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 – Carter
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A lawyer who specializes in vehicle accidents can help you determine whether you are eligible for no-fault compensation. 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.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. If a case goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means that, regardless of what outcome you get, as soon as your conversation with the insurance carrier for the other driver begins, you’ll be working with people whose purpose it is to reduce the claims however they can within the limits of the law. This is usually a bad idea.
Sometimes clients find this out the hard way. We’ve seen clients come to our office after they have recorded a statement. This is because they are now trying to work with the insurer. They usually make major mistakes that work in the company’s favor and decrease or even eliminate their chances for a favorable settlement. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t communicate with insurance companies. This is because they seek information that might be harmful to their client but which may prove to be beneficial to both the defendants and the insurance company. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. Talking to insurance providers can cause 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 the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. This kind of accident is likely the most common nationally and, based on our experience, Texas is no exception.
Texas is a “modified comparative fault state” which means, according to state laws, rear-end collisions do not solely point blame towards the driver who caused them. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Did you use turn signals? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following 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, 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. How can we talk about the weather? These conditions contributed to the collision. Is speeding an issue? Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. Last but not least, there’s the matter of contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
As you can see, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
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 accidents constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted driving accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just 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. 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.
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 responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
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.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. 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 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 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.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
As with head-on collisions, side and intersection crashes contribute significantly to fatalities and serious injuries in Texas. In 2020, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents 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. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight case. It’s possible that even though the other driver was negligent, there may not have been enough negligence to allow their car insurance policy to pay. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
Common Mistakes after 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 common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re 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. The insured is free to not speak with the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have medical documentation to support 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. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company as a defense.
Talking to the at-fault insurance company, recording a statement, trying to resolve their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement before they know the outcome, not getting treatment immediately are all common mistakes people can make.
Fight the Insurance Companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. 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.
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 can be omitted in certain cases, such as Medicare, but for most drivers it is mandatory.
This personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” This means you can cover your medical expenses for yourself and your passengers, regardless of what happens in the case. PIP can also cover lost wages.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole 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. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not 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 decide the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. Although a trial case takes much more time and expense than a claim settled out of court, a jury can potentially award a plaintiff more than any settlement offered. Sometimes, your attorney may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
After you file a lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold a deposition. This is a formal conversation, in which both the plaintiff and defense side will participate. A court reporter 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 sit with you to defend you against answering questions in a way that may hurt your case while abiding to truthful answers. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm this.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are 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 do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This whole process can take as much as a year depending on how complex the case is and how many parties are involved.
As you’ve seen from this overview of the ins and outs of motor vehicle accident cases in Texas, going it alone is never recommended. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many people recover after accidents for many years.
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