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 – Celina
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. A lawyer who specializes in vehicle accidents can help you determine whether you are eligible for no-fault compensation. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well 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. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. They are skilled 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. This is usually a bad idea.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast 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 make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their 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. Talking to insurance providers can cause misunderstandings. They don’t look out for you, but they play a game to try and get out of paying what your claim is worth.
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 modified comparative fault state, which means that rear-end accidents in Texas are not solely attributed to the person who caused them. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Did you use turn signals? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. For example, what about weather conditions? Can they be blamed for this collision? Is speeding an issue? There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
As you can see, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. Although texting while driving has been banned in Texas since 2017, it is still legal to use handheld devices for other purposes, such as GPS and music. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. A person can be charged for a Class A misdemeanor, including jail time of upto a year and a maximum $4,000 penalty.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. The NHTSA refers to these as “ROR” or Run-Off-Road crashes.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
ROR accidents can happen when another driver is driving, and you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being in a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an 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 ran you off of the road, for example someone under the influence of alcohol or drug or someone who fell asleep at work, you will need to provide proof that the other driver caused the accident. An insurance company reviewing a claim involving a car which was not in contact with another vehicle will investigate the details of how and why you claim that an accident was caused by another person. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. It’s more common than ever that more drivers equip their cars with dash cameras.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
Side impact and intersection collisions are major contributors to serious injury and death in Texas, just like head-on collision cases. 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. 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. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
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 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 mistakenly think they are being cooperative. They don’t have to look out for their insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. The insured is free to not 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 possess any documentation from a physician to support their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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 falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their 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. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional to win your case.
We carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Personal Injury Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), is a type coverage that is included in many personal auto policies. PIP can be omitted in certain cases, such as Medicare, but for most drivers it is mandatory.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. 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 pay for lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. 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 cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to 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. 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for 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. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. 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 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. 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
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly 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 can be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested 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?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. Before you can step foot in the courtroom, there are many things that must happen. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. Next, the parties will 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.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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