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 – Kelly
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by no-fault insurance. This can cover everything from financial recompense to any losses or injuries you have suffered, missed wages and skyrocketing medical expenses. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. If a case goes to litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. 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 what outcome you get, as soon as your conversation with the insurance carrier for the other driver begins, you’ll be working with people whose purpose it is to reduce the claims however they can within the limits of the law. 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. For instance, people have come to us after having given a recorded declaration. They want to be able to work with insurance companies. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t communicate with insurance companies. They’re looking for information that could be detrimental to the client, but potentially beneficial to the defendant and the insurance company. This is especially true when it comes to contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. They aren’t looking out for you; instead, they are playing a game where they’re trying to get out of paying you what your claim is worth.
Common Case Types
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 is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Did you use turn signals? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. 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.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. Weather conditions are one example. What contributed to this collision? Speeding is another possibility. You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. There is also the question of contributory neglect. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
As you can see, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to 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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. The law states that a person may be charged with a Class A offense, which can lead to jail time of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.
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. 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 referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
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.
ROR accidents can happen when another driver is driving, and you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being in a collision. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. Another reason a driver might be trying to pass dangerously is that he or she may not know how to do so.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. An insurance company reviewing a claim involving a car which was not in contact with another vehicle will investigate the details of how and why you claim that an accident was caused by another person. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. It’s more common than ever that more drivers equip their cars with dash cameras.
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
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.
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. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
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 in a Traffic Collision
Parties to an accident may move vehicles without taking photographs or having officers 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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. The insured is not required to contact the insurance company.
People can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can handle it. They don’t possess any documentation from a physician to support their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you wait too much or don’t seek medical attention right away, the insurance company can claim that your injuries aren’t sustained. An insurance carrier may also use a gap between treatment 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.
The fight against the insurance companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. 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. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional 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. PIP can be removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
This personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” This means that you can get some medical costs for yourself and passengers regardless of the outcome of your case involving the liability of the other driver. PIP can also cover lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. 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
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not 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 the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. 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 a lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold a deposition. 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 to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. 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 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. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. 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
Expert witnesses can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. 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 medical experts and doctors can give an opinion on the likelihood of recovery, treatment needs, or prognosis for an injured party.
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. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
How long does it take to get a court case for an auto crash?
How long it takes to get through a trial isn’t 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. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. The whole process can take up to a year, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of parties involved.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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