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 – Duncanville
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
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 for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you get the best outcome 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 goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called in. The basic truth is that these teams of professional’s entire jobs are in place to reduce what the insurance carrier has to pay out every year. Needless to say, they are good at what they do.
This means that, regardless of what outcome you get, as soon as your conversation with the insurance carrier for the other driver begins, you’ll be working with people whose purpose it is to reduce the claims however they can within the limits of the law. This is usually a bad idea.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. They make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. It is usually too late for us.
It is vital that potential clients refrain from communicating 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 especially true in light of contributory negligence. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. 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: Texas Traffic Collision
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 accident is probably the most common nationwide 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. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Did you slow down traffic? Were you using turn signals? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
Rear-end accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. For example, an object in the roadway might have caused the defendant to stop suddenly causing his/her vehicle to run into you. In some cases, a defendant may be following too closely and ran up on your bumper before slamming into you.
In court, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. For example, what about weather conditions? These conditions contributed to the collision. Was speeding a factor? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. This is where an experienced auto accident attorney can help you.
Although head-on crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 538 people died in head-on collision accidents in 2020. These accidents accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. Texting while driving is illegal in Texas, but it is still allowed to use a handheld phone for other purposes such as GPS or 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. The law states that a person may be charged with a Class A offense, which can lead to jail time of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.
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 caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Numerous others were likely to have contributed to or been involved in other non-fatal accident.
In 2020 there were 1,354 deaths recorded in Texas as being caused by single car accidents. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash by the NHTSA.
ROR accidents involve just one person in an accident. These factors include alcohol use, poor driving conditions, distraction driving, poor visibility and other road conditions that can cause the driver to lose control. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
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. In other cases, a driver may be attempting to pass unsafely.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection Collision
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections accidents.
Side impacts can cause serious injury. This is due to less protection on the sides of cars than the front and rear. 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. Even if the negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible that their negligence will not be sufficient to make their car insurance pay. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
Common Mistakes following a traffic collision
Parties to an accident often move the vehicles involved in the collision without taking photos or having police on the scene. This is a mistake. It makes it difficult to get reliable photographic evidence and also leaves little opportunity for police observation of the vehicles once they are settled.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people mistakenly think they are being cooperative. They don’t have to look out for their insurance company. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. The insured does not have to speak with insurance companies.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can handle it. They don’t have the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. 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. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company as a defense.
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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can 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 carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many personal auto policies. PIP is optional for some 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. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
Most insurance claims can be settled without the need to file a suit.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
In a trial, expert witnesses and witnesses may be called. Responding law enforcement officers can also be called and could testify before a jury. The jury will decide on the defendant’s extent of 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 may even be able to argue that you be awarded punitive damages which is something that would not be offered in a settlement.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation in which you will be sward in, both side’s attorneys will be present along with a court reporter. Both sides will ask questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, your injuries and damages. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. You may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. 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 can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the 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.
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.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
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 defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. After that, each party must 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’ve seen from this overview of the ins and outs of motor vehicle accident cases in Texas, going it alone is never recommended. Call us to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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