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 – Chambersville
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
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 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. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly 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 litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. The basic truth is that these teams of professional’s entire jobs are in place to reduce what the insurance carrier has to pay out every year. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means that regardless of outcome, as soon as you engage with the insurance carrier of the other driver, you will be guaranteed to be working against people who’s purpose is to reduce claims while staying within the bounds of the law. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this 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. It is usually too late for us.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. This is because they’re seeking information that may be harmful to the client but beneficial to the insurance company and defendant. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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 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 the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
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. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Was your use of turn signals evident? Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: Was the defendant’s vehicle 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. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. Weather conditions are one example. Did they contribute to cause this collision? What about speeding? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
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.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
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. 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. However, the law allows for a Class A Misdemeanor to be filed. This can include a one-year sentence and a maximum $4,000 fine.
Out of state laws, each city in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has its own ordinances. Some may be more strict than those created by the state.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
In 2020 there were 1,354 deaths recorded in Texas as being caused by single car accidents. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash by the NHTSA.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
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 often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. In other cases, a driver may be attempting to pass unsafely.
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. A car accident claim that was not in direct contact with another vehicle will be reviewed by an insurance company. They will look into the circumstances and determine if there were any other factors. 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.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection or related to intersections 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. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. Even if the negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible that their negligence will not be sufficient to make their car insurance pay. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
Common Mistakes After a Traffic collision
Many times, the parties involved in an accident will not take photos of the scene or have police present. This is a mistake as it prevents photographic evidence from being as dependable and misses the chance for police observation of the vehicles as they were immediately upon settling from the collision.
Another common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with the insurance company.
People sometimes make the wrong decision to not seek immediate treatment. They believe they can handle the situation. They don’t possess any documentation from a physician to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. If you wait too much or don’t seek medical attention right away, the insurance company can claim that your injuries aren’t sustained. An insurance company can also use a delay in treatment as a defense.
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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might follow. 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 investigate the details surrounding our clients’ claims. We read police reports, gather testimonies and preserve electronic data from vehicles and surveillance video.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP), is a type coverage that is included in many personal auto policies. PIP can sometimes be turned off, such as if your Medicare is not available, but it is required for most 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 may also be used to pay lost wages.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole lot. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to 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 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take 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. You’ll be asked questions by both sides to find out more about the accident, who was at fault, your injuries, and damages. To get the other drivers’ perspectives, our attorney will depose them to gain insight into their testimony at trial. We will also learn about the finances of the defendant and their insurance coverage.
Your attorney will accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. 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 witness can provide their opinions to the jury in court cases. 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 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. 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.
How long does a court case take for an auto accident?
How long it takes to get through a trial isn’t the only factor. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to 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, going it alone is not an option. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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