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 – Camp Dallas
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for compensation through no-fault insurance. This can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. For a free consultation, call our Dallas-based law offices. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys will ensure that your case is as smooth as possible.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. 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 say, they are good 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. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this 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 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 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. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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
Although Texas Department of Transportation does not collect data on the proportion of traffic collisions are rear-end accidents, nationally speaking, we know that they are about 28% or 29%. This type of accident is most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Was your use of turn signals evident? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was 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 could occur for several reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. For example, an object in the roadway might have caused the defendant to stop suddenly causing his/her vehicle to run into you. In some cases, a defendant may be following too closely and ran up on your bumper before slamming into you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. For example, what about weather conditions? Can they be blamed for this collision? Speeding is another possibility. You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. You might be argued that you contributed to the accident if you did not lane brake ahead of traffic.
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.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. 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. 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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. 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.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-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. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas are often surrounded by two-lane highways and have the potential for drivers drifting into another 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 you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
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
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related 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. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
Common Mistakes after a Traffic Collision
Often, the other party to an accident will simply move the cars involved without taking photos or having the police present at 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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
People can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can 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. The insurance company can then claim that you have not been injured if you don’t seek medical attention immediately or if the wait goes on too long. An insurance carrier can also use a gap in treatment 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.
Stopping Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. You might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance of a professional.
We carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile policies. PIP can sometimes be turned off, such as if your Medicare is not available, but it is required for most drivers.
This personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” 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 also covers lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
An Accident Case goes to Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t 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 on the defendant’s extent of 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.
After you file a lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold a deposition. This is a formal conversation that you will have with the defense side. The court reporter and both attorneys from each side will also be present. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will help defend you from answers that are misleading or harmful to your case. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
Expert witnesses can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. 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 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. 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?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. Before you can step foot in the courtroom, there are many things that must happen. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Each party will then have to 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, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. 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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