“Joe” was driving home from work last July when an SUV rear-ended his pickup truck at a high rate of speed. That driver was intoxicated. Joe was taken to a hospital, x-rayed, and diagnosed with a strain/sprain. Joe was angry and wanted to explore his legal options. He hired us and we went to work.
We learned that the driver’s blood alcohol content was shockingly high .28%. That is three and one-half times the legal limit for driving while intoxicated. Joe’s left shoulder had been causing him a lot of pain. But he had no health insurance or way to pay for a doctor. Joe’s problem was a common one for people who have been in a car accident. Many people don’t have health insurance or if they do, their plan refuses to pay their bills by claiming that:
- the health insurance plan is secondary to the at-fault driver’s liability insurance company or other entity,
- the ambulance, hospital, or doctor was out of network, the service was not necessary, or it was too expensive, or
- vehicle crashes are somehow exempt from reimbursement.
How do you win your case? Car accidents can be overwhelming. If you have been injured in a car accident and believe that someone else is at fault, you naturally feel that you are entitled to recover compensation for your damages. Screaming at her or him is not going to help you. Proving liability is the key, as the at-fault driver often denies responsibility and their insurance carrier refuses to make any payments.
Street racing has been deadly in North Texas
EDITED: Last night after street racing had closed a Duncanville intersection, a 54-year-old woman who was walking was fatally struck by a bullet.Last month, a Frisco couple tragically lost their lives after two 19-year-olds who were street racing crashed into their vehicle. They were shockingly driving over 100 mph on a a road with a 40 mph limit just after lunch. This doesn't seem possible but the horrific crash was not an isolated example. Other street races have resulted in the deaths of innocent drivers, notably a wonderful couple named Ben and Meg Arbour who tragically lost their lives in November in Fort Worth. In Dallas over one weekend in February, 181 traffic citations were issued and 33 people were arrested for street racing. And in the last one and a half years, DFW police have received over 2,500 reports of street racing.
Speeding drivers are common on our roadsRoutine speeding causes two-thirds of collisions in Texas. We all think nothing about it when someone blows by us on the interstate going 80 or 90 mph. And we are pushed out of the left lane if we are not doing at least 15 to 20 miles over the limit. And we sure don't ever expect to get crashed into in a high-speed collision with a wannabe street racer. There is probably a 100% chance that another driver is going to be speeding by or towards us when you set out in your vehicle. We need to be hyper alert and ready. And we have to crack down on street racing and speeding before they kill or injure other people.
Less Street Racing Due to New Fort Worth Law?Here's a good start: due to the public pressure after the Arbours' tragedy, the Fort Worth City Council passed a law this week that makes it illegal to watch street races. People will be fined up to $500 when they do. Street racing is against state law. Charges range from a Class B misdemeanor to a second degree felony under the Texas Transportation Code. Incarceration up to 20 years is a possibility. But it is perfectly legal in Texas to gather to watch these reckless drivers. So large crowds gather to cheer for and place bets on these miscreants who turn our streets into drag strips and shut down intersections to do donuts. The state should have outlawed these street parties many years ago. Police officials say they will use video and social media posts to track down the spectators. Fort Worth's crackdown will help curtail the glamour of street racing. Hopefully all other Texas cities -- and our Texas Legislature meeting in Austin -- will follow.
Speeding has increased across the U.S.Exceeding the speed limit is such a national problem that even the business publication The Wall Street Journal just wrote a long article about it. The publication quotes safety officials from across the country who decry the number of injuries and deaths caused by speeding. According to the National Safety Council, 42,000 Americans died last year in vehicle wrecks, a substantial 8% rise over the year before, especially considering the lock-down. And the busy summer driving season when families can be packed into their vehicles is around the corner. What's the big rush? Drivers who mash the gas pedal down risk their lives and of course, those of their passengers and other drivers. Often they are driving while intoxicated, driving huge pickup trucks, young, male, texting, or all of the above.
How to prove speedingIn a civil lawsuit for damages, which is the area of law that Berenson Injury Law specializes in, proof that a driver has violated the statute constitutes negligence per se or automatic liability. Reckless driving is a serious civil offense. This leads to a prima facie case that the speeding driver must pay for your damages. The first thing that a personal injury lawyer will do is prove that the other driver was speeding. He or she will go to the Texas Transportation Code, Section 545.351, that contains the law about exceeding the maximum speed requirement. They will obtain the police report, speak to the officer and eyewitnesses, take photographs and measurements of skid marks, yaw marks, gouges in the pavement, and crush damages. They will try to locate video cameras which may have recorded the collision. They will possibly download the black box and use accident reconstruction experts, depending on the case. The other driver and their insurance company often denies they were speeding, so immediate investigation and proof is critical. The car accident lawyer will prove facts that entitle their client to win on liability. That happens when they show the other driver breached their duty to drive safely, here driving under the speed limit, and possibly other duties including the failure to yield the right of way, pass safely, keep a proper lookout, not text while driving, etc. The attorney will also help his client obtain compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, and other damages.
