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 – Double Oak
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
Every component of the incident will be examined by our legal team as they develop the strongest possible claim. You have the greatest chance for getting justice, whether it is through a settlement or jury award. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for compensation through no-fault insurance. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. For a free consultation, call our Dallas-based law offices. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
When an insurance claim is started, claims adjusters and managers use tactics and methods to mitigate the potential payout or even get it denied it altogether. If a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means that you are guaranteed to work with people who have the same goal as you: to reduce your claims and to keep the law in line. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this 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 typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It is important that potential clients do away with insurance companies. They’re looking for information that could be detrimental to the client, but potentially beneficial to the defendant and the insurance company. This is particularly true when you consider contributory negligence. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to misunderstandings. 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 most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a modified comparative fault state, which means that rear-end accidents in Texas are not solely attributed to the person who caused them. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Are your brake lights on? Did you slow down traffic? 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 crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. 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 have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? Did they contribute to cause this collision? How about speeding? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Last but not least, there’s the matter of contributory negligence. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
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.
Although head-on collisions are statistically less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically more deadly. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted driving accidents
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. Texas has made texting while you drive illegal since 2017. However, it is still legal for a handheld device to be used for other purposes like GPS and 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.
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 was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. The NHTSA refers to these as “ROR” or Run-Off-Road crashes.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. 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’ 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. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
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 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. It’s more common than ever that more drivers equip their cars with dash cameras.
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.
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. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection or related to intersections 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. While side impact airbags can be used to prevent injuries from occurring, such as curtains and impact pillars on modern cars, these types of accidents are still a serious 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. 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. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
Common Mistakes in 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.
Another common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people mistakenly think they are being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to 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. 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.
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 an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. 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 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 of coverage that is included on many 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 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 pay for lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a 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. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
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. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. 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 witness may be called. Responding officers from the law enforcement agency and others could also be called. The jury will determine the defendant’s liability. A trial case is much more costly than one that is settled outside of court. However, a jury can award a plaintiff 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.
Discovery & Deposition
The defense side will request a deposition after you have filed a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation, in which both the plaintiff and defense side will participate. A court reporter will also be present. Both sides will ask you questions to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. To get the other drivers’ perspectives, our attorney will depose them to gain insight into their testimony at trial. We will also learn about the finances of the defendant and their insurance coverage.
Your attorney will help defend you from answers that are misleading or harmful to 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 law for depositions ensures that you will not be intimidated. Your accident attorney will also ensure that you aren’t.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases Expert Witnesses
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. These medical experts, as well as other doctors, can provide an opinion about the chances of recovery for injured parties, their treatment requirements, and prognosis.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Expert witnesses are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where 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?
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. Next, the parties will 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.
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 helped many people recover after accidents for many years.
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