FORMER TEXAS ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY. Among Other Accolades, Ward Maedgen Has Been Named In D Magazine’s – The Best Lawyers In Dallas multiple years.
Lawyer – Traffic collision, Nearby – Argyle
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for compensation through no-fault insurance. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. To learn more about your possible choices, contact our Dallas based law offices immediately for a free initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. If a case goes to litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. These teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. They do a great job.
This means, that regardless of how the outcome turns out, once you start talking to the other driver’s insurer, you will know you are working with people whose sole purpose is to reduce or keep claims to a minimum. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
Sometimes clients learn this the hard way. We’ve seen clients come to our office after they have recorded a statement. This is because they are now trying to work with the insurer. They make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. It is usually too late for us.
It is crucial that potential clients do not communicate with insurance companies. Because they want information that can be harmful to clients but benefit the insurance company or defendant, this is a problem. This is particularly true when you consider contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. They don’t care about you. They’re just trying to win your business by trying not to pay you as much as they can.
Common Case Types: Texas Traffic Collision
While the Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t have data on rear-end accidents in traffic collisions, it does know that about 28% and 29% of all traffic collisions are these. This kind of accident is likely the most common nationally and, based on our experience, Texas is no exception.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Were your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Were you using turn signals? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. Weather conditions are one example. Can they be blamed for this collision? What about speeding? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. You might be argued that you contributed to the accident if you did not lane brake ahead of traffic.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. Although texting while driving has been banned in Texas since 2017, it is still legal to use handheld devices for other purposes, such as GPS and music. This does not mean that someone who caused an accident due to distracted driving is excusable just because they were doing something other than texting on their device. But the law does say that a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor including jail time up to a year and as much as a $4,000 fine.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. Numerous others were likely to have contributed to or been involved in other non-fatal accident.
In 2020 there were 1,354 deaths recorded in Texas as being caused by single car accidents. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
ROR crashes typically involve only one party. Factors such as alcohol, poor weather, distracted driving, poor vision, or other road conditions that cause loss of control are all factors. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. Another reason a driver might be trying to pass dangerously is that he or she may not know how to do so.
If you were run off the road by another driver such as someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs or someone who fell asleep at the while, you’ll likely need to show proof that the other driver caused this. An insurance company reviewing a claim involving a car which was not in contact with another vehicle will investigate the details of how and why you claim that an accident was caused by another person. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection Collision
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection or related to intersections accidents.
Side impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or rear. While side impact airbags can be used to prevent injuries from occurring, such as curtains and impact pillars on modern cars, these types of accidents are still a serious danger in Texas.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. It’s possible that even though the other driver was negligent, there may not have been enough negligence to allow their car insurance policy to pay. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
Common Mistakes Following a Traffic Collision
Parties to an accident may move vehicles without taking photographs or having officers present at the scene. This is a mistake as it prevents photographic evidence from being as dependable and misses the chance for police observation of the vehicles as they were immediately upon settling from the collision.
Another common error is when people contact their at fault insurer and make a recorded declaration. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. The insured is free to not speak with the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have documentation from a professional to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. An insurance carrier may also use a gap between treatment as a defense.
There are many common mistakes that people make. These include failing to get treatment right away, not getting immediate treatment, not talking to the insurance company at fault, making a claim, recording a declaration, and trying to resolve the claim yourself.
Combating Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their payouts. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. You will need to have strong evidence and professional assistance in order to win your case.
We thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding our clients’ claims, reading police reports, gathering testimonies, preserving electronic data from automobiles and surveillance videos, and consulting with crash reconstruction specialists.
Personal Injury Insurance
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. PIP can be removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
This type of personal auto insurance protection covers medical expenses following an accident. It is also a form “no fault” coverage. This means you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Maybe the defendants and plaintiffs couldn’t agree on the amount of compensation to be paid because they couldn’t settle their differences.
In a trial, expert witnesses and witnesses may be called. Responding law enforcement officers can also be called and could testify before a jury. The jury will decide the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. Although a trial case may take more time and money than a settled claim, a jury might be able to award a plaintiff higher than any settlement. Sometimes, your lawyer may be able argue for punitive damages. This is something that cannot be offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. You will be asked questions by both sides during this formal conversation. Both the attorneys on each side will be there as well as a reporter. Both sides will ask questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, your injuries and damages. Our attorney will also interview any other drivers in order to learn their stories, gain insight into their testimony at the trial and get an idea of the defense strategy and finances of defendant.
Your attorney will accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. These medical experts, as well as other doctors, can provide an opinion about the chances of recovery for injured parties, their treatment requirements, and prognosis.
Expert witnesses can be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Expert witnesses are rarely called and usually only take part in court cases when the court requires. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. After that, each party must exchange evidence and depose witnesses. The entire process can take anywhere from a few months to one year depending on how complex and involved the case.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn about your legal rights. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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