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Three fatal crashes in one day is insane

Texas may be fully open for business but there are less vehicles on the roads thanks to remote working, shopping, and schooling. So you would hope that at least the number of car accidents would have decreased. But looking at how many fatal crashes happened in the Fort Worth area just on Friday, it is apparent that our local highways are as dangerous as ever. This is what happened in those eight hours:

1.  In Far North Fort Worth

A tractor-trailer, flatbed truck and pickup were involved in a crash about 10:00 a.m. on Highway 114 at an intersection near the Texas Motor Speedway in Justin. Apparently a woman driving the flatbed truck died. Other people were injured, two of them seriously.

2. In Arlington

A man who was driving while intoxicated took the life of a 21-year-old woman around 2:30 a.m on Interstate 20. Her car collided into an 18-wheeler that had jack-knifed and blocked all lanes of traffic after it was crashed into by the drunk man. The young woman was a college student, worked, and was loved by many. And shockingly, this was the third child that her parents had lost in a DWI collision, adding to the heart break.

3. Near Decatur

Also about 2:30 a.m., the 47-year-old assistant basketball coach at the University of North Texas died after his car hit a culvert in on U.S. 380. His vehicle flipped over and traveled through a fence. Other details were not reported. His team had finished its first NCAA tournament in the history of the school just several weeks before. These stories are devastating. Any one wrongful death from a car crash or due to any other reason is heart-breaking. There are so many ways someone can get hurt out on the roads. We send our condolences and prayers to their families and everyone impacted by these tragedies.

The pandemic caused people to drive less last year. Roads were almost empty for months due to lockdowns, virtual work and school, and home deliveries. So a new report showing that 2020 was one of the worst years for fatal car accidents came as a shock to safety officials.

All time high for fatal car accidents

According to the National Safety Council
  • Over 42,000 Americans lost their lives in car accidents in 2020 -- a huge increase over the year before and the highest total in 13 years;
  • A shocking 5,000,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes last year;
  • For the first half of 2020, while the number of miles dropped by 17%, the number of fatal car accidents increased by 20%;
  • Collisions are now the leading cause of death for our children and young people from ages 1-25; and
  • The cost to our country is an astonishing one-half trillion dollars a year.
  • Almost 4,000 Texans perished in a vehicle crash, the highest total in years. Year after year, Texas has the highest number of fatal car accidents in the United States.
This is crazy. How could this possibly have happened?

Two women and their three children were driving on Loop 820 when they were rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. But the driver's insurance company initially refused to pay them for their medical treatment and other damages. The women hired us so they could be fairly compensated after their Fort Worth tractor-trailer crash. We went to work immediately and
  • conducted an investigation of the scene
  • researched the driver and his company
  • put them on notice and demanded that all evidence be preserved

Alfredo's story Berenson Injury Law has successfully resolved a case for an 18-wheeler driver who was side-swiped by another tractor-trailer driver. This happened three years ago in Fort Worth early on Halloween morning. The vehicles bumped where the lanes slowed and merged on Interstate 35 just north of downtown in the construction area (back then). Alfredo’s cab and trailer (which are pictured in the distance) and the other driver’s big rig (in the foreground) showed minor physical damage. But Alfredo felt some back stiffness and pain and was taken to a hospital. He was diagnosed with a strain/sprain of his neck and back, which usually happens after a truck or car wreck. He was jerked around by the other driver’s insurance company, which is also typical unless someone has hired a good personal injury lawyer. The adjuster said that he could not possibly have been injured sitting up so high in such a huge vehicle in such a low-speed, minor impact. Further, she learned that he had a prior injury to his back that she argued was the real cause of his injury and  refused to offer him any money. Alfredo wisely contacted our office and we went to work on this difficult case. How we won We investigated the scene and got the photographs and evidence we needed to prove liability. At the same time, we arranged the medical treatment Alfredo needed. Unfortunately, chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, and medications didn’t resolve his pain. Epidural steroid injections didn’t work either. We filed a lawsuit. And we had Alfredo examined by a neurosurgeon who ordered a magnetic resonance image and then a myelogram and a computed tomography. They showed that our client had herniated a disc. We guaranteed payment for this medical treatment since our client did not have health insurance. The doctor told Alfredo that surgery was necessary which was performed. We had already filed our client's Personal Injury Protection and given him all of the money (no attorney's fee was charged). We also loaned him more funds without charging any interest since he was not able to work. We were finally able to convince the other driver’s insurance company and its attorneys  to pay a large sum of money. Then we made his insurance company pay more money from his underinsured motorists benefits, which again was not an easy task. His company argued that he had already been well compensated from the at-fault driver's company and that no further proceeds would be paid. We threatened to sue them for insurance bad faith and they relented. The total we collected was $375,000.00. We then slashed Alfredo's medical bills and reduced his legal fee to save him almost $100,000.00. As a result, he received $188,000.00, which was an excellent outcome. Often in cases like these, with large medical and legal fees, a person receives little money after a crash. Our client's review Alfredo was thrilled with our work. He very nicely wrote this five-star review: "I would highly recommend Mr. Berenson to anyone seeking legal representation that is fair, honest and will keep your best interest and unique needs at the forefront. Should the situation arise, I would not hesitate to seek representation from Mr. Berenson and his staff again.  Mr. Berenson helped me settle my case making me a lot more money than expected, and for that my family and I are very grateful." Thank you Alfredo! We can help you We work hard for every client, from families with wrongful death cases to those with smaller injuries. We believe that this case is an example of the work that we do. We are proud to have received hundreds of other reviews like this one. That is because we are blessed to have several thousand clients over the past 40 years. Here are some posts about their cases and the money we obtained for them. (And we don't have a marketing department or stop to report our victories or there would be many more.) Bill Berenson is one of the top personal injury lawyers in Fort Worth. This is his 40th year practicing law, with 38 of them in the WestBend Tower near I-30 and University Drive. He is also an Eagle Scout and former Sunday School teacher. Mr Berenson specializes in car and truck wrecks, not in medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, premises liability, or other personal injury cases. There are so many bad drivers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that we don't have time to handle other types of claims! Please contact our office if you have unfortunately been involved in a truck or car crash. We will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.

