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 – Green Valley
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. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you get the best outcome possible.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. If a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. They are, of course, skilled in 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 discover this the hard and fast 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 make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a 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. Because they want information that can be harmful to clients but benefit the insurance company or defendant, this is a problem. This is especially true in light of 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 is not able to collect data on the percentage of traffic collisions that are rear-end, we know from national statistics that they are around 28% and 29%. This kind of accident is likely the most common nationally and, based on our experience, 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. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Have your brake lights been on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Was your use of turn signals evident? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. Sometimes, a defendant might be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. How can we talk about the weather? They contributed to the collision? How about speeding? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. If you did not brake for traffic ahead of you then some might argue that you contributed to the collision.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. 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. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 538 people died in head-on collision accidents in 2020. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted Driving Accidents
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to just texting. Texas has made texting while you drive illegal since 2017. However, it is still legal for a handheld device to be used for other purposes like GPS and playing music. Distracted driving can still be a cause of an accident. However, it does not mean that a driver who causes an accident through distracted driving is excused just because they were texting. The law states that a person may be charged with a Class A offense, which can lead to jail time of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.
Additionally to the state laws, the individual cities of the Dallas/Fort Worth area have adopted ordinances to differing degrees. Some are stricter than the state laws.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. 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. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
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. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. 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.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
As with head-on collisions, side and intersection crashes contribute significantly to fatalities and serious injuries in Texas. In 2020 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
Side-impact collisions can result in serious injury. There is less impact protection on the side than there is on the front. While side impact airbags can be used to prevent injuries from occurring, such as curtains and impact pillars on modern cars, these types of accidents are still a serious danger in Texas.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. 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. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes After a Traffic collision
Often, the other party to an accident will simply move the cars involved without taking photos or having the police present at the scene. This is a mistake. It makes it difficult to get reliable photographic evidence and also leaves little opportunity for police observation of the vehicles once they are settled.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to 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 documentation from a professional 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. 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. It is possible that the police report was incorrect and victim-blaming could follow. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
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 coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto 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 personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” This means that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. PIP can also pay for lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to Court
Most insurance claims can be settled without the need to file a suit.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. 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 witnesses may be called, responding law enforcement officers, and possibly others for testimony in front of a jury. The jury will decide on the defendant’s extent of liability. Although a trial case may take more time and money than a settled claim, a jury might be able to award a plaintiff higher than any settlement. Sometimes, your attorney may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
The defense side will request a deposition after you have filed a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation, in which both the plaintiff and defense side will participate. A court reporter will also be present. You’ll be asked questions by both sides to find out more about the accident, who was at fault, your injuries, and damages. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will assist you in answering any questions you may have. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. 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
Expert witnesses can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly medical experts. These doctors and other medical experts can offer an opinion about the probability of recovery, treatment needed, or prognosis of an injured party.
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. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
What is the average court case time for an auto accident?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the defendant. Each party will then have to exchange evidence and depose witnesses. The entire process can take anywhere from a few months to one year depending on how complex and involved the case.
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 have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
- Balch Springs
- Beverly Hill
- Blue Ridge
- Camp Dallas
- Cedar Hill
- Cockrell Hill
- Cooper Creek
- Copper Canyon
- Corral City
- Cross Roads
- Deep Water Point Estates
- Double Oak
- Farmers Branch
- Flower Mound
- Glenn Heights
- Grand Prairie
- Green Valley
- Hickory Creek
- Highland Park
- Highland Village
- Lake Dallas
- Lakewood Village
- Lavon Beach Estates
- Lavon Shores Estates
- Ledbetter Hills
- Liberty Grove
- Little Elm
- Lowry Crossing
- Mobile City
- New Hope
- Oak Point
- Paloma Creek
- Paloma Creek South
- Pilot Point
- Providence Village
- Royse City
- Shady Shores
- St. Paul
- The Colony
- Trinity Park
- Trophy Club
- University Park
- Yucote Acres