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 – Climax
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. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly 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 a case goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called in. These teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. They do a great job.
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 discover this the hard and fast way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t communicate with 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 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
The Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t collect data about the percentage of rear-end collisions in traffic accidents. However, they know that this number is around 28% to 29% nationally. This type accident is probably the most common nationwide and Texas is no exception.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Did you have your brake lights on at all? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? 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.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. Sometimes, the defendant may have been following too closely before running up to your bumper and then ramming into you.
In court, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. For example, what about weather conditions? What contributed to this collision? Speeding is another possibility. Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. There is also the question of contributory neglect. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
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.
Although head-on collisions are statistically less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically more deadly. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. Texas banned texting while driving in 2017. However, it is still possible to use a handheld device to do other things like GPS or play music. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. 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.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
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.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. Texas was home to 51% of all fatalities in 2020. These areas typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
You will need to prove that another driver ran you off the road, such as someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone who fell asleep while driving. 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. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with dash cams.
For a Run-off-road case where another driver was negligent, you should contact a good personal injury lawyer to help you build a strong case.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection 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. 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 in a Traffic Collision
Parties to an accident may move vehicles without taking photographs or having officers present at 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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They want to help their insured. The insured is free to not 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 have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. If you delay in seeking medical attention, or if you wait too long to seek it, insurance companies can claim that you are not injured. An insurance carrier may also use a gap between 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.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help 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.
Personal Injury Protection 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 type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. This means you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP also covers lost wages.
It should be noted that the Texas minimum policy limit to cover PIP is $2,500. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claims can be settled without the need to file a suit.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. 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, 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 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.
Discovery & Deposition
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation in which you will be sward in, both side’s attorneys will be present along with 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. Our attorney will also interview any other drivers in order to learn their stories, gain insight into their testimony at the trial and get an idea of the defense strategy and finances of defendant.
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. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
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. If this occurs, an experienced motor car firm will have the resources necessary to find the right expert witnesses.
What is the average court case time for an auto accident?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people 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. Call us to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many people recover after accidents for many years.
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