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 – Drop
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Every component of the incident will be examined by our legal team as they develop the strongest possible claim. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A lawyer who specializes in vehicle accidents can help you determine whether you are eligible for no-fault compensation. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys will ensure that your case is as smooth as possible.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. These teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. Needless to say, they are good 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 discover this the hard and fast way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It is important that potential clients do away 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. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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: Texas Traffic Collision
The Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t collect data about the percentage of rear-end collisions in traffic accidents. However, they know that this number is around 28% to 29% nationally. This type accident is probably the most common nationwide and Texas is no exception.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you slow down traffic? Were you using turn signals? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle 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 is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
In court, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. Weather conditions are one example. These conditions contributed to the collision. What about speeding? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. There is also the question of contributory neglect. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
As you can see rear-ending is not an automatic win. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
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 accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. 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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. But the law does say that a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor including jail time up to a year and as much as a $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 caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal 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 typically involve only one party. Factors such as alcohol, poor weather, distracted driving, poor vision, or other road conditions that cause loss of control are all factors. These cases are less common in personal injury law firms because most of these accidents are caused by the fault of one party.
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 typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. In other cases, a driver may be attempting 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 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. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with dash cams.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
Side impact and intersection collisions are major contributors to serious injury and death in Texas, just like head-on collision cases. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection accidents.
Side impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or rear. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
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. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
Common Mistakes after 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 common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people think they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are seeking information to assist their insured. The insured is not required to contact the insurance company.
People sometimes make the wrong decision to not seek immediate treatment. They believe they can handle the situation. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As time passes, the likelihood of getting treatment is greater. 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 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.
Combating Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. 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 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 coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. PIP can be omitted in certain cases, such as Medicare, but for most drivers it is mandatory.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an 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 provide coverage for 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 can be settled without the need to file a suit.
But not all car 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 more expensive and takes longer than a settlement. However, a jury could award more damages to a plaintiff 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
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for a deposition. 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 learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
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.
In motor vehicle accidents, medical experts are the most common expert witness. These doctors or other medical professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. 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.
What is the average court case time for an auto accident?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people 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 has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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