Burleson tragedy is the latest in a surge of fatal hit-and-runs
A 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.
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.
There are many others. Of course there will be since there are so many motor vehicle collisions in our area. Just here in Fort Worth there were about 15,500 crashes in 2018.
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.
And these miscreants know they are at fault but are not the type to admit responsibility, let alone care if they have caused someone to be injured.
Texas Law Regarding Hit-and-Run Crashes
The 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 you
We 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.