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 – Bartonville
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by no-fault insurance. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. 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 say, they are good at what they do.
This means that, regardless of what outcome you get, as soon as your conversation with the insurance carrier for the other driver begins, you’ll be working with people whose purpose it is to reduce the claims however they can within the limits of the law. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. We have seen for example folks come to us after they have given a recorded statement, trying to work with the insurance company themselves. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It is crucial that potential clients do not communicate with insurance companies. Because they are seeking information that is potentially harmful to the client but advantageous to the defendant and insurance company, this is why. This is especially true when it comes to contributory negligence. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to misunderstandings. 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
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 type of accident is most likely the most common in the country and 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. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Have your brake lights been on? Did you slow down traffic? 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, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. 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, a defendant may be following too closely and ran up on your bumper before slamming into you.
In court, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. How can we talk about the weather? What contributed to this collision? Is speeding an issue? Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
As you can see, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
Although head-on crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These accidents accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
Distracted driving accidents
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to 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. The law states that a person may be charged with a Class A offense, which can lead to jail time of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.
Out of state laws, each city in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has its own ordinances. Some may be more strict than those created by the state.
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.
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 most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. Because most of these accidents occur due to the fault of the single party, these cases are not as commonly handled in personal injury law firms.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
If another driver ran you off of the road, for example someone under the influence of alcohol or drug or someone who fell asleep at work, you will need to provide proof that the other driver caused the accident. 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. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
For a Run-off-road case where another driver was negligent, you should contact a good personal injury lawyer to help you build a strong case.
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, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections 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.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
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 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 mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can handle it. They don’t have documentation from a professional to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. An insurance company can also use a delay in 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. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. You will need to have strong evidence and professional assistance in order to win your case.
We carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. PIP is optional for some drivers.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP also covers lost wages.
It should be noted that the Texas minimum policy limit to cover PIP is $2,500. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. It is possible that the parties cannot resolve all issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not resolve their differences.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. The jury will decide whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their liability. A trial case is more expensive and takes longer than a settlement. However, a jury could award more damages to a plaintiff 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
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. 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. You’ll be asked questions by both sides to find out more about the accident, who was at fault, your injuries, and damages. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will assist you in answering any questions you may have. Your attorney may ask you questions that can help your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas law for depositions ensures that you will not be intimidated. Your accident attorney will also ensure that you aren’t.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the available information.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. These doctors or other medical professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
Expert witnesses can be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. A motor vehicle firm with experience will be able draw on its resources to find an expert witness.
How long does a court case take for an auto accident?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. Before you can step foot in the courtroom, there are many things that must happen. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. Each party will then have to exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This whole process can take as much as a year depending on how complex the case is and how many parties are involved.
As you can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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