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 – Blue Ridge
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. 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 dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well 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. If a case goes to litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
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. For instance, people have come to us after having given a recorded declaration. They want to be able to work with insurance companies. 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 vital that potential clients refrain from communicating 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 especially true when it comes to contributory negligence. Talking to insurance providers can cause misunderstandings. They aren’t trying to protect you. Instead, they are playing a game in which they try to get out from paying you the amount of your claim.
Common Case Types
Although the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. This type of accident is most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Have your brake lights been on? Did you slow down traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Since your testimony is susceptible to being refuted, other evidence must be presented to support the claim that defendant followed you too closely.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. Sometimes, the defendant may have been following too closely before running up to your bumper and then ramming into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? What contributed to this collision? Speeding is another possibility. It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Last, but not least is the question about contributory negligence. If you did not brake for traffic ahead of you then some might argue that you contributed to the collision.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
Although head-on collisions are statistically less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically more deadly. 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
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to 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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. 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.
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.
Distracted driving was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash by the NHTSA.
ROR accidents involve just one person in an accident. These factors include alcohol use, poor driving conditions, distraction driving, poor visibility and other road conditions that can cause the driver to lose control. 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. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. These areas are often surrounded by two-lane highways and have the potential for drivers drifting into another lane. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
You will need to prove that another driver ran you off the road, such as someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone who fell asleep while driving. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with dash cams.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection Collision
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection 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. 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.
As with other accident types in Texas, due to modified contributory negligence laws, even a broad-side accident can’t be automatically considered a clear cut case. There is a good chance that even if the other driver was negligent, their negligence may not be enough for their car insurance to pay out. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
Common Mistakes after 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 mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They want to help 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 the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. If you delay in seeking medical attention, or if you wait too long to seek it, insurance companies can claim that you are not injured. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company 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.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
We review the facts surrounding each client’s claim, including reading police reports, collecting testimonies, conserving electronic data from cars and surveillance videos, as well as consulting with crash reconstruction specialists.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many personal auto policies. PIP can sometimes be turned off, such as if your Medicare is not available, but it is required for most drivers.
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 cover lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be 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 witnesses and expert witness may be called. Responding officers from the law enforcement agency and others could also be called. The jury will decide how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. 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.
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. 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 be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt 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
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the available information.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. 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 are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
How long does a court case take for an auto accident?
How long it takes to get through a trial isn’t the only factor. There are many things you need to do before you step into the courtroom. The lawsuit will 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.
As you can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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