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 – Copper Canyon
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Every component of the incident will be examined by our legal team as they develop 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 vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. 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 will ensure that your case is as smooth as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. 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. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes clients find this out the hard way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their 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. It is usually too late for us.
It is important that potential clients do away 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 when it comes to contributory negligence. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. They aren’t trying to protect you. Instead, they are playing a game in which they try to get out from paying you the amount of your claim.
Common Case Types: Traffic collision – Texas
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 is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
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? Did you slow down 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? You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. It can sometimes be caused by circumstances or circumstances that are not known. 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 be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? Did they contribute to cause this collision? How about speeding? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Last, but not least is the question about contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. An experienced auto accident attorney is invaluable in navigating these issues.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted Driving Accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t 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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
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 was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash by the NHTSA.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas was home to 51% of all fatalities in 2020. These areas have often two-lane highways that are shared with opposing traffic. This makes it easy for drivers to drift into the oncoming lanes. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
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. An insurance company reviewing a claim involving a car which was not in contact with another vehicle will investigate the details of how and why you claim that an accident was caused by another person. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection or related to intersections accidents.
One reason why side impact collisions tend to involve serious injury is because there is less barrier to impact on the side of the car as compared to the rear or 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. It is possible that, even if the driver was negligent in an accident, their negligence might not be enough to get their car insurance paid out. 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
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.
Another common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. The insured is free to not speak with the insurance company.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can handle it. They don’t have the documentation required by a doctor to back up 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 carrier may also use a gap between 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
We carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many personal auto policies. Although you can opt out of PIP in some cases such as if you have Medicare, for most drivers, the coverage 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 you can cover your medical expenses for yourself and your passengers, regardless of what happens in the case. PIP also covers lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. 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 allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not resolve their differences.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. 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 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 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. 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 sit with you to defend you against answering questions in a way that may hurt your case while abiding to truthful answers. 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 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
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. These doctors or other medical professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
Although expert witnesses can help to strengthen a claimant’s case, this is not always the case. Expert witnesses do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges 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.
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 been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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