car-accidentThe Dallas-Fort Worth area is growing furiously with over 100,000 people moving here each year. This has naturally increased the amount of people driving and the number of car accidents — especially at intersections. Almost half of wrecks happen there. Which ones in Fort Worth where are primary office is are the most likely to be the site of car and truck wrecks?

No, the answer is not all of them! But we already have 80,000 of them each year year in Tarrant and Dallas Counties. They were all preventable. Here is a photo from one of many crash cases we are currently handling where our client was rear ended by a man in the pickup truck running a light at an intersection and hitting other cars.

But first, people will have to stop texting or surfingthe net while driving, slow down, not drive while intoxicated, and obey traffic laws.

Until those things happen, you can be safer if you know where the most dangerous intersections are so you can hopefully avoid them. While collisions are reported on the news constantly, you never think that you will be in one — until it happens.

The Safe Communities Coalition that I am a member of researched crash data and reported that these were the top five intersections last year:

  1. East Lancaster at Riverside
  2. 183 at 360
  3. I-20 at McCart
  4. East Lancaster at Sargent
  5. I-35 at Meacham

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school-crossing-guard

It was exciting that school began last week but every year, a lot of people forget how much potential danger lurks. That’s because roads are more congested in school areas and people won’t put down their cell phones, even as kids are darting across the street. School buses pick up and unload over one million kids in Texas. So the need to be hyper-vigilent as we drop children off or make our morning and afternoon drives has greatly increased. Here are some helpful tips that will help stop these preventable car accidents with children.

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Rare court victory for injured drivers fighting their insurance companies

The Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio issued an important decision on Wednesday that awarded an injured driver his entire underinsured motorists (UIM) benefits. The holding in Allstate Insurance Company v. Irwin is only the second time that an appellate court has allowed a plaintiff to obtain Texas UIM benefits without first filing suit and obtaining a judgment against the adverse driver. Further, it is the first time that the recovery of attorney’s fees and costs has been allowed.

Background: Mr. Irwin was seriously injured in a car crash in 2016. He suffered a herniated disc in his lumbar spine and had to undergo various procedures to alleviate his pain. The total cost of his medical treatment was substantial. He settled with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for her policy limits of $30,000.00. He then demanded that his liability insurance company pay his underinsured policy limit of $50,000.00 for his remaining damages. However Allstate refused and only offered an additional $500.00 claiming that his injuries were preexisting, that he was over 50 years old, and that he worked as a construction worker. The man filed suit for the money his company owed him from his UIM policy.

After hearing the evidence, the jury awarded him $498,968.36. The court signed a judgment awarding the plaintiff his policy’s limit of $50,000.00, attorney’s fees, and costs. Allstate appealed.

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cedric-benson

The Texas Longhorns and its huge fan base (including Mr. Berenson who graduated from the University of Texas in 1976) are in mourning after learning that Cedric Benson died in a motorcycle crash in Austin Saturday night. What a terrible way to begin the football season.

Cedric was one of the best running backs in the history of Texas high school and the University, then played eight years in the NFL with the Bears, Bengals, and Packers. He was 36 years old. We extend my condolences to his family and the family of his passenger who also died at the scene.

We at Berenson Injury Law want our roads to be safer for all motorists, including for those who ride motorcycles. You have to ask

  1. Why does Texas have more fatal crashes than any other state?
  2. Why do about 500 people die each year riding their motorcycles in Texas
  3. What causes us to be #1 in this terrible category?
  4. How can we stop so many motorcycle riders and other motorists from dying and being injured on our roads? Continue reading

Damage-to-clients-car

There’s more than meets the eye in a commercial vehicle claim

Our client was a passenger in a car in Fort Worth two years ago that stopped at a flashing red light on a wet morning when she and her husband were rear ended by a delivery van. Property damage to their car was minor and there was only a scratch to the front bumper on the commercial vehicle. The driver said that his brakes had locked up on the wet pavement and blamed the light for confusing him. No one reported any injuries, the police were not called, and both vehicles drove off.

End of this story? No, just the opposite.

As often happens after a collision, the woman’s neck and back started hurting. Four days later, her PCP said she had a strain/sprain and prescribed anti-inflammatories.

She filed a claim with the other company but the insurance adjuster said she could not possibly have been hurt in this low speed impact. Further the adjuster told the woman that her husband and the company’s driver were not injured and its driver had a valid excuse. The insurance company made her a paltry offer of settlement of several hundred dollars, referred to in the world of personal injury as a “nuisance offer.”

Adding to the complexity of her case, she had fallen earlier in her life and had just had three vertebrae in her cervical spine fused the year before this wreck. Proving that someone’s current pain is not preexisting can present a problem for a personal injury lawyer. Further, her medical treatment consisted of only two routine visits at her PCP.. And she was salaried and did not lose any wages from her job. Her damages were minimal.

She hired our firm a month later after other personal injury firms had turned her case. But we knew we could help her. Mr. Berenson has represented a lot of people who were injured in wrecks caused by a commercial vehicle over the past almost 40 years and knows what to do.  Our firm went to work.

