COVID-19 UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Ticket for Texting and Driving

The epidemic of DWIs in DFW is officially out of control

When a judge and police officer were disgracefully jailed last week for driving while intoxicated, you know that we have a crisis. How can people paid to enforce the law break it? Committing DWIs in DFW is outrageous for drivers plus being hypocritical when committed by those supposed to protect us from drunk drivers in the first place. So what happened and why do we bring this to your attention? 1. Dallas County criminal district judge Friday night, a judge crashed into a light pole in the 13500 block of Midway Road around 11:00 p.m. She was arrested and taken to the Farmers Branch Police Department jail and released the next day on bond. Criminal judges make life-changing decisions that can imprison people for the rest of their lives. Civil judges determine the amount of damages to be paid to victims of DWIs in DFW who are injured in auto and truck collisions. The judge involved here has served for two years. Before then, she practiced as a criminal defense attorney. She obviously knew better. 2. Fort Worth Police Department lieutenant On Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., a lieutenant was arrested for driving while intoxicated in front of an elementary school. He was spotted asleep behind the wheel of his police cruiser. And for some unexplained reason, there was a child in the back seat. He is a high-ranking and experienced 14-year veteran with the FWPD. He clearly knew better.

3. Firefighter injured in wrong-way crash

As just one of thousands of examples of how serious DWIs in DFW are, early Sunday morning an Irving firefighter suffered a traumatic brain injury when a drunk driver who was going the wrong way on State Highway 183 hit him. Aaron Donohue was working a five-vehicle collision caused by (guess who) a drunk driver in the closed-off westbound lanes. The 23-year-old woman from Arlington had been driving the wrong way for miles on this busy highway. She said that she thought she was headed east towards Dallas. She continued to drive after nearly killing Mr. Donohue. It is truly a miracle that someone - or some people - did not die. This crash has become an unfortunately routine collision in North Texas.

DWIs in DFW epidemic rage on

North Texas is always at the top of the list for these especially deadly crashes in our state. There were about 5,000 collisions last year in the four counties that make up the heart of the Metroplex. They tragically took the lives of 131 people. Every one of these crashes was 100% preventable. Wrong-way and hit-and-run crashes are often caused by intoxicated drivers. If they are caught, it is common for a personal injury lawyer to investigate and learn they have no liability insurance or any way to pay for the (often enormous) damages they have caused.

What should be done

The illegal actions of these two are aberrations, since virtually every other judge and police officer is a hard-working, law-abiding professional who does a good job performing their duties. This judge and lieutenant are entitled to a presumptions of innocence and trials. Until then, we call on them to be suspended and even fired. If found guilty, they must be given the maximum punishment. Further, their sentences must be heavily publicized to serve as warnings to others who would violate already thinly-enforced DWI laws. We understand that the pandemic is the #1 problem now. But the DWI crisis existed long before the virus began this winter and will keep surging after we hopefully can bring Covid-19 under control. MADD was started by a mother 40 years ago after her teen-aged daughter was killed in a drunk driving crash and its work is more urgent now than ever. We must take action to prevent the driving public from the never-ending saga of DWIs in DFW. The fact that a district judge and police official think nothing of violating the law is alarming. OK, we already know about the countless celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kevin Hart, and Keanu Reeves, not to mention the high-profile sports figures like Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, and Mike Tyson who have been charged with driving while intoxicated. But when the public sees criminal laws being so flagrantly disregarded by the very people who take oaths to uphold them, this obviously sends the wrong message. Trust in government and law enforcement is already badly eroded. Our country is still reeling from protests against the police and officials after one of the most turbulent years in our history. We expect and need the highest standard of conduct from our elected representatives, judges, and police officers. That is why this topic is so important.

