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 – DISH
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 help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. To learn more about your possible choices, contact our Dallas based law offices immediately for a free initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. If a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. These teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. They are skilled at what they do.
This means that regardless of outcome, as soon as you engage with the insurance carrier of the other driver, you will be guaranteed to be working against people who’s purpose is to reduce claims while staying within the bounds of the law. This is usually a bad idea.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. For instance, people have come to us after having given a recorded declaration. They want to be able to work with insurance companies. They make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. Because they are seeking information that is potentially harmful to the client but advantageous to the defendant and insurance company, this is why. This is especially true in light of contributory negligence. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to misunderstandings. They aren’t looking out for you; instead, they are playing a game where they’re trying to get out of paying you what your claim is worth.
Common Case Types
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 most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
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 must consider mitigating circumstances. Were your brake lights on? Did you slow down traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. For example, what about weather conditions? Did they contribute to cause this collision? Is speeding an issue? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. 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 see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. 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 fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted Driving Accidents
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to just 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. It does not necessarily mean that someone who causes an accident because of distracted driving is exempted from liability if they are doing something other than texting. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 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.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. These areas are often surrounded by two-lane highways and have the potential for drivers drifting into another lane. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
You will need to prove that another driver ran you off the road, such as someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone who fell asleep while driving. An insurance company that reviews a claim involving a car that didn’t come into contact with another will scrutinize how and why if you claim the accident was caused by someone else. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
For a Run-off-road case where another driver was negligent, you should contact a good personal injury lawyer to help you build a strong case.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
As with head-on collisions, side and intersection crashes contribute significantly to fatalities and serious injuries in Texas. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related 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. These injuries are reduced by modern car side impact airbags and curtains. However, the Texas fatality statistics above show that this type of accident can still be deadly.
As with other accident types in Texas, due to modified contributory negligence laws, even a broad-side accident can’t be automatically considered a clear cut case. 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. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
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 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 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 any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you delay in seeking medical attention, or if you wait too long to seek it, insurance companies can claim that you are not 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.
Combating Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional to win your case.
We thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding our clients’ claims, reading police reports, gathering testimonies, preserving electronic data from automobiles and surveillance videos, and consulting with crash reconstruction specialists.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. PIP is optional for some drivers.
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 provide coverage for 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. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
An Accident Case goes to Court
Most insurance claims can be settled without the need to file a suit.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. 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 determine the defendant’s 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for a deposition. You will be asked questions by both sides during this formal conversation. Both the attorneys on each side will be there as well as a reporter. Both sides will ask you questions regarding the accident, who is at fault, your injuries, or 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 assist you in answering any questions you may have. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. 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 can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. The expert witness can assist those who are hearing the case to draw a conclusion using their knowledge.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. 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 are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. An experienced motor vehicle company will be able to tap into its resources to find the right expert witness when this happens.
How long does a court case take for an auto accident?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are many things you need to do before you step into the courtroom. The defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. Next, the parties will 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 have helped many people recover after accidents for many years.
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