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 – Hutchins
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
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 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. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you get the best outcome 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. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. Needless to say, they are good at 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. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this 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’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. This is because they’re seeking information that may be harmful to the client but beneficial to the insurance company and defendant. This is especially true when it comes to 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 – Traffic collision – Texas
While the Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t have data on rear-end accidents in traffic collisions, it does know that about 28% and 29% of all traffic collisions are these. This type of accident is the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
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. Were your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. Sometimes, a defendant might be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? These conditions contributed to the collision. How about speeding? Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. Last, but not least is the question about contributory negligence. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These accidents accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
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. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. These areas typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. In other cases, a driver may be attempting to pass unsafely.
If you were run off the road by another driver such as someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs or someone who fell asleep at the while, you’ll likely need to show proof that the other driver caused this. 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.
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.
Intersection 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, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections accidents.
Side collisions often result in serious injury. This happens because the vehicle’s side is more vulnerable to being struck than it is 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’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
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 stops photographic evidence from being as reliable as possible and prevents police from being present on the scene to observe the vehicles.
Another common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. The insured is not required to contact the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have medical documentation to support 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. An insurance company can also use a delay in treatment as a defense.
Talking to the at-fault insurance company, recording a statement, trying to resolve their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement before they know the outcome, not getting treatment immediately are all common mistakes people can make.
The fight against the insurance companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. 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 Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. 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 pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP can also pay for lost wages.
Although the Texas minimum policy limit is $2,500, it’s not too high. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
An Accident Case goes to Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. 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.
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 on the defendant’s extent of liability. 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation in which you will be sward in, both side’s attorneys will be present along with a court reporter. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and 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 help defend you from answers that are misleading or harmful to your case. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. 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
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. These doctors or other medical professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. Expert witnesses do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. If this occurs, an experienced motor car firm will have the resources necessary to find the right expert witnesses.
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 will be served on the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This entire process can take between one and twelve months depending on how complicated the case is, as well as how many parties involved.
As you can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. 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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