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 – Fruitdale
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by no-fault insurance. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. 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.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. The basic truth is that these teams of professional’s entire jobs are in place to reduce what the insurance carrier has to pay out every year. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means that you are guaranteed to work with people who have the same goal as you: to reduce your claims and to keep the law in line. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this hard way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. It is usually too late for us.
It is crucial that potential clients do not communicate with insurance companies. Because they are seeking information that is potentially harmful to the client but advantageous to the defendant and insurance company, this is why. This is especially true when it comes to contributory negligence. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. 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
Although Texas Department of Transportation does not collect data on the proportion of traffic collisions are rear-end accidents, nationally speaking, we know that they are about 28% or 29%. This type accident is probably the most common nationwide and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a state with modified comparative fault. This means that rear-end collisions in Texas do not only point to the driver responsible for them. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Were you using turn signals? Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: 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.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. 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, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
In court, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? Did they contribute to cause this collision? Is speeding an issue? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Last but not least, there’s the matter 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, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. 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. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to texting. While Texas has outlawed texting while driving since 2017, it is still permissible to use a handheld device for other things such as using GPS or playing music. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. 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.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
In 2020 there were 1,354 deaths recorded in Texas as being caused by single car accidents. 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. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. 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. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
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. An insurance company reviewing a claim involving a car which was not in contact with another vehicle will investigate the details of how and why you claim that an accident was caused by another person. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
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 Collision
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections accidents.
Side impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or rear. These injuries are reduced by modern car side impact airbags and curtains. However, the Texas fatality statistics above show that this type of accident can still be deadly.
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. 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. 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.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with the insurance company.
People sometimes make the wrong decision to not seek immediate treatment. They believe they can handle the situation. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional 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.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many personal auto policies. PIP is optional for some drivers.
This type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. 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 also covers lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t 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 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.
After you file a lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold a deposition. This is a formal conversation where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will a court reporter. Both sides will ask you questions regarding the accident, who is at fault, your injuries, or 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. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases: Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. The expert witness can assist those who are hearing the case to draw a conclusion using their knowledge.
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.
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. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding 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 lawsuit must be served to the defendant. The parties then exchange evidence and take deposition 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 from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. Call us to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident attorneys have helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
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