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 – Fate
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. You have the greatest chance for getting justice, whether it is through a settlement or jury award. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. This can cover everything from financial recompense to any losses or injuries you have suffered, missed wages and skyrocketing medical expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. They are skilled at what they do.
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. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. For instance, people have come to us after having given a recorded declaration. They want to be able to work with insurance companies. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t communicate with insurance companies. This is because they’re seeking information that may be harmful to the client but beneficial to the insurance company and defendant. This is especially true in light of contributory negligence. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. They don’t care about you. They’re just trying to win your business by trying not to pay you as much as they can.
Common Case Types – Traffic collision – Texas
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 the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is a “modified comparative fault state” which means, according to state laws, rear-end collisions do not solely point blame towards the driver who caused them. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Were your brake lights on? Did you stop traffic completely? Were you using turn signals? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. 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. Sometimes, the defendant may have been following too closely before running up to your bumper and then ramming into you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? These conditions contributed to the collision. Speeding is another possibility. It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. You might be argued that you contributed to the accident if you did not lane brake ahead of traffic.
As you can see rear-ending is not an automatic win. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted driving accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t limited to texting. Although texting while driving has been banned in Texas since 2017, it is still legal to use handheld devices for other purposes, such as GPS and music. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Numerous others were likely to have contributed to or been involved in other non-fatal accident.
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 crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. Texas saw 51% of fatal accidents in rural areas during 2020. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. Another reason a driver might be trying to pass dangerously is that he or she may not know how to do so.
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. 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. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
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.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. 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. Side impact airbags have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injuries. As you can see in the Texas fatality stats above, side impact collisions are a very real threat.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. 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. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes After 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 mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. The insured does not have to speak with insurance companies.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have documentation from a professional to support their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting 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.
It is common for people to make mistakes by talking to the at fault insurance company, recording statements, trying to resolve their claims themselves, accepting an early settlement before they know the outcome, or not getting treatment immediately.
Combating Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. 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. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary to win your case.
We examine all aspects of our clients’ claims. This includes reviewing police reports, gathering witness testimony, preserving electronic data from automobiles, surveillance videos, and consulting crash reconstruction specialists.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. 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 you can cover your medical expenses for yourself and your passengers, regardless of what happens in the case. PIP can also cover lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. 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.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. 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 witnesses may be called, responding law enforcement officers, and possibly others for testimony in front of a jury. The jury will decide the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. 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 lawyer may be able argue for punitive damages. This is something that cannot be offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation, in which both the plaintiff and defense side will participate. A court reporter will also be present. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will sit with you to defend you against answering questions in a way that may hurt your case while abiding to truthful answers. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
In motor vehicle accidents, medical experts are the most common expert witness. 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 are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. 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 is the average court case time for an auto accident?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. Each party will then have to 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’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 have helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
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