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 – Cooper Creek
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. 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. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly 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. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. They do a great job.
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. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes clients learn this 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 make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. They’re looking for information that could be detrimental to the client, but potentially beneficial to the defendant and the insurance company. This is especially true when it comes to contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. They don’t care about you. They’re just trying to win your business by trying not to pay you as much as they can.
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, according to state laws, rear-end collisions do not solely point blame towards the driver who caused them. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was 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 accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. 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? These conditions contributed to the collision. How about speeding? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. You might be argued that you contributed to the accident if you did not lane brake ahead of traffic.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. An experienced auto accident attorney is invaluable in navigating these issues.
Although they are statistically safer than rear-end collisions, head-on crashes are more common than rear-end ones. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions 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. 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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. 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.
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 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 had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
ROR crashes typically involve only one party. Factors such as alcohol, poor weather, distracted driving, poor vision, or other road conditions that cause loss of control are all factors. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. 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.
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. If an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
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.
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. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related accidents.
Side impacts can cause serious injury. This is due to less protection on the sides of cars than the front and rear. 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.
Because Texas has modified contributory neglect laws, even a broad side accident cannot be automatically considered a case. There is a good chance that even if the other driver was negligent, their negligence may not be enough for their car insurance to pay out. 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 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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They want to help 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 have the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. The insurance company can then claim that you have not been injured if you don’t seek medical attention immediately or if the wait goes on too long. An insurance carrier may also use a gap between treatment as a defense.
Common mistakes made by people include not seeking immediate treatment, talking to their at-fault insurer, recording a statement, trying and resolving their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement, refusing to accept the outcome of the case, and refusing to take action.
Combating 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. There is a possibility that you could find yourself in a conflict with the negligent driver. You will need to have strong evidence and professional assistance in order to win your case.
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.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. PIP is optional for some drivers.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. PIP can also provide coverage for lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. 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 Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
Witnesses and expert witnesses, responding officers of the law enforcement, and others may be called to testify in front of a jury during a trial. The jury will determine the defendant’s liability. A trial case is more expensive and takes longer than a settlement. However, a jury could award more damages to a plaintiff 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.
The defense side will request a deposition after you have filed a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will a court reporter. Both sides will ask you questions regarding the accident, who is at fault, your injuries, or damages. Our attorney will also question any other drivers to find out their story and gain insight into what they might say at trial. He will also provide information about the defendant’s finances and insurance coverage.
Your attorney will be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. Texas law for depositions ensures that you will not be intimidated. Your accident attorney will also ensure that you aren’t.
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.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. These medical experts, as well as other doctors, can provide an opinion about the chances of recovery for injured parties, their treatment requirements, and prognosis.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
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 a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit will 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 have helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
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