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 – Deep Water Point Estates
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. You have the greatest chance for getting justice, whether it is through a settlement or jury award. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by 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 committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly 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. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. Needless to mention, they excel at 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. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
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 typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their 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 especially true in light of contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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: 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 of accident is the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is a state with modified comparative fault. This means that rear-end collisions in Texas do not only point to the driver responsible for them. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Was your use of turn signals evident? Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Since your testimony is susceptible to being refuted, other evidence must be presented to support the claim that defendant followed you too closely.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. 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, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. Weather conditions are one example. They contributed to the collision? Is speeding an issue? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. There is also the question of contributory neglect. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
As you can see, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. An experienced auto accident attorney is invaluable in navigating these issues.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. 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
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t limited to texting. Texas banned texting while driving in 2017. However, it is still possible to use a handheld device to do other things like GPS or play 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.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
The majority of ROR crashes involve just one party in an incident with factors such as alcohol use, poor weather, and distracted driving, poor visibility, or other road conditions where loss of control of the vehicle is common. 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 saw 51% of fatal accidents in rural areas during 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. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
If another driver ran you off of the road, for example someone under the influence of alcohol or drug or someone who fell asleep at work, you will need to provide proof that the other driver caused the accident. 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. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
If your Run-off-road accident was due to another driver’s negligence, you’ll want to work with a good personal injury attorney to build a case properly.
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 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
Side impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or rear. Side impact airbags have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injuries. As you can see in the Texas fatality stats above, side impact collisions are a very real threat.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. It’s possible that even though the other driver was negligent, there may not have been enough negligence to allow their car insurance 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 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 mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They don’t have to look out for their insurance company. They’re trying to get information that will help them and 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 documentation from a professional to support their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
Talking to the at-fault insurance company, recording a statement, trying to resolve their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement before they know the outcome, not getting treatment immediately are all common mistakes people can make.
Stopping Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. 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’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional to win your case.
We review the facts surrounding each client’s claim, including reading police reports, collecting testimonies, conserving electronic data from cars and surveillance videos, as well as consulting with 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 removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
This type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. This means that regardless of the outcome of the case involving the other driver’s liability, you can still get medical care for yourself and your passengers. PIP can also cover lost wages.
It should be noted that the Texas minimum policy limit to cover PIP is $2,500. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to 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 whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
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. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will assist you in answering any questions you may have. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. 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 medical experts and doctors can give an opinion on the likelihood of recovery, treatment needs, or prognosis for an injured party.
Although expert witnesses can help to strengthen a claimant’s case, this is not always the case. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested by the court. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
How Long Does a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
How long it takes to get through a trial isn’t the only factor. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. Each party will then have to exchange 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 can see, going it alone is not an option. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn about your legal rights. Ward Maedgen Accident attorneys have helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
- Balch Springs
- Beverly Hill
- Blue Ridge
- Camp Dallas
- Cedar Hill
- Cockrell Hill
- Cooper Creek
- Copper Canyon
- Corral City
- Cross Roads
- Deep Water Point Estates
- Double Oak
- Farmers Branch
- Flower Mound
- Glenn Heights
- Grand Prairie
- Green Valley
- Hickory Creek
- Highland Park
- Highland Village
- Lake Dallas
- Lakewood Village
- Lavon Beach Estates
- Lavon Shores Estates
- Ledbetter Hills
- Liberty Grove
- Little Elm
- Lowry Crossing
- Mobile City
- New Hope
- Oak Point
- Paloma Creek
- Paloma Creek South
- Pilot Point
- Providence Village
- Royse City
- Shady Shores
- St. Paul
- The Colony
- Trinity Park
- Trophy Club
- University Park
- Yucote Acres