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 – Lake Dallas
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. Your best chance of getting compensation is to pay attention and be committed, regardless of whether you are settling or going to trial. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. They do a great job.
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. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes clients find this out the hard 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 crucial that potential clients never communicate with their 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. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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
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 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. Did your brake lights turn on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Did you use 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 unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. How can we talk about the weather? Can they be blamed for this collision? Speeding is another possibility. Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. 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. This is where an experienced auto accident attorney can help you.
Although head-on collisions are statistically less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically more deadly. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. 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.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
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 typically involve only one party. Factors such as alcohol, poor weather, distracted driving, poor vision, or other road conditions that cause loss of control are all factors. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. These areas are often surrounded by two-lane highways and have the potential for drivers drifting into another 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. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the 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 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.
Side impacts can cause serious injury. This is due to less protection on the sides of cars than the front and rear. 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.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
Common Mistakes After a Traffic collision
Many times, the parties involved in an accident will not take photos of the scene or have police present. 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 mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. People mistakenly believe that they are 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. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have documentation from a professional to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving 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 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance of a professional.
We thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding our clients’ claims, reading police reports, gathering testimonies, preserving electronic data from automobiles and surveillance videos, and consulting with crash reconstruction specialists.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP), is a type coverage that is included in many personal auto policies. PIP is optional for some drivers.
This type of personal auto insurance protection covers medical expenses following an accident. It is also a form “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 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. This will cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
When 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 to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs or defendants couldn’t agree upon how much compensation should go because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. The jury will decide whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their 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 attorney might be able to argue that punitive damages should be awarded. This is something that would not have been offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
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. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as 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 assist you in answering any questions you may have. You may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. Texas law for depositions ensures that you will not be intimidated. Your accident attorney will also ensure that you aren’t.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases: Expert Witnesses
Expert witness can provide their opinions to the jury in court cases. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon 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. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. A motor vehicle firm with experience will be able draw on its resources to find an expert witness.
What is the average court case time for an auto accident?
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 need to be served on 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 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 helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
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