Contact Berenson Injury Law if you have any questionsSpeeding causes way too many car wrecks in North Texas, and street racing causes even more. The higher the speed, the more likely injuries and even deaths will occur. Berenson Injury Law has specialized in car and truck crashes for nearly 40 years. Our goal is to help every client get the maximum compensation, then cut down their outstanding medical bills and claims for reimbursements from hospitals, health insurance companies and government agencies which may have liens on the proceeds.
If you have been injured in a speeding or any other vehicle crash, please contact us at 888-801-8585 or chat with us.The first consultation is free and we only get paid when you do so there is no risk.
After the horrific February 11th chain reaction that took the lives of six people and injured scores of others, it was announced that a federal agency would investigate. Well, that was the least that could happen. We need to find out what caused Fort Worth's deadly crash and how another tragedy like this can be avoided. However, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that the National Transportation Safety Board will only look into whether the toll lanes had been deiced before the historic storm shut down Texas for a week - if it makes a report at all. Critics say a complete investigation and remedial action is needed. We wholeheartedly agree. This was the worst massive collision in our city's history. It could have and should have been prevented.
How Fort Worth's deadly crash scene unfoldedEarly that morning, freezing rain began falling. This added to the already iced over roads. It was dark outside. Motorists driving down a hill on Interstate 35 between 28th Street and Northside Drive had no time to react to cars and trucks that had wrecked ahead of them. They slammed on their brakes but were unable to stop, causing a whopping 133 vehicles to collide into each other. There are no shoulders on the toll lanes on the toll lanes. But they would not have been of much use with cars and trucks driving 75+ miles an hour on treacherous roads. This bad weather was predicted. We warned drivers days before to stay off the roads and gave winter driving tests since we rarely, if ever, see them. But the toll lanes remained open for business as usual, as if nothing bad could happen. There were no warning signs, barriers, lane closures, or police to reduce or slow down traffic. After the tragedy, we asked
- why the toll roads with the 75-mile-per-hour speed limits were open in the first place, and
- whether the poor design of the toll roads made this pile-up inevitable.
What will happen nextIt is not clear what will come out of the federal investigation, if anything. Usually, NTSB defers to state and other agencies and does not get involved in vehicle crashes. Further, it did not send out its own crash team as it should have done. Who will investigate and who (if anyone) will be blamed? The Texas Department of Transportation is not going to fault the North Tarrant Express Mobility Partners which owns and operates the toll lanes. That private company gets to keep all of the tolls collected for 52 years in exchange for funding and building them. It allows as many drivers as possible to make more money -- even during a crippling ice storm. TxDOT is obviously not going to held liable since it was not in charge of the toll lanes and enjoys sovereign immunity from prosecution in most cases. We may have to wait until the verdicts in the lawsuits that have and will be filed to learn what really happened. The first one was filed in South Texas against six of the 18-wheeler drivers and their companies, not against Mobility Partners. That business has denied that it is at fault for causing Fort Worth's deadly crash because it applied deicing brine on Tuesday night. This disaster happened Thursday morning. Any report that blames road crews sweeps the real blame under the rug.
Is 75 mph a safe speed?Further, the state legislature passed a law that set 75 miles per hour as the default speed limit unless a slower (or faster) limit was prescribed. However the test that determined that 75 mph was safe was conducted in perfect conditions when the weather was good and traffic was light. And we know that many drivers speed, so they may have been exceeding that limit that morning. NTSB has the power to recommend that Congress or a federal agency make or revise laws based on what its investigation reveals.
