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 – Hebron
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Every component of the incident will be examined by our legal team as they develop the strongest possible claim. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for compensation through no-fault insurance. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful 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. 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. They are, of course, skilled in what they do.
This means, that regardless of how the outcome turns out, once you start talking to the other driver’s insurer, you will know you are working with people whose sole purpose is to reduce or keep claims to a minimum. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes clients learn this the hard way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It is important that potential clients do away 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. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. 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
Although the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. 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. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Are your brake lights on? Did you stop traffic completely? Was your use of turn signals evident? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following 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.
In court, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. For example, what about weather conditions? These conditions contributed to the collision. Speeding is another possibility. It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Last, but not least is the question about 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. This is where an experienced auto accident attorney can help you.
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
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to 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.
Out of state laws, each city in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has its own ordinances. Some may be more strict than those created by the state.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the 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 as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
The majority of ROR crashes involve just one party in an incident with factors such as alcohol use, poor weather, and distracted driving, poor visibility, or other road conditions where loss of control of the vehicle is common. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
ROR accidents can happen when another driver is driving, and you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being in a collision. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
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. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with dash cams.
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
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. 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. 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. Even if the negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible that their negligence will not be sufficient to make their car insurance pay. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
Common Mistakes in 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, as it stops photographic evidence from being as reliable as possible and prevents police from being present on the scene to observe the vehicles.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. The insured does not have to speak with insurance companies.
People can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can handle it. They don’t have the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving 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. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company as a defense.
There are many common mistakes that people make. These include failing to get treatment right away, not getting immediate treatment, not talking to the insurance company at fault, making a claim, recording a declaration, and trying to resolve the claim yourself.
Stopping Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. 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 Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. PIP can be removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
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 may also be used to pay lost wages.
Although the Texas minimum policy limit is $2,500, it’s not too high. There’s a chance you could have chosen for a higher amount if you had an experienced agent who reviewed the coverages with your. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. 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 decide how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. A trial case is more expensive and takes longer than a settlement. However, a jury could award more damages to a plaintiff 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.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take 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 accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. 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.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are 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.
Although expert witnesses can help to strengthen a claimant’s case, this is not always the case. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested by the court. A motor vehicle firm with experience will be able draw on its resources to find an expert witness.
How Long Does a Court Case Take 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 will need to be served on defendant. The parties then exchange evidence and take deposition witnesses. The whole process can take up to a year, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of parties involved.
As you can see, going it alone is not an option. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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