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 – Culleoka
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 is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for 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. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as 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 teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. Needless to mention, they excel 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. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
Sometimes clients learn this 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 make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. It is usually too late for us.
It is important that potential clients do away 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 in the light of contributory neglect. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to 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
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 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. Are your brake lights on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Were you using turn signals? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
Rear-end crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. Sometimes, a defendant might be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. For example, what about weather conditions? They contributed to the collision? Speeding is another possibility. You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. There is also the question of contributory neglect. If you did not brake for traffic ahead of you then some might argue that you contributed to the collision.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 538 people died in head-on collision accidents in 2020. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted driving accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. 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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. A person can be charged for a Class A misdemeanor, including jail time of upto a year and a maximum $4,000 penalty.
Additionally to the state laws, the individual cities of the Dallas/Fort Worth area have adopted ordinances to differing degrees. Some are stricter than the state laws.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Numerous others were likely to have contributed to or been involved in other non-fatal accident.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
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 typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting 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.
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. 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. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. It’s more common than ever that more drivers equip their cars with dash cameras.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related accidents.
Side collisions often result in serious injury. This happens because the vehicle’s side is more vulnerable to being struck than it is 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. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes following a traffic collision
Often, the other party to an accident will simply move the cars involved without taking photos or having the police present at the scene. This is a mistake, as it stops photographic evidence from being as reliable as possible and prevents police from being present on the scene to observe the vehicles.
Another common error is when people contact their at fault insurer and make a recorded declaration. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. They don’t have to look out for their insurance company. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. The insured does not have to speak with insurance companies.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can handle it. They don’t have medical documentation to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. 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.
Fighting 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. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional 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.
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 that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. PIP can also cover lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
A case involving an accident goes to court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not 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 may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for 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. 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 accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases: Expert Witnesses
Expert witness can provide their opinions to the jury in court cases. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the available information.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. 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 be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. If this occurs, an experienced motor car firm will have the resources necessary to find the right expert witnesses.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
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 lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. Each party will then have to exchange evidence and depose witnesses. The whole process can take up to a year, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of parties involved.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. 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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