The lethal combination of higher speed limits and poor road designTo hold down the cost of the $1.4 billion reconstruction of I-35 West, shoulders and break-down lanes were eliminated. Speeds limits were increased to encourage drivers to pay large tolls to use them. The vice president of government affairs at the National Safety Council, Jane Terry, was furious about what happened here. "We need people to become outraged over this because we need to do better," she said. You have to wonder if speed limits are safe to begin with. A national group called the Governors Highway Safety Association has urged the federal government to reduce speed limits to save lives. Its director called on Congress to curtail drivers who go to fast: "Let's treat speeding the same way we treat seat belt use and drunk driving." The Biden administration is proposing that billions of dollars be added to the federal highway construction program. This is the perfect time to look into how our roads can be safer. You can bet that the speed limits on the toll lanes are not going to decrease or that the expressway will be closed down the next time we have deadly weather like we did last month. And it is a given that the roads will not be redesigned to allow more room to avoid crashes. But they should. Berenson Injury Law has successfully represented thousands of motorists over the past 40 years. We only handle car, truck, 18-wheeler, motorcycle, and pedestrian injury and death claims. We also advocate to make our roads safer so that crashes don't happen in the first place. Please contact us if you need any help with a crash that you have been involved with. Star Telegram article: Will NTSB expand its probe into deadly I35W pileup?
Here's another thing out of control: Texas car accident deathsWe reached a sad new milestone yesterday: one or more Texas car accident deaths have happened every day for the past 20 years. During that time, over 70,000 innocent lives have been taken due to fatal collisions. That would almost fill up the AT&T Stadium for a Cowboys game last year. We are #1 in the country in this dismal statistic, even though California has 10 million more people. The head of the Texas Transportation Commission said that 90% of Texas car accident deaths were preventable. But she noted that we were "numb" to the carnage and took it for granted. That should not be happening. To combat this problem, the Texas Department of Transportation has started a campaign to #EndTheStreakTx. It has encouraged a grassroots movement to stop or at least curb the number of Texas car accident deaths. If you don't think this is a serious issue, consider what just happened here.
Seven Die in Fort Worth car wrecks -- just on Friday morningTraffic on our North Texas roads is back to normal, so bad drivers have returned with a vengeance. Here we all are, stuck in the middle of a grim pandemic with a lot of people still unemployed and staying home. But some can't even obey basic traffic laws designed to keep us all safe. Friday morning was an especially deadly time to be driving. There were four separate Fort Worth speeding accidents over a three hour period that killed seven people. That is shocking. We wanted to focus on one of these crashes that was especially devastating. Meg and Ben Arbour, who were both 39, were almost back to their home in far south Fort Worth when two cars racing on West Risinger Road near Hulen crashed into them. One of the racers then hit a wall and flipped over. The Arbours and that driver, who was 19, died at the scene. The Arbours were a wonderful couple. Graduates of Texas A&M University, they were very involved with their church and Christian causes. Ben held a Ph.D. degree from the University of Bristol in England, worked at Sewell Lexus, and was a professor of philosophy at Weatherford College. And to make this story even more heart-breaking, they were the parents of four beautiful children who range in age from 10 to 16. We extend our sincere condolences to their children and family. May God bless, comfort and sustain you. We made a donation to their GoFundMe account and ask others to consider doing so. The hit-and-run driver is at large. Hit-and-runs are another big problem here in North Texas that must be stopped by criminal and civil means. We support the Fort Worth Police Department's effort to to find this killer and file vehicular manslaughter charges immediately. Anyone who has knowledge of his identity should call them at 817-393-4885. Further, area residents have started an online petition to stop street racing on Risinger Road. They demand more four-way stops, stop lights, flashing lights, lit pedestrian crossings, speed bumps, and police patrols. Please sign and share it. We call on the city to make these necessary changes so that we don't have any more street-racing crashes there -- or anywhere else.
Speeding is a huge problem on Texas roadsThe two top causes of Texas car accident deaths involve speeding. Our state suffered almost 48,000 vehicle wrecks caused by speeding in 2019. That's 130 a day. READ: Car crash epidemic has to be stopped It is obvious that the faster a vehicle is traveling, the greater the chance that it will cause serious injury or death. Due to their extreme force, speeding drivers cause up to 30% of all fatalities in Texas. And in the above tragedy, street racers often drive at speeds up to 100 miles an hour -- in residential zones with 35 to 40 mile per hour limits. And you see reckless drivers screaming by cars which are already doing 70 on our interstates. We have just been hired on a case where a man was passed by two street racing vehicles who must have been going over 100 miles and was in a major crash. While street racing is illegal, it is hard to stop. The criminal justice system attempts to do so by assessing long jail terms for second degree felonies and huge fines. The civil justice system, which is our side of the docket, also can exact a substantial punishment with substantial verdicts awarded. But we have way too many drivers who seem to think they are trying to win a race at the Texas Motor Speedway. By exceeding the speed limit, often while looking at their cell phone or being inebriated or high, they turn their vehicles into deadly weapons. The resulting collision is violent and almost guaranteed to lead to serious injuries or even deaths.
