shoulderMy client was driving his car on Interstate 35 in Fort Worth when traffic suddenly came to a stop and an 18-wheeler next to him was not able to stop in time. The truck crashed into a motorcyclist and tragically killed her. It then sideswiped our client’s car and rammed into four other vehicles, seriously injuring several drivers. The damage to our client’s car was relatively minor and he drove home.

We conducted an immediate investigation and obtained all necessary evidence. Our client had torn a ligament in his left shoulder and he had to undergo two arthroscopic procedures to repair it. Our client did not have health insurance and we arranged the medical treatment he needed and assisted him financially. We filed a lawsuit and settled his case at a mediation.

The biggest problem with the case was that the trucking company was severely under-insured, as many are. Personal injury lawyers often learn later that there is only the minimum required amount of $750,000 to cover everyone who is injured or who loses his or her life. This amount has not increased in the almost 40 years since it was first instituted. Clearly, that is not fair to the people and the families of victims who are hurt in these multiple vehicle collisions. The truck company’s insurance company chose to quickly pay the wrongful death claim so there were insufficient proceeds for the other claimants. This is another reason it is important for injured victims to act quickly to preserve their rights. Continue reading

In an unanimous decision in Garcia v. City of Willis #17-0713, the high court dismissed a lawsuit Friday that would have eliminated the widely despised red light cameras in Texas. The plaintiff had filed a class action lawsuit to declare they were unconstitutional and sought to obtain a refund of the millions of dollars of fines Texas motorists have paid.

red-light-camera-sign

On procedural grounds, the Supreme Court found the plaintiff lacked standing, chose to pay his fine and avoid the required administrative hearing, and governmental immunity barred the reimbursement claim.

The decision follows other attempts to outlaw the cameras. For example, in February the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago called a similar argument “a dud” and noted that the advantages of the cameras outweighed other concerns.

Continue reading

rear-end-crashTexas law regulating rear-end crashes

Today our Supreme Court issued a controversial decision that keeps red light cameras in place. However our state legislators continue to consider outlawing them. Sometimes rear-end collision are caused at intersections with those much hated cameras. But usually they happen when the following driver is not paying attention — probably because he or she is driving while distracted by their cell phone. In rear-end crashes, the law has a particular way of determining who was at fault and liable for the damages other people suffer. Anyone who tells you that the rear driver is always at fault or that a lead driver who brakes suddenly cannot ever recover for their injuries is wrong. To make sure you don’t get caught in these or other potential traps, you need the services of a good Fort Worth accident lawyer.

In Texas, every driver has a legal obligation to engage in ordinary care while behind the wheel. But to complicate this scenario, Texas law also observes what is known as the comparative negligence rule for determining each party’s culpability. What this means is that if the jury (or insurance company adjuster) decides that the other driver was more than 50% responsible for the car accident that injured you, then you can recover your damages. However that amount will be reduced by the percentage amount that the jury (or company) decides reflects your level of blame. That makes sense: a person should not be able to cause a crash and collect money. So a case can be allocated 100% to 0%, the other way around, or somewhere in between.

I see this all the time. This photo is from a routine case I recently settled where my clients were parked in front of a school waiting to pick up their children in Fort Worth when the SUV rear-ended them. That driver was (you guessed it) on her cell phone. In a school zone where cell phone use is prohibited.

On the other hand, if the lead car stops very abruptly because he mistakenly thought the light had turned or was turning yellow — perhaps due to a fear of getting a ticket a one of those red-light camera intersections — and you crash into him from the rear, then you may have a winning argument that the driver in front of you was liable. Unless you were also trying to run the light! I see that a lot too.

Deciding factors include proof of the following:

  • Following distance;
  • Speed;
  • Braking;
  • Rear driver’s attentiveness/distraction;
  • Road conditions;
  • Other vehicles;
  • Weather/lighting;
  • Aggressive driving/road rage; and
  • Alcohol/drug use. Continue reading

Victimsprotests-300x200

                 Families of victims and survivors

The latest DWI deaths in Texas hit home on Saturday night when a Frisco family driving on I-35 south of Austin was crashed into by a Dodge pickup. Two beautiful sisters, Hayden Weissman, who was 18, and Peyton Weissman, who was 16, tragically lost their lives. Their father, his girlfriend, and another sister were also injured.

Payton-Weissman-and-Hayden-Weissman

To make this horrific crash even more maddening, Macario M. Hernandez, 61, ran away from the scene. Fortunately he was apprehended and is in the Hays County jail with a bail set at $250,000. At least he’s not getting back on our highways any time soon. Still worse, if that is possible, Hernandez had been arrested for DWI a shocking three times in the past.

