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 – Frognot
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. 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 for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as possible.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. If a case goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual 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 have to learn this hard way. We’ve seen clients come to our office after they have recorded a statement. This is because they are now trying to work with the insurer. They typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. It is usually too late for us.
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 particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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: Texas Traffic Collision
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 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 should evaluate mitigating factors. Were your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
Rear-end crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. Sometimes, a defendant might be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. How can we talk about the weather? Can they be blamed for this collision? Speeding is another possibility. There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. 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. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
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 accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just 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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. However, the law allows for a Class A Misdemeanor to be filed. This can include a one-year sentence and a maximum $4,000 fine.
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. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. In other cases, a driver may be attempting to pass unsafely.
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. 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. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. 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.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. 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’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
Common Mistakes following 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 because it makes photographic evidence less reliable and leaves the possibility for police to observe the vehicles after they have settled from the collision.
Another common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
People can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can 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.
The fight against the insurance companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can 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 thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding our clients’ claims, reading police reports, gathering testimonies, preserving electronic data from automobiles and surveillance videos, and consulting with crash reconstruction specialists.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile policies. Although you can opt out of PIP in some cases such as if you have Medicare, for most drivers, the coverage is mandatory.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP can also provide coverage for lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. If you had a good insurance agent who went over the coverages with you, there’s a good chance that you may have opted for a higher amount. 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
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. 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 witnesses and expert witness may be called. Responding officers from the law enforcement agency and others could also be called. The jury will decide whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their liability. 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 lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold a deposition. This is a formal conversation that you will have with the defense side. The court reporter and both attorneys from each side will also be present. Both sides will ask you questions regarding the accident, who is at fault, your injuries, or damages. Our attorney will also question any other drivers to find out their story and gain insight into what they might say at trial. He will also provide information about the defendant’s finances and insurance coverage.
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. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. 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. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the available information.
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 can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Expert witnesses are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where required by the court. An experienced motor vehicle company will be able to tap into its resources to find the right expert witness when this happens.
What is the average court case time for an auto accident?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. 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 can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. 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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