To help those people who are researching a Fort Worth injury lawyer, we wanted to share these five new reviews our clients wrote on Google and Facebook -- just in the last 24 hours! Shantevia  ***** Mr. B and his team were amazing from the very beginning until the end. They kept me updated on everything, even when I felt like giving up. I am truly thankful and happy with the results. Mr. B and his team deserve 100 stars!! Thank you for everything! Pedro ***** Was highly recommended by Michael. Was a blessing all the staff Shannon and Bill are awesome. Very detailed and helpful thru the process. Will def use them again if I ever need their services. I highly recommend their office. Alfredo ***** Great attorney! Mr. Berenson and his wonderful staff have worked very hard for me.  Mr. Berenson always found the time to call me to update me on my case or just to make sure I'm doing ok. It has been an awesome experience having Mr. Berenson represent me. Very professional, honest and kind. Clarissa ***** My first time being in an accident I didn't have no idea what I was doing and the route to take but when the first time I talked to Mr Berenson I know I made the right choice of choosing him on representing me and my son’s auto accident case. Mr. Berenson and Shannon are amazing dedicated very helpful individuals and I would highly recommend them because I promise you they will definitely get the job done 😊😊😊 I want to say thanks so much for everything you have done and still doing, it really means a lot to me and my son 😊😊😊 Salvador  ***** I have never been in an accident. I do not wish it to anyone. Thank God I found Berenson injury law. Very good legal representation. (translated from Spanish)

We can help you

Mr. Berenson is celebrating his 40th year as a Fort Worth injury lawyer and plans on making this a banner year. His law firm is proud to have hundreds of other reviews like these on Google and other sites. We appreciate our wonderful clients taking the time to write these reviews and allowing us the privilege of representing them. 2020 is off to a great start for Berenson Injury Law! We have been working harder than ever to fight for our clients and get them the compensation they deserve. We have settled multiple claims, are developing several cases for upcoming trials, and filed a lawsuit yesterday on behalf of the widow and children of a man who died after he was hit by a drunk driver in Fort Worth. We sincerely hope that you have not been hurt in a car, truck, or 18-wheeler wreck or hit while you were riding your motorcycle or bicycle, or just while you were out walking. But if unfortunately you have been crashed into, please contact us.  

It was a typical Thursday two weeks ago when a horrific crash on I-40 in New Mexico reminded drivers across the country the very real dangers from commercial truck accidents. In a disaster scene straight out of Hollywood, a tractor-trailer swerved over the median and crashed into a Greyhound bus head-on. Eight people tragically died and more than two dozen, including three children, were rushed to area hospitals with serious injuries. How could such a disaster happen? News reports reveal that the truck lost the tread on a tire. The truck driver's and his California company's inspection and maintenance of the truck are being scrutinized. The front tires have been sent to the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, D.C. to be examined. Two lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the victims and their families to learn more about what caused this avoidable crash -- and hopefully prevent future ones. Our law firm has represented injured people in many 18-wheeler wreck cases. We stay on top of the latest developments and discuss important topics like liability, defenses, the calculation of damages, and trials in a separate blog.

Commercial Truck Accident Statistics: How Many Accidents Are Caused by Semi-Trucks?