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Health insurance company medical bills

A health insurance company must pay medical bills, right? No, not always.

We are often hired by people justifiably angry after their Blue Cross-Blue Shield plan declined to pay for their amulance, hospital, and doctor bills. You have to pay expensive premiums and high deductibles and co-pays. So it is natural to assume that after you are in a car or truck collision in North Texas, that your health insurance company will pay for your medical bills. But unfortunately, it often won’t. But you won’t know this for months.

So the best thing for you to do after being in a wreck is to hire a good personal injury lawyer immediately. He will fight to get your medical bills paid or lowered by your health insurance company and your damages paid by the other driver’s liability insurance company. And if you don’t have health insurance, he can get you treated by qualified doctors and pay for some of them up front or guarantee payment so they are repaid from your insurance settlement or jury verdict. It’s a win-win for you.

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Drinking and Driving

Sunday morning in Fort Worth, a one vehicle collision caused six people to die at 2:00 a.m. – when the nearby bars were closing – on Northside Drive. A truck speeding out of control failed to negotiate a turn and crashed into a tree. Even a homeless man died. And this heartbreaking story was not even the only fatal DWI crash in DFW that day.

Later that evening, a 17-year-old passenger in a masssive car wreck went into labor and delivered a stillborn child. Her driver was speeding on Great Southwest Parkway when he blew through a red light and crashed into a pickup truck. That driver and his two passengers who were in their 70s were seriously injured. What makes this story even more maddening is that the car driver, who was only 17, was driving while intoxicated and didn’t even have a driver’s license.

What is going on out there?

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Distracted Driving
I just attended the monthly meeting of the Fort Worth Safe Communities Coalition.I serve on the Road Safety Task Force with officials from the Fort Worth Police Department, City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and other government leaders. Our goal is to make Fort Worth roads and highways safer. As always, the subject of texting while driving and how we can discourage that extremely dangerous practice came up, but we have no good solutions. And everywhere I go, people tell me they were almost in a car accident or saw another driver weaving and they were staring at or using their cell phones. We all know that texting while driving is out of control. Some people have asked if it is against the law.

Yes texting while driving is a crime but …

Texas became one of the last states in the country to ban texting while driving. Four previous attempts had failed. As a result, over 100 cities had already enacted their own ordinances because they could see how deadly this practice had become.

MRIMost people who are in car and truck accidents suffer from neck and back pain. Sometimes after undergoing diagnostic tests, they find out that the cushion-like disks that separate the bones (vertebrae) in their backbones have been damaged. This especially happens in rear-end collisions. Your doctor may have told you that you have one or more herniated and bulging disks. This post discusses what this means and what you can do about these often serious medical problems.

What is a herniated disk?

A herniated disk happens if the outside of the annulus fibrosis, the disk’s outer cover, ruptures or tears. Some of the soft nucleus puplosus, the jelly-like material inside the disk that gives it the shock-absorbing quality to protect your vertebrae, leaks out.

Sometimes it escapes into the spinal canal, often contacting a spinal nerve root. Enormous pain and other symptoms can result.

Herniated disks progress in stages going from smaller to the most extreme: prolapsing, protruding, extruding, to sequestering. In that last state, the material inside the disk has severed from the disc.

They are also referred to as ruptured or slipped disks and the pain can be called a pinched nerve.

Adding to the complexity of a correct diagnosis, herniated disks do not always cause extreme discomfort. At other times, the symptoms are more like those from bulging disks that are described below.

Further, while they can be caused by the sudden trauma of being crashed into by another vehicle, they can also be caused by aging, falls, other injuries, or other factors.

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insurance-adjuster-tricks

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may think you can just pick up the phone and get a good settlement. Good luck with that! While some jobs are do-it-yourself, knowing how to develop and argue a personal injury claim, negotiate with shrewd Texas car insurance adjusters, and try your case in a courtroom are not things you can master by watching a You Tube video. You won’t know how to proceed in the complicated legal, medical, and insurance worlds. So you are bound to make mistakes that will cost you a lot of money, time, and frustration.

We get calls almost daily from people after 3 months, 12 months, or even several years since their car crash asking us if we can take over handling their cases. They have gotten little if any response from the other driver’s or their own insurance companies. Or they received another stalling demand for information. Or after waiting forever, they finally got a low-ball offer.

They have no way to pay for their needed medical treatment and may still be not able to work. These people are justifiably angry and overwhelmed by the amount of work involved and the poor results.

We understand how frustrated they are. But like they say, if it were easy, anyone could do it.

So many mistakes may have been made that we often are not able to help them get the results they want. We wish they had contacted us or another good personal injury law firm immediately after the car accident. We have many in the DFW area. The choice can be hard, so here are tips to help you decide who to hire.

Like it or not, Texas car insurance adjusters are trained to take advantage of people. Each one has 500 claims just like yours. While it’s your life, you are just a computer file to them.

The adjusters have a lot of secrets they won’t tell you. Here are some of them.

1. They will act friendly but do everything to cheat you out of your damages.

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