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 – Copeville
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. 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. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you get the best outcome 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. 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 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 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 often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. It is usually too late for us.
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 for contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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: Traffic collision – Texas
Although the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. This type accident is probably the most common nationwide and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Did you use turn signals? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? 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. 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 be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. For example, what can be said 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. Last but not least, there’s the matter of contributory negligence. 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 crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. 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
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to texting. While Texas has outlawed texting while driving since 2017, it is still permissible to use a handheld device for other things such as using GPS or playing music. This does not mean that someone who caused an accident due to distracted driving is excusable just because they were doing something other than texting on their device. But the law does say that a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor including jail time up to a year and as much as a $4,000 fine.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
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.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. Another reason a driver might be trying to pass dangerously is that he or she may not know how to do so.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. 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.
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
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. In 2020, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections accidents.
Side impacts can cause serious injury. This is due to less protection on the sides of cars than the front and rear. 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.
As with other accident types in Texas, due to modified contributory negligence laws, even a broad-side accident can’t be automatically considered a clear cut case. Even if the negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible that their negligence will not be sufficient to make their car insurance 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 often move the vehicles involved in the collision without taking photos or having police 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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to 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 have medical documentation to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. An insurance carrier can also use a gap in treatment as a defense.
There are many common mistakes that people make. These include failing to get treatment right away, not getting immediate treatment, not talking to the insurance company at fault, making a claim, recording a declaration, and trying to resolve the claim yourself.
The fight against the insurance companies
Insurance companies may falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their payouts. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can 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.
Personal Injury Protection 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 auto insurance protection covers medical expenses following an accident. It is also a form “no fault” coverage. 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.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole lot. 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 be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
An Accident Case goes to Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. Perhaps the plaintiffs or defendants couldn’t agree upon how much compensation should go because they couldn’t resolve 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 on the defendant’s extent of liability. 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 might be able to argue that punitive damages should be awarded. This is something that would not have been 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 questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, your injuries and 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 may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas law for depositions ensures that you will not be intimidated. Your accident attorney will also ensure that you aren’t.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
Expert witnesses can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. 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 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 contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Expert witnesses are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where 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 on the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange 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 can see, going it alone is not an option. 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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