This crash received a lot of media coverage, serving as a wake-up call to drivers who think commercial truck accidents won’t impact them. The reality is that there are hundreds of thousands of commercial trucks on our roads across the country every day. A number of laws are designed to make the trucks and drivers safe. The problem is that failures to follow basic safety practices often go undetected until a wreck occurs. When it does, the truck driver or the company that owns the truck may be guilty of negligence and even gross negligence. Large trucks travel at high speeds on our interstates, bringing all kinds of goods from suppliers and manufacturers to the retailers who sell the goods. Their drivers provide an essential service that we need. But efforts to make it safer to have them on our roads have fallen short. The chances of a truck crash happening increase every year. In 2016 the number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses was 125,000, a shocking 20% increase from the previous year. A shocking 180,000 people were injured in those crashes and 762 people were killed. These numbers increased substantially from 138,000 and 714 the year prior. All types of vehicles are involved in crashes each day. The reason those involving commercial trucks are so severe is the difference between the weight of the truck and that of the passenger car. The driver of a car never knows when something will go wrong and cause a semi-trailer to put his or her life in danger.

Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

Large trucks are involved in a disproportionate number of accidents for many reasons. Regardless of the cause, the end results can be devastating. When they strike a smaller vehicle, motorcycle, or pedestrian, 18-wheelers and other large trucks often cause severe injuries and death. But why do these accidents happen in the first place? Some of the most common causes include the following easily avoidable what failures. --- Driver Fatigue The laws have been changed to limit the number of hours a driver is behind the wheel without a break or sleep. In the past, drivers were not limited in the number of hours they could drive consecutively, leading to many cases of driver fatigue. Some drivers were under pressure to deliver their loads within an allotted time. Others received incentive pay, encouraging them to cover more miles of road than they can comfortably. In spite of the laws today, some drivers and driving companies don’t follow the rules. Electronic recording of hours of service will hopefully stop drivers who kept two sets of books before. - -- Improper Maintenance One of the concerns in the semi-truck and Greyhound bus accident is that the tires on the truck weren’t properly maintained. Federal law also dictates what that condition should be. All commercial trucks must meet strict federal regulations and receive periodic maintenance. Vehicles not in compliance are pulled from service. Every business, from the mega-billion ones like Federal Express down to the owner-operator of one big rig, must inspect the vehicle before putting it on the road. This covers everything from the brakes, tires, engine, lights, turn signals, fuel systems, frame, hitches, cargo retention, and other equipment and parts. Everything that could potentially cause a truck accident has to be inspected. Further, the company must keep those inspection records for one year, which is often how evidence of negligent inspection and maintenance is uncovered. One of the first things a personal injury attorney does is to write a letter demanding that all records be preserved and produced.

--- Distracted Driving

Most of us think of distracted driving as teens using their cell phones to text or talk while they drive. While they abuse this privilege, distracted driving has also become a serious issue for commercial truck drivers. It isn’t just using a cell phone that leads to accidents. Truck drivers can become distracted while adjusting the settings on their radio, using the GPS system, eating or drinking, or anything else that causes them to take their eyes off the road. Truck drivers are prohibited from cell phone use while driving. Even if they follow this rule, there are plenty of other distractions that can lead to accident

--- Poor Driving

Mistakes by the commercial driver cause crashes ten times more often than any other factor. Whether speeding, making performance errors and poor decisions, or failing to recognize obvious road hazards, drivers can crash their 80,000 pound plus tractor-trailers into much smaller vehicles and create deadly havoc. They also drive when they are not medically able to, like when they suffer from heart conditions, or other times fall asleep at the wheel.

--- Lack of Driving Experience Coupled With Inadequate Training

You’ve probably seen the advertisements on billboards, in the classifieds, and even on the backs of semi-trucks by trucking companies looking to hire drivers. When a company needs more drivers to keep their business growing, they might take the fastest approach to get more drivers on the road. Sometimes the truck driving company pays for good candidates to take a course. As soon as they complete it, they put them behind the wheel of a truck. Since not all commercial trucks are the same, they aren’t prepared to drive the truck they are given. The same is true for drivers sent to unfamiliar areas. They simply aren’t prepared to handle situations that they are not familiar with. The trucking company might be trying to save money by hiring drivers with little or no experience. Everyone ends up paying when their inexperience ends up causing commercial truck accidents.

--- Improper and/or Over Loading

Commercial trucks have weight limits and guides to follow for loading to freight. When they aren’t followed, they may not distribute the weight evenly throughout the truck. This can affect the driver’s ability to handle the truck and may cause it to jack-knife.

