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 – Farmers Branch
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A lawyer who specializes in vehicle accidents can help you determine whether you are eligible for no-fault compensation. 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 are committed to helping you get the best outcome possible.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. 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 do a great job.
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. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
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 typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
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 especially true in light of 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 – Traffic collision – Texas
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 the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Did you use turn signals? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? 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 unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. Sometimes, a defendant might be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. Weather conditions are one example. What contributed to this collision? Was speeding a factor? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. An experienced auto accident attorney is invaluable in navigating these issues.
Although they are statistically safer than rear-end collisions, head-on crashes are more common than rear-end ones. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
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. Distracted driving can still be a cause of an accident. However, it does not mean that a driver who causes an accident through distracted driving is excused just because they were texting. 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.
In addition to state laws, individual cities in the Dallas / Fort Worth area have created ordinances to varying degrees, some more strict than the state laws.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. 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 most of these accidents occur due to the fault of the single party, these cases are not as commonly handled in personal injury law firms.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas was home to 51% of all fatalities in 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. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
If another driver drove you off the road, like someone who is under the influence or someone who falls asleep, you will likely have to prove that they caused it. A car accident claim that was not in direct contact with another vehicle will be reviewed by an insurance company. They will look into the circumstances and determine if there were any other factors. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related accidents.
Side impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or rear. Although side impact airbags, curtains, and impact pillars in modern cars have helped cut down these injuries, as you can see from the fatality statistic above, this kind of accident is a real danger in Texas.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight case. It is possible that, even if the driver was negligent in an accident, their negligence might not be enough to get their car insurance paid out. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
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, as it stops photographic evidence from being as reliable as possible and prevents police from being present on the scene to observe the vehicles.
Another common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to 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 possess any documentation from a physician to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you wait too much or don’t seek medical attention right away, the insurance company can claim that your injuries aren’t sustained. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
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), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile policies. PIP can sometimes be turned off, such as if your Medicare is not available, but it is required for most drivers.
This type of personal auto insurance protection covers medical expenses following an accident. It is also a form “no fault” coverage. 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.
It should be noted that the Texas minimum policy limit to cover PIP is $2,500. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. 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.
Witnesses and expert witnesses, responding officers of the law enforcement, and others may be called to testify in front of a jury during a trial. The jury will decide how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. Although a trial case takes much more time and expense than a claim settled out of court, a jury can potentially award a plaintiff more than any settlement offered. Sometimes, your attorney may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
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. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. 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 be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. You may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. You won’t feel intimidated by the Texas deposition rules. Your accident lawyer will also ensure this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. 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.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. Expert witnesses are rarely called and usually only take part in court cases when the court requires. A motor vehicle firm with experience will be able draw on its resources to find an expert witness.
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 lawsuit must be served to the defendant. The parties then exchange evidence and take deposition witnesses. This entire process can take between one and twelve months depending on how complicated the case is, as well as how many parties 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. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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