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 – Irving
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
Every component of the incident will be examined by our legal team as they develop the strongest possible claim. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A lawyer who specializes in vehicle accidents can help you determine whether you are eligible for no-fault compensation. This can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys will ensure that your case is as smooth as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. These teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means that no matter what happens, if you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure you’ll be dealing with people whose goal is to minimize claims in any legal way possible. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. 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 typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. It is usually too late for us.
It is crucial that potential clients do not communicate with insurance companies. Because they are seeking information that is potentially harmful to the client but advantageous to the defendant and insurance company, this is why. This is especially true for contributory negligence. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. They won’t be looking out for your best interests, but instead they will try to make as much money as possible by trying to get you to pay what you 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 accident is probably the most common nationwide and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a modified comparative fault state, which means that rear-end accidents in Texas are not solely attributed to the person who caused them. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. 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 be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? Did they contribute to cause this collision? What about speeding? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
As you can see rear-ending is not an automatic win. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
Although head-on crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. 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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. 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.
In addition to state laws, individual cities in the Dallas / Fort Worth area have created ordinances to varying degrees, some more strict 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.
In 2020 there were 1,354 deaths recorded in Texas as being caused by single car accidents. 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.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures 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. 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. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
Side impact and intersection collisions are major contributors to serious injury and death in Texas, just like head-on collision cases. In 2020, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections 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. Side impact airbags have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injuries. As you can see in the Texas fatality stats above, side impact collisions are a very real threat.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight case. 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. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
Common Mistakes following 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 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.
Another common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. 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 free to not speak with 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 the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. 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.
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 an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might 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 carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Personal Injury Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many personal auto policies. 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 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.
Although the Texas minimum policy limit is $2,500, it’s not too high. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
An Accident Case goes to Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
In a trial, expert witnesses and witnesses may be called. Responding law enforcement officers can also be called and could testify before a jury. The jury will decide whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their 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 may even be able to argue that you be awarded punitive damages which is something that would not be 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. You’ll be asked questions by both sides to find out more about the accident, who was at fault, your injuries, and damages. To get the other drivers’ perspectives, our attorney will depose them to gain insight into their testimony at trial. We will also learn about the finances of the defendant and their insurance coverage.
Your attorney will be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. You may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed 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: Expert Witnesses
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.
In motor vehicle accidents, medical experts are the most common expert witness. These doctors or other medical professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested 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?
How long it takes to get through a trial isn’t the only factor. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange 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’ve seen from this overview of the ins and outs of motor vehicle accident cases in Texas, going it alone is never recommended. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident attorneys have helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
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