young front seat passenger was seriously injured when her driver started ingesting drugs and crashed into the concrete median.

What in the world is going out there?

Fortunately all three young ladies have recovered from their injuries. I don’t know why we have so many pedestrian injuries. But a lot of good questions were asked by the parents about the legal process so I wanted to discuss how the personal injury case of a child differs from an adult’s.

For an example, today’s hearing involved a two year old who was walking next to her mother holding her hand in a crosswalk next to I-20 last year. They had the “walk” sign. Suddenly a young woman ran into them with her SUV. Then after apologizing, the woman fled the scene and could not be found.

I went to the scene and located several eyewitnesses. I then tracked down the driver and made her admit fault. I worked with the mother to get her daughter the medical, dental, and psychological help she needed, paying for some of this treatment up front so the mother didn’t have to. She was also badly injured and I assisted her in every way possible with her case.

I later negotiated with several adjusters and attorneys and collected the entire insurance limits from three different policies for both the mother and her daughter. To put more money into the four year old’s recovery, I reduced my attorney’s fee, waived expenses, slashed medical bills, and shopped for the best annuity plan which will allow the girl to attend college. The mother was thrilled — her very kind review is here.

Wednesday’s case successfully resolved the case where a seven year old girl was crashed into by a truck driver who refused to stop for her school bus on the side of the road with its red lights flashing. She broke her leg and required surgery. I again maxed out the driver’s large liability insurance policy, reduced my client’s medical bills, cut my fees, didn’t charge expenses, and set up a favorable annuity for her college tuition. I also made the driver’s insurance company pay a large sum for the emotional distress of the girl’s brother who was standing next to her and could have also been hit. My client was also very happy with the outcome.

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download-1-1A 19 year-old teen was shot and killed in Arlington after he got into a lane change dispute on I-20 in June. Nobody has been arrested in this gut-wrenching homicide.

At least the death of young Dylan Spaid inspired Arlington police to take action and police began cracking down on overly aggressive drivers. As an Arlington sergeant noted, there are a lot of angry people on the road. This new program is stopping those crazed drivers before they hurt anyone.

Undercover patrol officers constantly scan highways for aggressive motorists during sting operations. The officers look for such typical angry behavior as tailgating, cutting off other drivers, passing on the shoulder, weaving in and out of lanes, making obscene gestures and excessive speeding.

A WFAA reporter who rode along with unmarked officers saw a driver who was clocked going an unbelievable 102 mph. A crash at that speed would likely kill the driver and innocent people he ran into. This is an example of the type of conduct the sting operation is targeting.

Arlington officers aren’t messing around. So far, they’ve issued citations to more than 1,000 drivers and arrested 15 aggressive drivers.

Not only were numerous road rage injuries likely averted, but Arlington is getting a reputation for a place where drivers need to be on their best behavior. Continue reading

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