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 – Fayburg
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. Your best chance of getting compensation is to pay attention and be committed, regardless of whether you are settling or going to trial. A lawyer who specializes in vehicle accidents can help you determine whether you are eligible for no-fault compensation. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps 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 no matter what happens, if you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure you’ll be dealing with people whose goal is to minimize claims in any legal way possible. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
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. Normally they make huge mistakes that play to the advantage of the company and hurt or destroy their chances of a favorable claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t communicate 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 for contributory negligence. 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
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 is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. Sometimes, the defendant may have been following too closely before running up to your bumper and then ramming into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? They contributed to the collision? What about speeding? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Last but not least, there’s the matter 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. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted driving accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just 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. 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 person can be charged for a Class A misdemeanor, including jail time of upto a year and a maximum $4,000 penalty.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
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.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related 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.
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 typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. If an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. 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.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection Collision
As with head-on collisions, side and intersection crashes contribute significantly to fatalities and serious injuries 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. 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.
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. There is a good chance that even if the other driver was negligent, their negligence may not be enough for their car insurance to pay out. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
Common Mistakes Following a Traffic Collision
Parties to an accident may move vehicles without taking photographs or having officers present at 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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They want to help 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 possess any documentation from a physician to support their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get 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.
People can make common errors by not speaking to the at-fault company, making a statement, trying their best to resolve the claim, accepting an earlier settlement without knowing the outcome and not seeking treatment immediately.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. You might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
We investigate the details surrounding our clients’ claims. We read police reports, gather testimonies and preserve electronic data from vehicles and surveillance video.
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 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 you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. 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. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to Court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Maybe the defendants and plaintiffs couldn’t agree on the amount of compensation to be paid because they couldn’t settle 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 on the defendant’s extent of liability. Even though a trial case can take longer and cost more than a settlement, a jury may be able to award plaintiffs more than any settlement. Sometimes, your attorney can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
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 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 assist you in answering any questions you may have. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. 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. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
How Long Does a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not 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. Next, the parties will exchange evidence and depose 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.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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