How a personal injury lawyer proves speeding to win your caseSpeeding is the number one cause of wrecks. Sometimes it is obvious or the at-fault driver admits he was going too fast. But at other times, it can be difficult to prove. Police officers rarely, if ever, personally witness a crash. When they arrive at the scene, hopefully they can determine that the other driver's negligence caused the collision and issue a citation. However, there is no law in Texas that prescribes speed limits. Instead, the Transportation Code merely discusses maximum speed requirements in Section 545.351. And subpart (b) weakly states the obvious: the operator shall control the speed of their vehicle as necessary to avoid a collision and to use due care. This allows a reckless driver a lot of wiggle room in court about whether their speed was reasonable. Here is a truck from a recent crash that killed one person and seriously injured our client and several others. We worked the case immediately - the two photos below are from the scene about 100 miles from Fort Worth - and obtained the full insurance company policy limit ($100,000 with our client netting $62,500). We are now going to file suit and attempt to get additional compensation.
Other ways to determine speedThe injury attorney and accident reconstruction expert, depending on the case, can use a combination of the following:
- interviews with drivers and eyewitnesses;
- photographs of the vehicles and analysis by an expert;
- photographs of the scene, including skid marks, yaw marks, and crash debris patterns;
- dash cam and area surveillance videos;
- downloads of the vehicle event data recorders;
- speed/reaction/stopping distance calculations; and
- aerial photography
Texas needs to increase law enforcement to save livesMost states have cracked down on speeders. We need to do more. Most other states heavily rely on points systems and quickly suspend and revoke driver's licenses for speeding offenses. We don't. Most other states have more police officers and cameras recording speed. We need more. According to a shocking study by Wallet Hub, these are the states and the District of Columbia ranked from strictest in law enforcement for reckless and speeding drivers (Delaware) to the least strict (care to guess?).
|Overall Rank (1=Strictest)||State||Overall Score||Reckless Penalties Rank||Speeding Enforcement Rank|
|T - 3||Arizona||17.00||7||2|
|T - 3||New Mexico||17.00||7||2|
|T - 8||Illinois||14.00||16||4|
|T - 8||Virginia||14.00||25||1|
|T - 8||Alabama||14.00||7||19|
|T - 8||Washington||14.00||12||8|
|T - 13||West Virginia||12.50||5||36|
|T - 13||Maryland||12.50||25||5|
|T - 17||Wyoming||11.00||11||32|
|T - 17||Vermont||11.00||12||29|
|T - 17||Georgia||11.00||25||17|
|T - 20||District Of Columbia||10.50||34||11|
|T - 20||New York||10.50||41||5|
|T - 20||Florida||10.50||34||11|
|T - 20||Rhode Island||10.50||25||19|
|T - 24||Hawaii||10.00||25||23|
|T - 24||Alaska||10.00||16||29|
|T - 24||Louisiana||10.00||40||11|
|T - 24||Maine||10.00||16||29|
|T - 29||Missouri||8.50||41||19|
|T - 29||Tennessee||8.50||41||19|
|T - 29||Pennsylvania||8.50||45||11|
|T - 29||South Dakota||8.50||16||40|
|T - 29||Utah||8.50||25||32|
|T - 34||Indiana||8.00||41||23|
|T - 34||Connecticut||8.00||25||36|
|T - 34||Minnesota||8.00||25||36|
|T - 34||Nevada||8.00||22||40|
|T - 34||North Dakota||8.00||22||40|
|T - 39||Massachusetts||7.00||34||36|
|T - 39||New Hampshire||7.00||16||49|
|T - 39||Michigan||7.00||16||49|
|T - 39||Wisconsin||7.00||45||23|
|T - 43||Kentucky||6.50||45||26|
|T - 43||Montana||6.50||33||45|
|T - 43||Ohio||6.50||45||26|
|T - 43||South Carolina||6.50||45||26|
|T - 47||Nebraska||6.00||34||45|
|T - 47||New Jersey||6.00||34||45|
|T - 49||Oklahoma||5.50||34||48|
|T - 49||Mississippi||5.50||45||32|
Most other states heavily fine speeders. We don't. The maximum ticket in Texas is about $300.00 but in Oregon, it is $6,250.00. Mr. Berenson related that he and his wife were traveling in Oregon years ago and were pulled over. The officer announced that the ticket was going to cost them $750.00. He nicely let them off with a warning. Fort Worth has a good aspirational goal, but we need solid results. Fort Worth adopts Vision Zero to reduce Fort Worth car crash deaths
The above measures would help reduce Texas car accident deaths. We wanted to publicize this urgent cause. One life lost is one too many.
