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 – Dallas
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for 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 is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well 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 trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called in. 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 learn this through hard work. We have seen for example folks come to us after they have given a recorded statement, trying to work with the insurance company themselves. Normally they make huge mistakes that play to the advantage of the company and hurt or destroy their chances of 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. Because they want information that can be harmful to clients but benefit the insurance company or defendant, this is a problem. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. Talking to insurance providers can cause misunderstandings. 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
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 kind of accident is likely the most common nationally and, based on our experience, Texas is no exception.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Were your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. Sometimes, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. 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. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? Did they contribute to cause this collision? Speeding is another possibility. Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. There is also the question of contributory neglect. You might be argued that you contributed to the accident if you did not lane brake ahead of traffic.
As you can see, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for 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. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to just 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. 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.
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. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents 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. These cases are less common in personal injury law firms because most of these accidents are caused by the fault of one party.
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 commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. 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. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Intersection 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. 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. 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.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight 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. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
Common Mistakes following 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 stops photographic evidence from being as reliable as possible and prevents police from being present on the scene to observe the vehicles.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. They don’t have to look out for their insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. The insured is free to not speak with the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have medical documentation to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. 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 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.
Stopping Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. It is possible that the police report was incorrect and victim-blaming could follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary 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 Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. PIP can sometimes be turned off, such as if your Medicare is not available, but it is required for most drivers.
This personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” 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 pay for 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. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not 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 decide the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. 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.
Discovery & Deposition
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file 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 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. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. 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. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. 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 be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Expert witnesses are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where required by the court. 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?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. Before you can step foot in the courtroom, there are many things that must happen. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges 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 from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. 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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