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 – Corinth
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. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. This can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. For a free consultation, call our Dallas-based law offices. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. The basic truth is that these teams of professional’s entire jobs are in place to reduce what the insurance carrier has to pay out every year. They are skilled at what they do.
This means, that regardless of how the outcome turns out, once you start talking to the other driver’s insurer, you will know you are working with people whose sole purpose is to reduce or keep claims to a minimum. This is usually a 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 typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It is vital that potential clients refrain from communicating 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 when you consider contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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: Texas Traffic Collision
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 the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Are your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Was your use of turn signals evident? 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 accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. In some cases, a defendant may be following too closely and ran up on your bumper before slamming into you.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? Did they contribute to cause this collision? What about speeding? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Finally, there’s the question of 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. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
Although head-on crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These accidents constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. Although texting while driving has been banned in Texas since 2017, it is still legal to use handheld devices for other purposes, such as GPS and 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.
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 caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
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. 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’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. 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 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. 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. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
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 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
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.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. Even if the negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible that their negligence will not be sufficient to make their car insurance pay. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
Common Mistakes in a Traffic Collision
Many times, the parties involved in an accident will not take photos of the scene or have police present. 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 think they’re being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. 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 possess any documentation from a physician 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 company can also use a delay in 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may 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 carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most 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 form of personal auto insurance protection is in place to cover medical expenses after an accident and it is a form of “no-fault” coverage. This means that you can get some medical costs for yourself and passengers regardless of the outcome of your case involving the liability of the other driver. PIP can also provide coverage for lost wages.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole lot. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to their differences.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. The jury will decide on the defendant’s extent of liability. 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 your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation that you will have with the defense side. The court reporter and both attorneys from each side will also be present. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as 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 accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage 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’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the available information.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. These doctors or other medical experts can render an opinion about an injured party’s probability of recovery, need for treatment, or prognosis.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. 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.
How Long Does a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not the only factor. Before you can step foot in the courtroom, there are many things that must happen. The defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. Each party will then have to exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This whole process can take as much as a year depending on how complex the case is and how many parties are involved.
As you can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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