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 – Blackland
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
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. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by no-fault insurance. This can cover everything from financial recompense to any losses or injuries you have suffered, missed wages and skyrocketing medical expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. They do a great job.
This means that regardless of outcome, as soon as you engage with the insurance carrier of the other driver, you will be guaranteed to be working against people who’s purpose is to reduce claims while staying within the bounds of the law. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
Sometimes clients learn this the hard way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. They typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. It is usually too late to assist them.
It is crucial that potential clients do not communicate with insurance companies. This is because they’re seeking information that may be harmful to the client but beneficial to the insurance company and defendant. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. They won’t be looking out for your best interests, but instead they will try to make as much money as possible by trying to get you to pay what you claim is worth.
Common Case Types
The Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t collect data about the percentage of rear-end collisions in traffic accidents. However, they know that this number is around 28% to 29% nationally. This type of accident is the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
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. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Did you use turn signals? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. It can sometimes be caused by circumstances or circumstances that are not known. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. For example, what about weather conditions? These conditions contributed to the collision. What about speeding? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. 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, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
Although they are statistically safer than rear-end collisions, head-on crashes are more common than rear-end ones. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted Driving Accidents
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to just texting. Texting while driving is illegal in Texas, but it is still allowed to use a handheld phone for other purposes such as GPS or music. Distracted driving can still be a cause of an accident. However, it does not mean that a driver who causes an accident through distracted driving is excused just because they were texting. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. These cases are less common in personal injury law firms because most of these accidents are caused by the fault of one party.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. 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. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. An insurance company that reviews a claim involving a car that didn’t come into contact with another will scrutinize how and why if you claim the accident was caused by someone else. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
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.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. In 2020, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections accidents.
Side-impact collisions can result in serious injury. There is less impact protection on the side than there is on the front. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
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 is possible that, even if the driver was negligent in an accident, their negligence might not be enough to get their car insurance paid out. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
Common Mistakes Following a Traffic Collision
Often, parties to the accident will move the vehicles involved without taking pictures or having police present on the scene. This is a mistake because it makes photographic evidence less reliable and leaves the possibility for police to observe the vehicles after they have settled from the collision.
Another common error is when people contact their at fault insurer and make a recorded declaration. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you wait too much or don’t seek medical attention right away, the insurance company can claim that your injuries aren’t sustained. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
It is common for people to make mistakes by talking to the at fault insurance company, recording statements, trying to resolve their claims themselves, accepting an early settlement before they know the outcome, or not getting treatment immediately.
Fight the 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. You might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary to win your case.
We investigate the details surrounding our clients’ claims. We read police reports, gather testimonies and preserve electronic data from vehicles and surveillance video.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. 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 you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP can also provide coverage for lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. 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. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
When an Accident Case Goes to 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 had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to their differences.
In a trial, witnesses and expert witnesses may be called, responding law enforcement officers, and possibly others for testimony in front of 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 lawyer may be able argue for punitive damages. This is something that cannot be offered in a settlement.
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for a deposition. 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 you questions to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. 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 might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases: Expert Witnesses
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly medical experts. These doctors and other medical experts can offer an opinion about the probability of recovery, treatment needed, or prognosis of an injured party.
Expert witnesses are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. Expert witnesses are rarely called and usually only take part in court cases when the court requires. An experienced motor vehicle company will be able to tap into its resources to find the right expert witness when this happens.
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 many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange 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.
As you can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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