We can help you

We are ready and able to investigate motor vehicle collisions, work with medical professionals, develop files, handle insurance claims, get medical bills and lost wages paid, answer all questions, and file lawsuits as necessary against reckless drivers - especially drunk ones. Last week, we filed suit against an extremely drunk driver in Fort Worth who caused a man to die and another to be seriously injured. Many of our clients have been injured by intoxicated (or stoned) drivers. And one woman was crashed into by two drunk driver within the last year. Here is a photograph of her SUV upside down on Interstate 20. We successfully obtained all insurance available from several policies in both of the cases. If you have been injured by any negligent driver, call us at 1-885-801-8585 or chat with us. There is no charge with the first consultation. We will guide you through what can be a complicated process and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

    Our roads should be safer since fewer people are driving during the pandemic. But wrongful death numbers from car and truck wrecks have skyrocketed here. North Texas just endured another tragic weekend with six fatality wrecks reported. Most were caused by hit-and-run drivers. And we have not even gotten to the Thanksgiving-New Years holiday period when alcohol-fueled collisions skyrocket every year.

North Fort Worth

A man was crossing the street at Sylvania Street and 28th Street when a Sports Utility Vehicle ran the red light Friday at 11:30 o'clock p.m. and struck him. That driver and another SUV driver hit-and-ran.

North Dallas

A 58-year-old woman was struck and killed in the 9200 block of Forest Lane in Lake Highlands Saturday night around 10:30 o'clock p.m.  The driver of a large white vehicle hit-and ran.

East Fort Worth

A woman was in a car accident and was lying in State Highway 121 in east Fort Worth Saturday when several vehicles ran over her and kept driving.

South Dallas

A man and woman on a motorcycle were involved in a collision on Interstate 45, then tumbled down an embankment. He died in a hospital and the passenger is reported as being in a critical condition.  The other vehicle left the scene.

West Fort Worth

A 19-year-old man lost his life in the 7200 block of Camp Bowie Boulevard when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a metal pole early Friday morning. It is not clear if other vehicles were involved.

Kaufman County

go-kart packed with six kids ranging from age 7 to 12 was hit by a Sports Utility Vehicle at an intersection, causing two of the children to lose their lives. Four other children were seriously injured. The photograph above was posted by the local fire department. It is not clear why the go-kart was driving on a road, why so many kids were on it, or how the collision happened. These stories are devastating. We wish to extend our condolences and prayers to the families of the deceased and the injured.

What is a wrongful death claim?

Texas law defines a wrongful death as one that results from the "wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default" of another. It is a civil (not criminal) action that can arise after a vehicle collision. The sudden end of a person's life is often the worst experience their spouse and family can go through. There is no sum of money or punishment that can lessen the pain. The civil justice system allows the survivors to file a lawsuit or make an insurance claim to recoup their damages. However there are many legal, financial, medical, religious, and emotional issues that need to be dealt with.

Damages that are available

Texas law allows certain family members and heirs to recover damages they or the decedent incurred. They include the following:
  • Physical pain and emotional distress;
  • Medical and funeral bills;
  • Loss of wages and job benefits;
  • Loss of support, love, maintenance, society, and advice; and
  • Loss of inheritance

Amount of money that can be paid

Usually the at-fault driver has purchased the standard liability insurance policy which caps the payment to one person at $30,000.00. In a clear liability case, the at-fault driver's company will extend that amount and the services of a car accident lawyer are not needed. We have provided our services on a pro bono (at no charge) basis to help families with questions in this situation. Sometimes there are legal issues including the
  • involvement of other drivers,
  • liability of employers if they were on the job,
  • existence of other insurance policies or assets, and
  • payment of hospital, health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and other liens.
If a commercial truck driver caused the wrongful death, this case is much more complicated and a personal injury attorney is required. The insurance policy and assets of the company and all participants need to be verified and all damages provided by Texas and federal law need to be obtained.

Why do we have so many wrongful death collisions here?

Texas is always ranked as one of the most dangerous places to drive. We have the number one ranking for fatalities on our highways. Texas just passed a gruesome milestone last week. Every day for the last 20 years, there has been at least one traffic fatality on our roads. And six Texas cities rank in the top 13 in the U.S. for the most traffic fatalities. The list is headed by Dallas.

We can help you

Berenson Injury Law has represented families in wrongful death cases for over 40 years. If you have any questions, call us at 817-885-8000 (toll-free at 1-885-801-8585) or click on this link to chat with us. Related posts: Texas car accident deaths hit new record Latest hit-and-run in DFW heartbreaking
Contact Information