Another great month for Berenson Injury LawWe have been fighting harder than ever during the pandemic to get our clients the money they deserve. We achieved many excellent results last month that we wanted to share since we are told by car or truck accident victims that they chose us after comparing our results and hundreds of five-star reviews.
16 successful outcomes in August$950,000 - the maximum remaining on a business's insurance policy - recovered for a retired couple whose truck was crashed into in Denton by a business's SUV. The woman had to have major cervical surgery and the man broke his leg. We filed a lawsuit and prepared for trial. Their medical bills were only $52,000 (the totals were greatly reduced by their Medicare plans) and legal fees and expenses were $376,000, resulting in a net recovery to our clients of $523,000. $130,000 - for the family of a man who tragically lost his life when his truck was hit by a drunk driver in Fort Worth. We filed suit and forced the driver's company to pay the maximum amount of $30,000 even though the drunk had been excluded from the insurance policy by his wife. Then we fought the couple's insurance company. We also worked closely with the family's probate lawyer and another attorney involved in the case. There were no medical bills. After legal fees and expenses to the three law firms, the estate recovered $88,015. $107,500 - for a woman whose truck was crashed into by a drunk driver in Houston. Medical bills were about $8,000. She netted the sum of $67,015. $60,500 - for a woman whose car was hit in an intersection in Fort Worth who received $17,289 after medical bills of $24,000, fees and expenses. $50,000 - for a woman hit by a truck owned by a hospital in Fort Worth who netted the sum of $30,317. $40,000 - for a teenager who was hit by a drunk driver northwest of Fort Worth. Her medical bills were approximately $5,000. She netted the sum of $24,020 after she just turned 18. $39,000 - for a mother and her adult son crashed into in Fort Worth who received $16,555 after their medical bills of $15,800, legal fees and expenses were paid; and $32,000 - for a woman in a collision in Fort Worth and $1,500 each for her two children, with medical bills for herself only of approximately $7,000, for a total net recovery of $18,820. In addition we fought for eight other individuals or families who fortunately only had minor injuries and successfully resolved their cases for lesser amounts.
How the payment of medical bills reduces the size of verdicts or settlementsNote that unless the at-fault vehicle is owned by a business with a substantial amount of liability insurance, say an 18-wheeler, almost ever individual driver in Texas only has the total of $30,000 available. This must pay for the medical bills, lost wages, and damages of another person. It is difficult, if not impossible, to force an individual to pay for damages out of his or her own pockets so the size of their insurance policy almost always dictates the size of the settlement or verdict recovery in Texas. If there are two or more injured people, there is usually only a total of $60,000 available. And making a tight-fisted insurance company or an unsympathetic jury pay a total of $30,000 or $60,000 is often difficult, especially without an aggressive injury lawyer fighting for you. Further, if the injured person has health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid which has paid down their medical bills or some/all have been written off, the jury or insurance company only has to pay them this lower amount. When you hear about huge settlements, they are always the result of a large business whose big truck or vehicle has seriously injured and possibly taken the life of someone, and often under grossly negligent or criminal circumstances, which is rare.
Why thousands of people have hired Berenson Injury LawMr. Berenson has been fighting to help the victims of car, truck, and 18-wheeler crashes for over 40 years. He fights to get as much money from the at-fault driver's insurance company. He then goes after his client's insurance company and any other sources of recovery. He also works hard to reduce his client's medical bills and expenses so he can put more money in their pockets. For more settlement information about how he fights for our clients, please visit these pages: this short form. We can go the distance or land that knock-out punch for you.