This is infuriating. How does this keep on happening? And how can we stop the never-ending pattern of this never-ending carnage on our highways?

photo-1

As I got in some exercise around Dallas early Sunday morning with my son-in-law and a group of other cyclists, I saw people cruising around on those controversial electric scooters. Admittedly, riding a bicycle anywhere, especially in a large city, is dangerous. And a lot of people have been using Uber and Lime Bike for instant transportation without any problem for years. So why not allow someone to click an app and scoot over to the next bar — what could go wrong with that? Plenty, starting with a serious injury rate. No wonder Fort Worth has banned them. But other Texas cities are considering allowing or increasing their use. That’s not a good idea until our state laws are enhanced.

Current regulation of electric scooters in Dallas

You may not know what is legal when you hop on one in Dallas. The Texas Transportation Code, Section 551.351, has limited prohibitions. So Dallas enacted a new ordinance to pick up the slack when it allowed their use in July. Just in Dallas, they cannot be rented by someone 17 or less, at night, on streets if the speed limit is 36 mph or more, on sidewalks downtown or in Deep Ellum, and to the center or left of the traffic lane unless a left-hand turn is being made.

But after Dallas’s long-time state senator Royce West saw two people riding an electric scooter almost crash in Austin, he decided to sponsor a new law that would increase their safety across Texas. Senator West’s bill, which has been endorsed in his committee and which no member of the public testified against, would amend our lax state law and prevent them from being ridden

— By more than one person;

— On any sidewalk;

IMG_4071

— At night;

— Faster than 15 mph;

— On streets with speed limits higher than 35 mph;– By someone who is 17 or younger;

–and parked where they are a safety hazard.

I just blogged about motorcycle riders and their often horrendous injury rate so this post is a series in advocating for the safety of riders and not just drivers of cars and trucks.

The problem with electric scooters

Electric scooters are dangerous. In Dallas, at least one person has already died and 88 had to be admitted to the emergency room, 35 with brain injuries, just at the Baylor Scott and White hospital nearest Deep Ellum and only in the second six months of last year. Eight people were admitted to the intensive care unit.

I blogged about how dangerous these are and worry about any new way people can get injured as they move around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With 7,500 of them available in Dallas, they appear to be accidents waiting to happen.

Continue reading

Motorcycle accident

Motorcycle accident claims can be difficult

For many Texans, there is only one way to enjoy the freedom of our incredible 310,000 miles of highways and roads — on a motorcycle. But tragically last year in Texas, 501 of them lost their lives, usually at an intersection or when another driver was changing lanes. Contrary to popular belief that bikers always get hurt because they ride too fast, the typical motorcycle accident happens at lower speeds. According to statistics from NHTSA, almost half of all fatal bike crashes happen when the rider is hit by a car or truck driver who suddenly turns in front of him.

Yesterday I told an insurance adjuster denying liability that I am filing suit. Her insured, a commercial truck driver, made a reckless right turn across two lanes and caused serious injuries to my client. That call prompted me to share several ideas about these cases. More about how to win any vehicle collision case is here.

Continue reading

Hugo-F

We love what we do at Berenson Injury Law: fighting for our clients. From proving their often difficult liability cases to arranging and paying for their medical treatment to getting them the best settlements or verdicts, we bend over backwards to get the job done. And we love how happy our clients are.

Only in the event that you have unfortunately been hurt in a motor vehicle collision and are researching the best injury lawyer to help you, we are proud to have hit a new milestone: 300 of our wonderful clients have left 5-star reviews on Google, AVVO (where our firm has received the Client’s Choice Award for the past seven years and where Mr. Berenson was named a “Superb” attorney with a 10 out of 10 rating) and Yelp.

Asking one person who you should hire for your car wreck is a start, but asking 300 people is obviously much better.

We usually meet the friendliest people in Texas — but that can change at the drop of a hat gas pedal. Texas has almost the second highest number of these terrifying crashes in the country. This is a huge problem that sadly take the lives of over 1,500 people each year.

These are some of the latest horrific road rage incidents in Texas:

gunfighter-wild-west

  • In Houston two days ago, a female driver chased a woman riding a motorcycle and killed her;

blog-pic-of-car-on-top-of-coinsIf you have been in a car wreck, you naturally assume that the at-fault driver has liability insurance and will pay your damages. But a shocking 20% of Texas motorists — or about 3.5 million people — are not insured. And based on the number of times we see this happening, we think this number is higher. Almost everyone who has insurance carries the state-required minimum amount which only pays a maximum of $30,000 for the injuries to one person, $60,000 for the injuries to all people, and $25,000 for all vehicles damaged. This is often not enough, especially with the high cost of medical care. And that’s not to mention the multiple claims filed by drivers and passengers in chain-reaction car accidents. That is why you must purchase an uninsured/underinsured coverage policy to protect you and your family.

If you are injured in an all-too-common uninsured/minimally insured driver accidents, this post will answer your questions including

  • When can you use your policy?
  • What should you do if your insurance company does not make a fair offer of settlement?
  • Do you have to file a lawsuit and testify at a trial?

Continue reading

Contact Information