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 – Balch Springs
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. 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. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys will ensure that your case is as smooth 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. The basic truth is that these teams of professional’s entire jobs are in place to reduce what the insurance carrier has to pay out every year. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means that no matter what happens, if you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure you’ll be dealing with people whose goal is to minimize claims in any legal way possible. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients find this out the hard way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their 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 especially true in light of contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. They aren’t looking out for you; instead, they are playing a game where they’re trying to get out of paying you what your claim is worth.
Common Case Types – Traffic collision – Texas
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 a state with modified comparative fault. This means that rear-end collisions in Texas do not only point to the driver responsible for them. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Did you have your brake lights on at all? Did you bring traffic to a halt? You used turn signals. These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? 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. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? Did they contribute to cause this collision? Was speeding a factor? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
As you can see rear-ending is not an automatic win. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
Although head-on crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted driving accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. While Texas has outlawed texting while driving since 2017, it is still permissible to use a handheld device for other things such as using GPS or playing music. It does not necessarily mean that someone who causes an accident because of distracted driving is exempted from liability if they are doing something other than texting. A person can be charged for a Class A misdemeanor, including jail time of upto a year and a maximum $4,000 penalty.
In addition to state laws, individual cities in the Dallas / Fort Worth area have created ordinances to varying degrees, some more strict than the state laws.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
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 was home to 51% of all fatalities in 2020. These areas have often two-lane highways that are shared with opposing traffic. This makes it easy for drivers to drift into the oncoming lanes. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. If an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection accidents.
Side collisions often result in serious injury. This happens because the vehicle’s side is more vulnerable to being struck than it is the front. Although side impact airbags, curtains, and impact pillars in modern cars have helped cut down these injuries, as you can see from the fatality statistic above, this kind of accident is a real 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. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
Common Mistakes after a Traffic Collision
Many times, the parties involved in an accident will not take photos of the scene or have police present. This is an error as it reduces photographic evidence’s reliability and makes it impossible for police to inspect the vehicles immediately after the collision.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
People also sometimes make the mistake of waiting to seek treatment until they feel they can manage it. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. 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.
People can make common errors by not speaking to the at-fault company, making a statement, trying their best to resolve the claim, accepting an earlier settlement without knowing the outcome and not seeking treatment immediately.
Stopping Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional 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.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. Although you can opt out of PIP in some cases such as if you have Medicare, for most drivers, the coverage is mandatory.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means that regardless of the outcome of the case involving the other driver’s liability, you can still get medical care for yourself and your passengers. PIP can also pay for lost wages.
Although the Texas minimum policy limit is $2,500, it’s not too high. If you had a good insurance agent who went over the coverages with you, there’s a good chance that you may have opted for a higher amount. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not resolve 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 whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their liability. Even though a trial case can take longer and cost more than a settlement, a jury may be able to award plaintiffs more than any settlement. Sometimes, your attorney may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation in which you will be sward in, both side’s attorneys will be present along with a court reporter. Both sides will ask questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, your injuries and damages. To get the other drivers’ perspectives, our attorney will depose them to gain insight into their testimony at trial. We will also learn about the finances of the defendant and their insurance coverage.
Your attorney will accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. You may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. You won’t feel intimidated by the Texas deposition rules. Your accident lawyer will also ensure this.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
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 doctors and other medical experts can offer an opinion about the probability of recovery, treatment needed, or prognosis of an injured party.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. Expert witnesses are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where required by the court. If this occurs, an experienced motor car firm will have the resources necessary to find the right expert witnesses.
How long does a court case take for an auto accident?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not the only factor. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. The whole process can take up to a year, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of parties involved.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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