Car accident police report is essential for a personal injury claimIf you have been injured in a car or truck crash, Berenson Injury Law will get the Texas car accident police report for you at no charge or obligation. Call us at 817-885-8000 (toll-free at 1-885-801-8585) or fill out this contact form. The car accident police report is critical. How police report can make or break your case. It contains all of the necessary information which enables you to process your claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company or with the court to enable you to recover your vehicle damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages as fast as possible. Without an independent car accident police report that a police officer can testify about in a court of law, your chances of getting paid can be hampered. At your trial, it is often Exhibit A and the police officer who wrote it is your first witness. If he or she testifies in their police uniform that they investigated the crash, talked to all drivers and witnesses, and concluded that one person was at fault, the jury is going to believe them all or almost all of the time. But without a report, you won't know the name of the officer, and if you find out, he won't remember your crash from the 10 others he worked that day or night. Although they would remember the scene below, where our clients lost their husband and father in a horrific crash where a giant piece of highway construction equipment suddenly darted across an interstate highway. When we get the report, we will immediately call or email you to discuss it. We will explain what the report says, find out more information about your collision and injuries, and give you an honest opinion about what we can do to help you. We will discuss fees and expenses. We will answer all of your questions and explain how the legal/medical/insurance system works. You may be able to handle your claim yourself, especially if you and your passengers were fortunately not injured and are only needing to get your vehicle totaled or repaired. If this is the case, we will tell you what to do. Again, all of this is at no charge to you. So it's a win-win. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Why do you do this?We know that businesses - especially law firms - don't give things away for free. So you might be skeptical. But after someone has been injured in a vehicle collision, they often lose their vehicle and are feeling tremendous pain. And even if this were not happening, the red tape of pursing an insurance claim can be overwhelming. Many people don't know what to do. You really can't get a good result on your case. They system is stacked against you if you are not a personal injury attorney, the way the medical system can be incomprehensible to the average person. That keeps many folks from getting paid back for their vehicle damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages they sustain. We don't think that's fair. Mr. Berenson thinks that giving out free car accident police reports helps people here in North Texas and he is happy to do it. He likes to help out. Here are some of his recent community service projects. He never charges for his firm's internal expenses that can add up to hundreds of dollars. Things like couriers and Federal Express deliveries, certified mailings, mileage, copies, and travel. And of course police reports. He is all about making his clients as much money as he can and also saving them as much as possible, which makes them even more money. If you do not think you need a personal injury lawyer or want to handle your case yourself, we understand. There is absolutely no obligation to hire us. Information everyone in a wreck should know But of course we would like the opportunity to represent you and help out with what can become a nightmare if not handled correctly by a specialist.
How we get the police reportBerenson Injury Law primarily handles car, truck, 18-wheeler, motorcycle, and pedestrian crash cases. We represent injured people all over North Texas but also help those in other areas in our state and and occasionally in other states (although we prefer to refer them to local attorneys who can better serve them in other states). Bill Berenson has specialized in car and truck accidents for over 40 years. His law firm has adopted highly efficient processes that enable us to quickly obtain vital information that helps our clients recover from their injuries and get the largest financial settlements. We subscribe to several data bases so we can go online and get critical information that helps our clients instantly.
Can you get other legal documents that I will need?Yes of course. That's what we do. The police report is just the starting point. We also get the following documents and reports for our clients:
- 911 recordings
- Criminal histories, assets, and background checks on the other driver
- Texas Department of Transportation and Department of Public Safety records
- Tarrant County Medical Examiner's autopsies
- Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission reports (for DWI crashes)
- Tarrant County District Attorney documents
- Fort Worth Fire Department files
- Medstar and other ambulance reports
- National Transportation Safety Board reports
- National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports
- Commercial driver employment files
Why do you need a police report after you have been in a car accidentThe police report will have the following information:
- Date and time
- All drivers with identifying information including their insurance companies and policy numbers
- Speed limit
- Traffic control devices
- Intersection distance (if not at one)
- Property damage
- Tow trucks
- Alcohol/drug case
- Criminal charges
- Admissions of fault by other driver
We can help youIf you have been injured in a car, pickup truck/SUV, or an 18-wheeler collision, you owe it to yourself to talk to a top Fort Worth car wreck lawyer. Mr. Berenson has represented thousands of injured people for over 40 years. He is a board certified specialist in personal injury law and only handles vehicle crash cases -- not also medical malpractice, slip and falls, dangerous drugs, and other tort cases. And no, he does not get involved with divorces, criminal defense, wills, etc. Pro tip: Whoever you hire, make sure he or she is a specialist in the field. We charge the same fee as non-specialists. The first meeting (on the phone due to COVID-19 precautions) is free and we don't get paid until you get paid. Please contact us if we can help you.
Burleson tragedy is the latest in a surge of fatal hit-and-runsA driver hit a car on Monday night in Burleson, then fled the scene. The life of Tre Allison, a popular 16-year-old, was taken away. He was a top student at Burleson High School, a devout Christian, and found time to be start on its football, basketball, and track teams. Monday had been an exciting day for the Burleson football team. It was the first day that the quarantined players had been able to practice with their new football coach, the former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna. On Wednesday night, a huge crowd of over 1,000 people held an emotional candle light vigil at the football stadium to remember Tre. A man named Eric Padilla was caught and charged with vehicular manslaughter.
