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 – Farmersville
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. 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 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 is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. If a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. They are, of course, skilled in what they do.
This means, that regardless of how the outcome turns out, once you start talking to the other driver’s insurer, you will know you are working with people whose sole purpose is to reduce or keep claims to a minimum. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. They usually make major mistakes that work in the company’s favor and decrease or even eliminate their chances for a favorable settlement. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. This is because they seek information that might be harmful to their client but which may prove to be beneficial to both the defendants and the insurance company. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. Talking to insurance providers can cause misunderstandings. 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
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 of accident is most likely the most common in the country 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. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Were your brake lights on? Did you stop traffic completely? Were you using turn signals? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
Rear-end crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. Sometimes, a defendant might be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? These conditions contributed to the collision. Speeding is another possibility. Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. There is also the question of contributory neglect. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
Although they are statistically safer than rear-end collisions, head-on crashes are more common than rear-end ones. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to 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. 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.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
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 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. If an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. 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.
If your Run-off-road accident was due to another driver’s negligence, you’ll want to work with a good personal injury attorney to build a case properly.
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 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
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.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. 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. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
Common Mistakes in a Traffic Collision
Often, parties to the accident will move the vehicles involved without taking pictures or having police present on 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. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. The insured is not required to contact 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 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. There is a possibility that you could find yourself in a conflict with the negligent driver. 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.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many 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 can get some medical costs for yourself and passengers regardless of the outcome of your case involving the liability of the other driver. PIP also covers lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
A case involving an accident goes to court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. It is possible that the parties cannot resolve all issues. Maybe the defendants and plaintiffs couldn’t agree on the amount of compensation to be paid because they couldn’t settle 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 the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. 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 might be able to argue that punitive damages should be awarded. This is something that would not have been offered in a settlement.
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. 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 to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. Our attorney will also depose any other drivers to get their side of the story, get insight into what they may say in their testimony at the trial, learn more about the finances and insurance coverage of the defendant, get a feel for the defense strategy of the defendant, and more.
Your attorney will help defend you from answers that are misleading or harmful to your case. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
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.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. 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. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. If this occurs, an experienced motor car firm will have the resources necessary to find the right expert witnesses.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
How long it takes to get through a trial isn’t the only factor. There are many things you need to do before you step into the courtroom. The defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. Each party will then have to 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, going it alone is not an option. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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