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 – Bolivar
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. Your best chance of getting compensation is to pay attention and be committed, regardless of whether you are settling or going to trial. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. This can cover everything from financial recompense to any losses or injuries you have suffered, missed wages and skyrocketing medical expenses. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you get the best outcome 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 the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. 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 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 learn this 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 usually make major mistakes that work in the company’s favor and decrease or even eliminate their chances for a favorable settlement. It is usually too late for us.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. They’re looking for information that could be detrimental to the client, but potentially beneficial to the defendant and the insurance company. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. 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: Traffic collision – Texas
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 accident is probably the most common nationwide 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. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? You used 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.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. It can sometimes be caused by circumstances or circumstances that are not known. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. Sometimes, a defendant might be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. How can we talk about the weather? These conditions contributed to the collision. Speeding is another possibility. There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. This is where an experienced auto accident attorney can help you.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 538 people died in head-on collision accidents in 2020. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to texting. Texas has made texting while you drive illegal since 2017. However, it is still legal for a handheld device to be used for other purposes like GPS and playing music. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. 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.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. These are referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
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. These cases are less common in personal injury law firms because most of these accidents are caused by the fault of one party.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Texas saw 51% of fatal accidents in rural areas during 2020. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
If you were run off the road by another driver such as someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs or someone who fell asleep at the while, you’ll likely need to show proof that the other driver caused this. If an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection Collision
Side impact and intersection collisions are major contributors to serious injury and death in Texas, just like head-on collision cases. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection 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. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
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. 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. 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 because it makes photographic evidence less reliable and leaves the possibility for police to observe the vehicles after they have settled from the collision.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. The insured does not have to speak with insurance companies.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can 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 do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. 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.
Fighting the 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. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional 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. 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 can get some medical costs for yourself and passengers regardless of the outcome of your case involving the liability of the other driver. PIP can also provide coverage for lost wages.
It should be noted that the Texas minimum policy limit to cover PIP is $2,500. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. This will cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
A case involving an accident 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. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. 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. 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 attorney may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
After you file a lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold a deposition. This is a formal conversation where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will 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. Our attorney will also depose any other drivers to get their side of the story, get insight into what they may say in their testimony at the trial, learn more about the finances and insurance coverage of the defendant, get a feel for the defense strategy of the defendant, and more.
Your attorney will be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. 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 Expert Witnesses
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.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. These medical experts, as well as other doctors, can provide an opinion about the chances of recovery for injured parties, their treatment requirements, and prognosis.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Expert witnesses do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. 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?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Each party will then have to exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people 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 has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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