A Gofundme page has been set up. We made a donation and hope readers of this blog will do so as well.
We send our prayers and condolences to the Allison family.
Other recent hit-and-runs in our area
- On Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 in the afternoon, a man who was driving while intoxicated hit a woman walking on a sidewalk in Dallas. The drunk driver crashed into some trees then ran away. He was later caught.
- Last week, a pickup driver hit a woman in Fort Worth at the intersection of North Main Street and 14th Street and fled the scene. She is reported as being in critical condition. Please contact the Fort Worth Police Department if you know the owner or driver of a low-riding 2005 - 2007 dark grey Chevrolet Silverado. It will have front vehicle damage, cat eye headlights, and special edition Texas rims.
- Two weeks ago, a young woman who was working inside a hotel died after a reckless teenager crashed his stolen truck into the side of the building, then took off. He was apprehended.
- A 7-year-old boy was killed as he played in front of his house in Fort Worth in April.
Hit-and-runs can be a double disaster
In the typical car or truck crash, the at-fault driver's insurance company pays the victims' medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. This can be a contentious and stressful process, so the services of a good personal injury lawyer are needed. But when the liable driver takes off, what happens? It can be difficult, if not impossible, to locate them. Berenson Injury Law gets information from the victim and passengers, eyewitnesses, police officers, dash cam video, and traffic and business cameras to track down license plate and vehicle information. We use several proprietary data bases and other resources. We try to find the driver and force their insurance company to pay the maximum damages available or we file a lawsuit, and sometimes file suit immediately depending on the facts. If we cannot locate the driver, we pursue a claim with our client's uninsured motorists benefits. Many people have purchased this valuable coverage and do not remember buying it. We are sometimes able to get this money for our clients even when they did not buy this coverage. However one of the first things that we do when we are hired is to demand that our clients' liability insurance company produce the legally required rejection of coverage. If and when the company fails to do that, we demand payment for our clients. We just did this this week and made our clients a lot more money on their underinsured motorist policy after we had already obtained the maximum available of $30,000.00 from the at-fault driver's company for one and a good recovery for her daughter. The mother had already written this 5-star review on Google before we told her this new good news:
"The staff and Mr. Berenson were awesome! They actually worked my case quicker than expected and I received money from my accident. I appreciate Mr. Berenson's prompt response to any and all questions. Best lawyer experience I have ever had!"We also file on personal injury protection insurance policies and work with our clients' health insurance coverage. The at-fault driver's insurance company, contrary to popular opinion, does not pay for someone's ambulance, hospital, and doctor visits up-front. So we find good medical professionals and work with them. We also get their medical bills covered so our clients do not have to pay for these before a good settlement or jury verdict can be obtained.
Later, we reduce outstanding medical bills so our clients receive even more money.
What causes a driver to hit-and-run?We see a variety of reasons.
- Sometimes the driver is intoxicated.
- Other times they are unlicensed or have a suspended license.
- Or they have no insurance --or they do have insurance and don't want a claim being filed so their rates go up.
- Or they have previous crashes or criminal convictions.
- They may even have stolen the vehicle.
Texas Law Regarding Hit-and-Run CrashesThe law requires a driver to stop, provide identification, and render aid after being involved in a vehicle collision. That is also common courtesy - something our country sorely needs. If a driver flees and an injury or death occurs, he or she can be charged with a third degree felony if there is a serious injury or second degree felony if there is not. The punishment range for a third degree felony is two to ten years in a state penitentiary and can also include a $10,000.00 fine. Even if there is only property damage, the driver is required to stop and identify themselves to the driver or leave them a note if the vehicle is unoccupied. They can be arrested for a Class B misdemeanor if they do not and fined up to $500.00 and have to serve up to six months in a county jail.
We can help youWe certainly hope that you have not been in any type of automobile or truck wreck, but they are fairly common in Texas. There is no reason why we should have almost 600,000 collisions a year. Bill Berenson has aggressively represented thousands of victims of collisions over the past 40 years. He sees that car accidents happen every day across the state and knows that almost all could have easily been prevented. He wants to help change this terrible statistic: Texas has not had one day without someone dying on our highways for 20 years. His top-rated personal injury law firm wants to raise awareness of these sometimes catastrophic events so that drivers will be more careful and stop after causing a crash. Please contact us online or at 1-888-801-8585 if we can be of assistance or you have any questions.
