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 – Bobwyn
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. 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 include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. 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.
When an insurance claim is started, claims adjusters and managers use tactics and methods to mitigate the potential payout or even get it denied it altogether. If a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. They are skilled 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. This is usually a bad idea.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast 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. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It is important that potential clients do away 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 for contributory negligence. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to 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 Texas Department of Transportation is not able to collect data on the percentage of traffic collisions that are rear-end, we know from national statistics that they are around 28% and 29%. 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. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? You used turn signals. Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. In some cases, a defendant may be following too closely and ran up on your bumper before slamming into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. How can we talk about the weather? These conditions contributed to the collision. Was speeding a factor? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Last, but not least is the question about contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 538 people died in head-on collision accidents in 2020. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to 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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. 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.
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 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 known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. These areas typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting 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 another driver drove you off the road, like someone who is under the influence or someone who falls asleep, you will likely have to prove that they caused it. 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.
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
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.
One reason why side impact collisions tend to involve serious injury is because there is less barrier to impact on the side of the car as compared to the rear or front. These injuries are reduced by modern car side impact airbags and curtains. However, the Texas fatality statistics above show that this type of accident can still be deadly.
Because Texas has modified contributory neglect laws, even a broad side accident cannot be automatically considered a case. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes in a Traffic Collision
Parties to an accident often move the vehicles involved in the collision without taking photos or having police on the scene. 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 believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with 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 documentation from a professional to support their claims. As time passes, the likelihood of getting treatment is greater. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company as a defense.
Common mistakes made by people include not seeking immediate treatment, talking to their at-fault insurer, recording a statement, trying and resolving their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement, refusing to accept the outcome of the case, and refusing to take action.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. There is a possibility that you could find yourself in a conflict with the negligent driver. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary to win your case.
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.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. PIP is optional for some drivers.
This type of personal auto insurance protection covers medical expenses following an accident. It is also a form “no fault” coverage. This means that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. There’s a chance you could have chosen for a higher amount if you had an experienced agent who reviewed the coverages with your. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
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 or defendants couldn’t agree upon how much compensation should go because they couldn’t resolve 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 determine the defendant’s liability. 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.
After you file a lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold 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 you questions to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. Our attorney will also question any other drivers to find out their story and gain insight into what they might say at trial. He will also provide information about the defendant’s finances and insurance coverage.
Your attorney will assist you in answering any questions you may have. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to 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.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly 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.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
How long does it take to get a court case for an auto crash?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not the only factor. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served on 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.
As you can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. Call us to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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