Stay Out of a Commercial Truck’s Blind Spots

Truck drivers rely heavily on their mirrors to see traffic around them. Trucks are so large that there are always some areas where they can’t see. When other drivers are in the trucks' blind spots they are at a greater risk of having a collision with the truck. Drivers need to be aware of these areas to reduce the risk of getting struck. Blind spots include
  • The area immediately in front of the truck cab
  • The area directly below and behind the driver’s side window
  • The right side of the cab
  • The passenger side of the trailer
  • Directly behind the trailer
Drivers should never tailgate a semi-truck. The truck blocks the view of the traffic and any road hazards in front of them. If the truck should have to stop suddenly, they could crash into the back. Although the greatest damage usually comes from a truck crashing into a smaller, lighter car, crashing into the truck can also cause damage and injuries. Many crashes have happened when cars or motorcycles hit a commercial truck and slid underneath the trailer. Those signs sometimes seen on trucks which read, “If you can’t see me in my mirror, I can’t see you” can help drivers be aware of the truck’s blind spots. If you can’t see the truck driver, assume that he doesn’t see you either. Although drivers can take precautions to help prevent blind spot accidents, truck drivers are required by law to avoid any potential risk to other people’s safety. If a truck driver causes another person’s injuries because he failed to use care when slowing down, changing lanes, or turning, they can sue the truck driver for negligence. Depending on the circumstances, the trucking company that hired the driver might also be sued for negligence.

Steps to Take if You Are Involved in a Commercial Truck Accident

Commercial truck accidents are frightening and, sometimes traumatic. It’s easy to become confused and unsure of what to do. But what you do and don’t do will make a difference in how quickly you recover from your injuries and the amount of compensation. This is not the time to play judge and jury and determine who is at fault. It is the time to secure evidence and start building your case.
  1. Get Medical Treatment

You may not feel any pain or think you have any injuries. Sometimes it takes hours for injuries to become evident. Sometimes it takes days or longer. Get checked out and make sure you get any treatment you need. It’s important for your health and for your personal injury claim.
  1. Do Not Leave the Scene

It’s against the law to leave the scene of an accident. No matter how minor the damages may seem, call 911 and wait for the first responders to arrive. Find out if anyone else has injuries and get the names and contact information of any witnesses. They may decide to leave once they realize help is on the way. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the damages to all vehicles and to your injuries. Take photos of the truck, license numbers, and any information that is pertinent to your case.
  1. Move to a Safe Location

Staying in an area where there is a lot of traffic can end up causing another accident. If needed, move off the side of the road without getting too far away from the scene of the accident. Ask the truck driver for flares or cones to set up to warn other drivers.
  1. Request a Copy of the Officer's Accident Report

The responding officer will make a report of the accident. It will go to your insurance company and to your personal injury attorney. The accident report is valuable evidence for your claim. Additionally, you need to have the name of the truck driver, his contact information, license number, the US Dept of Transportation serial number, the name and contact information for the trucking company the driver works for, and their insurance company.
  1. Follow-Up with Your Medical Treatment

Your medical records are an important part of your personal injury case. Make sure you go to any follow-up appointments. Take any prescribed medications and observe any limitations the doctor gives you. The truck driver’s insurance provider will probably be watching to make sure your injury claims are real.
  1. Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

A truck accident attorney knows the federal laws related to commercial truck use on the highways. The factor that determines whether you qualify to get compensation is whose negligence caused the accident to occur. It doesn’t cost anything to have your case evaluated. Get expert advice and get the best outcome possible for your case.

Commercial Truck Accidents in Texas

Truck accidents can occur anywhere at any time. Still, it seems like Texas has more than its fair share of accidents. Dallas-Fort Worth is especially dangerous for drivers, with 80,000 car and truck wrecks reported annually in Dallas and Tarrant Counties alone. Texas is not only one of the top 10 states for trucking accidents; it also makes the list for having a disproportionate number of fatalities. It’s a very real problem that can affect any driver without provocation. Busy highways and rush hour traffic are some of the factors that come into play. Eliminating some of the common causes of commercial truck accidents will help reduce the overall number of injuries and fatalities that occur each year in the state.

Driver vs. Company Liability

If a commercial truck accident results in serious injuries, it may be the driver, the truck driving company, or both who are liable for your damages and injuries. Both parties are responsible for following laws and implementing regulations every time a truck enters the highway. Sometimes the employer is held responsible for the acts of the truck driver. If the trucking company owns the truck and the driver works as their employee, they are responsible for the driver’s actions. It is up to the company to hire qualified, well-trained drivers to operate their trucks. The laws may differ if the driver owns his truck and works as an independent contractor. If the driver works on a per job or per mile basis, he may be held liable for all the damages in an accident he caused. Your truck accident attorney will advise you on who is responsible for damages in your case. If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, contact Berenson Injury Law for a free consultation. We've been handling 18-wheeler cases for almost 40 years and will help get you the compensation you deserve.
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