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 – Josephine
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. Your best chance of getting compensation is to pay attention and be committed, regardless of whether you are settling or going to trial. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to 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. To learn more about your possible choices, contact our Dallas based law offices immediately for a free initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys will ensure that your case is as smooth 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 bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual 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. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. They usually make major mistakes that work in the company’s favor and decrease or even eliminate their chances for a favorable settlement. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t 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 particularly true when you consider contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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 type accident is probably the most common nationwide and 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. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Did you have your brake lights on at all? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Were you using turn signals? Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
Rear-end crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? They contributed to the collision? Speeding is another possibility. It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. There is also the question of contributory neglect. 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.
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
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. Texting while driving is illegal in Texas, but it is still allowed to use a handheld phone for other purposes such as GPS or music. This does not mean that someone who caused an accident due to distracted driving is excusable just because they were doing something other than texting on their device. However, the law allows for a Class A Misdemeanor to be filed. This can include a one-year sentence and a maximum $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 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 recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
ROR accidents involve just one person in an accident. These factors include alcohol use, poor driving conditions, distraction driving, poor visibility and other road conditions that can cause the driver to lose control. 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.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. Texas was home to 51% of all fatalities in 2020. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
If another driver drove you off the road, like someone who is under the influence or someone who falls asleep, you will likely have to prove that they caused it. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
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.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection or related to intersections accidents.
Side-impact collisions can result in serious injury. There is less impact protection on the side than there is on the front. Although side impact airbags, curtains, and impact pillars in modern cars have helped cut down these injuries, as you can see from the fatality statistic above, this kind of accident is a real danger in Texas.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight 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. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
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 because it makes photographic evidence less reliable and leaves the possibility for police to observe the vehicles after they have settled from the collision.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people mistakenly think they are being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are seeking information to assist their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can handle it. They don’t have medical documentation to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. The insurance company can then claim that you have not been injured if you don’t seek medical attention immediately or if the wait goes on too long. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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.
The fight against the insurance companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. There is a possibility that you could find yourself in a conflict with the negligent driver. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary to win your case.
We investigate the details surrounding our clients’ claims. We read police reports, gather testimonies and preserve electronic data from vehicles and surveillance video.
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. Although you can opt out of PIP in some cases such as if you have Medicare, for most drivers, the coverage is mandatory.
This type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. This means you can cover your medical expenses for yourself and your passengers, regardless of what happens in the case. PIP also covers lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. 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 determine the defendant’s 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 lawyer may be able argue for punitive damages. This is something that cannot be offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will a court reporter. Both sides will ask you questions regarding the accident, who is at fault, your injuries, or 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 sit with you to defend you against answering questions in a way that may hurt your case while abiding to truthful answers. 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. You won’t feel intimidated by the Texas deposition rules. Your accident lawyer will also ensure 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.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. 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.
Although expert witnesses can help to strengthen a claimant’s case, this is not always the case. Expert witnesses do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
How long does a court case take for an auto accident?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people are involved.
As you can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. Call us to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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