More and more drivers across Texas are installing a dashboard mounted camera in their cars and trucks. Although most are using it to help them avoid crashes, we recommend that all drivers buy a dash cam because it can help you prevail in a disputed liability claim. We have a staggering 80,000 plus car wrecks each year in Dallas and Tarrant Counties, so there is a chance of this happening to any driver here in North Texas.
How can a dash cam help you in a lawsuit or claim?Video footage can win or lose a car crash trial. Watching the actual depiction of where the vehicles were, how fast they were going, and how they came to a stop will allow insurance company adjusters, attorneys, and juries determine which driver was at fault. Video evidence is convincing and usually impossible to refute. Cameras can record what happens in front, behind, and to the side. They will also capture conversations made after an accident and whether the other driver appeared intoxicated or violent. For the relatively small amount of about $200, evidence of how the wreck happened is preserved. On the other hand, eyewitnesses can have completely differing versions of what happened -- if they even actually saw the crash happen and can accurately remember it weeks or months later. Our personal injury law firm also try to find the footage from street cameras and area businesses which may have recorded the crash.
Which one should I buy?Here's a good article to show you the best one to buy. And here is one that was advertised on the internet for only $49.95 in a pop up ad today.
What are the advantages of a dash cam?There are many times the dash cam could be useful to you. What if your car is rear-ended when you are at a complete stop and the other driver tries to claim that you slammed on your brakes? This footage can be sent to his claims adjuster or used in a court proceeding. A jury is going to believe what it can see. So the video can prove that you were not speeding, were in your lane, yielded the right of way at an intersection, and did not rear-end the car in front of you first, allegations that can be made by the other driver. Dash cams can be forward or rear-facing and record automatically. They can also be set to work while the vehicle is parked which can help apprehend hit-and-run damage should you have parked the vehicle and left. They can save you the substantial expense of hiring an accident reconstruction expert to go to the scene, take involved measurements, go to the wrecking yards, analyze all vehicles, download black boxes, etc. Having footage also prevents you from getting ensnared in a fraudulent insurance claim and will keep your insurance rates from going up. It can reveal the license plate, make, model, and color of a vehicle, and even the driver's face, in a hit-and-run, which happen more than you might realize here in North Texas. The investigating police officer’s dash cam video can be priceless, especially if the person that hit you was driving while intoxicated. It can also preserve what independent eyewitnesses said after the collision, although you need to get identifying information since the statements are hearsay. We have seen our clients have their claims approved and cases won when we obtained their dash cam video. It is hard to believe that a dash cam is not standard equipment the way that a back-up camera is required for all new cars sold after May of 2018 and available for the past 10 years. A report conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board proved that dash cams reduce crashes and make drivers safer. That's why many commercial vehicle companies now require that dash cams are installed on their 18-wheelers and trucks.
Is using a dash cam legal in Texas?Yes, using one does not ordinarily invade another’s privacy rights, as Texas is considered a “one party consent state.” Since you are aware that the recording is being made, Texas law allows a recording if you are in public. The camera cannot obstruct your view of traffic.
Are there any disadvantages?Yes, if you are at fault, even partially, it will be proof of that as well. Or if you are seen dialing phone numbers, playing with the infotainment system, looking away while eating or drinking, listening to loud music, or yawning, an adjuster or attorney may argue that you were distracted or tired.
We can help youIf you have questions about a car or truck accident you were in, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Please contact Berenson Injury Law to schedule a free no obligation meeting by calling us toll-free at 1-885-801-8585 or by using our convenient form.
Steps You Should Take If You Are Hurt in an 18 Wheeler CrashYou may be looking for advice on how to proceed after a tractor-trailer hit you because you tried to deal with the company and got a low offer of settlement. Insurance companies know that many people will accept far less money than the fair settlement value or expected jury verdict amount. Maybe they've never made you an offer. But if you were injured in an 18 wheeler crash, your damages can be substantial. How do you know whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer and file a lawsuit or settle out of court? We at Berenson Injury Law know what to do. We've filed many vehicle collision lawsuits over the last 38 years. We filed another yesterday on behalf of a Fort Worth man who has had to go through two surgeries after a tractor-trailer crashed into his car and other vehicles, tragically killing a woman. Here's a photo from the scene on Interstate 35.
You might not think this could ever happen to you and we certainly hope it doesn't. But there are a shocking 34,000 collisions involving commercial vehicles that took the lives of 601 people and injured over 17,000 people in the United States. That's the number of people who watch a sold out concert or game at the American Airlines Center, to put the destruction in perspective.Commercial truck collisions are often difficult legal battles because they cause serious injuries. You need to hire a good personal injury attorney who can build a strong case and win your case in court or mediation.