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 – Glenn Heights
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. 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 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.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. Needless to mention, they excel 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. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. They typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at 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. 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 when you consider contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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 – 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 of accident is most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Are your brake lights on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Did you use turn signals? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? Since your testimony is susceptible to being refuted, other evidence must be presented to support the claim that defendant followed you too closely.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. 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? Can they be blamed for this collision? Is speeding an issue? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Then there is the issue 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. 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. 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
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. 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.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
ROR accidents involve just one person in an accident. These factors include alcohol use, poor driving conditions, distraction driving, poor visibility and other road conditions that can cause the driver to lose control. 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 crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “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.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. 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. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
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
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related accidents.
Side-impact collisions can result in serious injury. There is less impact protection on the side than there is on the front. 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.
Because Texas has modified contributory neglect laws, even a broad side accident cannot be automatically considered a case. It’s possible that even though the other driver was negligent, there may not have been enough negligence to allow their car insurance policy to pay. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
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 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’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. The insured is not required to contact the insurance company.
People also sometimes make the mistake of waiting to seek treatment until they feel they can manage it. They don’t have medical documentation to support their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. The insurance company can then claim that you have not been injured if you don’t seek medical attention immediately or if the wait goes on too long. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company as a defense.
Common mistakes made by people include not seeking immediate treatment, talking to their at-fault insurer, recording a statement, trying and resolving their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement, refusing to accept the outcome of the case, and refusing to take action.
The fight against the insurance companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. You might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. You will need to have strong evidence and professional assistance in order 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 Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile policies. PIP is optional for some drivers.
This form of personal auto insurance protection is in place to cover medical expenses after an accident and it is a form of “no-fault” coverage. This means you can cover your medical expenses for yourself and your passengers, regardless of what happens in the case. PIP can also provide coverage 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 be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
A case involving an accident goes to court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. Perhaps the plaintiffs or defendants couldn’t agree upon how much compensation should go because they couldn’t 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 determine the defendant’s 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 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, in which both the plaintiff and defense side will participate. A court reporter 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 interview any other drivers in order to learn their stories, gain insight into their testimony at the trial and get an idea of the defense strategy and finances of defendant.
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 ask you questions that can help your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. These doctors or other medical experts can render an opinion about an injured party’s probability of recovery, need for treatment, or prognosis.
Expert witnesses can be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested 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.
How long does it take to get a court case for an auto crash?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people are involved.
As you can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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