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 – Chambliss
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. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. This can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. To learn more about your possible choices, contact our Dallas based law offices immediately for a free initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as 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 a case goes to litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. They are, of course, skilled in what they do.
This means that you are guaranteed to work with people who have the same goal as you: to reduce your claims and to keep the law in line. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this 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. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It is important that potential clients do away 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 won’t be looking out for your best interests, but instead they will try to make as much money as possible by trying to get you to pay what you claim is worth.
Common Case Types
While the Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t have data on rear-end accidents in traffic collisions, it does know that about 28% and 29% of all traffic collisions are these. This type of accident is most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a state with modified comparative fault. This means that rear-end collisions in Texas do not only point to the driver responsible for them. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you slow down traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was 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. Sometimes, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. For example, an object in the roadway might have caused the defendant to stop suddenly causing his/her vehicle to run into you. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? These conditions contributed to the collision. Speeding is another possibility. The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Last but not least, there’s the matter of contributory negligence. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
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 were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted driving accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t limited to texting. Texting while driving is illegal in Texas, but it is still allowed to use a handheld phone for other purposes such as GPS or 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.
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 could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths 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. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas saw 51% of fatal accidents in rural areas during 2020. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. In other cases, a driver may be attempting 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. 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. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
If your Run-off-road accident was due to another driver’s negligence, you’ll want to work with a good personal injury attorney to build a case properly.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection 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.
Side-impact collisions can result in serious injury. There is less impact protection on the side than there is on the front. Side impact airbags have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injuries. As you can see in the Texas fatality stats above, side impact collisions are a very real threat.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes Following a Traffic Collision
Often, parties to the accident will move the vehicles involved without taking pictures or having police present on 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.
Another common error is when people contact their at fault insurer and make a recorded declaration. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They are seeking information to assist their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with 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 time passes, the likelihood of getting treatment is greater. If you wait too much or don’t seek medical attention right away, the insurance company can claim that your injuries aren’t sustained. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company 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.
Stopping Insurance Companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance of a professional.
We examine all aspects of our clients’ claims. This includes reviewing police reports, gathering witness testimony, preserving electronic data from automobiles, surveillance videos, and consulting crash reconstruction specialists.
Personal Injury Insurance
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. PIP can be omitted in certain cases, such as Medicare, but for most drivers it is mandatory.
This type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. This means that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. PIP also covers lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. 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 witnesses may be called, responding law enforcement officers, and possibly others for testimony in front of a jury. The jury will decide how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. Even though a trial case can take longer and cost more than a settlement, a jury may be able to award plaintiffs more than any settlement. Sometimes your attorney may even be able to argue that you be awarded punitive damages which is something that would not be offered 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. Both sides will ask you questions regarding the accident, who is at fault, your injuries, or 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 may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. 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
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. These medical experts and doctors can give an opinion on the likelihood of recovery, treatment needs, or prognosis for an injured party.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. 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?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. There are many things you need to do before you step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This entire process can take between one and twelve months depending on how complicated the case is, as well as how many parties involved.
As you can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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