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 – Lakewood Village
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by no-fault insurance. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending 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.
When an insurance claim is started, claims adjusters and managers use tactics and methods to mitigate the potential payout or even get it denied it altogether. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. They do a great job.
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. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. For instance, people have come to us after having given a recorded declaration. They want to be able to work with insurance companies. 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’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. This is because they seek information that might be harmful to their client but which may prove to be beneficial to both the defendants and the insurance company. This is especially true for contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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 of accident is the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Are your brake lights on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Was your use of turn signals evident? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple 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.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. Weather conditions are one example. Can they be blamed for this collision? Speeding is another possibility. The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Last but not least, there’s the matter of 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. This is where an experienced auto accident attorney can help you.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. 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
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. 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.
Additionally to the state laws, the individual cities of the Dallas/Fort Worth area have adopted ordinances to differing degrees. Some are stricter than the state laws.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. These are referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. 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 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 have often two-lane highways that are shared with opposing traffic. This makes it easy for drivers to drift into the oncoming lanes. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. 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. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Intersectional 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. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection 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. These injuries are reduced by modern car side impact airbags and curtains. However, the Texas fatality statistics above show that this type of accident can still be deadly.
Because Texas has modified contributory neglect laws, even a broad side accident cannot be automatically considered a 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. 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
Parties to an accident often move the vehicles involved in the collision without taking photos or having police on the scene. This is a mistake. It makes it difficult to get reliable photographic evidence and also leaves little opportunity for police observation of the vehicles once they are settled.
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 doesn’t look out for them. They want to help their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to 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 any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As time passes, the likelihood of getting treatment is greater. 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.
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.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their payouts. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. You might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
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), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile 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 that regardless of the outcome of the case involving the other driver’s liability, you can still get medical care for yourself and your passengers. PIP also covers lost wages.
It should be noted that the Texas minimum policy limit to cover PIP is $2,500. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
A case involving an accident goes to court
Most insurance claims can be settled without the need to file a suit.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. 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.
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 decide whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their liability. Even though a trial case can take longer and cost more than a settlement, a jury may be able to award plaintiffs more 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
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for a deposition. 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. Both sides will ask questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, 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 might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on 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 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.
What is the average court case time 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 that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. After that, each party must exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This whole process can take as much as a year depending on how complex the case is and how many parties are involved.
As you can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. 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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