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 – Highland Park
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for compensation through no-fault insurance. This can cover everything from financial recompense to any losses or injuries you have suffered, missed wages and skyrocketing medical expenses. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys will ensure that your case is as smooth as possible.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. 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 do a great job.
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. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. Normally they make huge mistakes that play to the advantage of the company and hurt or destroy their chances of a favorable claim. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
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. Talking to insurance providers can cause misunderstandings. They don’t look out for you, but they play a game to try and get out of paying what your claim is worth.
Common Case Types
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 the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Have your brake lights been on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Did you use turn signals? 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 accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. 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.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. For example, what about weather conditions? They contributed to the collision? Was speeding a factor? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Then there is the issue 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 can see rear-ending is not an automatic win. 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
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t limited to 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. 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. 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.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. 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. The NHTSA refers to these as “ROR” or Run-Off-Road crashes.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. Because most of these accidents occur due to the fault of the single party, these cases are not as commonly handled in personal injury law firms.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. 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.
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. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related accidents.
One reason why side impact collisions tend to involve serious injury is because there is less barrier to impact on the side of the car as compared to the rear or 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.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. 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. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
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 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.
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. They don’t have to look out for their insurance company. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. The insured does not have to speak with insurance companies.
People also sometimes make the mistake of waiting to seek treatment until they feel they can manage it. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As time passes, the likelihood of getting treatment is greater. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company 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.
Stopping Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their payouts. It is possible that the police report was incorrect and victim-blaming could follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
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), 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 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 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. 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. This will cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. It is possible that the parties cannot resolve all issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not 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 how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. 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 might be able to argue that punitive damages should be awarded. This is something that would not have been offered in a settlement.
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. 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 to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. 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 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. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required 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 to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange evidence and depose 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, going it alone is not an option. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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