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 – Lancaster
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. They are, of course, skilled in what they do.
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. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
Sometimes clients learn this the 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 typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. 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 especially true for contributory negligence. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to misunderstandings. They don’t care about you. They’re just trying to win your business by trying not to pay you as much as they can.
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 of accident is the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is a “modified comparative fault state” which means, according to state laws, rear-end collisions do not solely point blame towards the driver who caused them. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Were your brake lights on? Did you stop traffic completely? You used turn signals. Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: 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.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. 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, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? What contributed to this collision? Is speeding an issue? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. You might be argued that you contributed to the accident if you did not lane brake ahead of traffic.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These accidents constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. 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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. 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.
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 was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
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 these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. 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. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
You will need to prove that another driver ran you off the road, such as someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone who fell asleep while driving. An insurance company that reviews a claim involving a car that didn’t come into contact with another will scrutinize how and why if you claim the accident was caused by someone else. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
If your Run-off-road accident was due to another driver’s negligence, you’ll want to work with a good personal injury attorney to build a case properly.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
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.
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. While side impact airbags can be used to prevent injuries from occurring, such as curtains and impact pillars on modern cars, these types of accidents are still a serious danger in Texas.
As with other accident types in Texas, due to modified contributory negligence laws, even a broad-side accident can’t be automatically considered a clear cut case. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes After a Traffic collision
Often, parties to the accident will move the vehicles involved without taking pictures or having police present on the scene. This is an error as it reduces photographic evidence’s reliability and makes it impossible for police to inspect the vehicles immediately after the collision.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with the insurance company.
People sometimes make the wrong decision to not seek immediate treatment. They believe they can handle the situation. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you delay in seeking medical attention, or if you wait too long to seek it, insurance companies can claim that you are not injured. 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.
The fight against the insurance companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary to win your case.
We examine all aspects of our clients’ claims. This includes reviewing police reports, gathering witness testimony, preserving electronic data from automobiles, surveillance videos, and consulting crash reconstruction specialists.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. PIP is optional for some drivers.
This type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. 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 pay for 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 allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claims can be settled without the need to file a suit.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. It is possible that the parties cannot resolve all issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to their differences.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. The jury will decide how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. 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 attorney can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
Discovery & Deposition
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for a deposition. You will be asked questions by both sides during this formal conversation. Both the attorneys on each side will be there as well as a reporter. Both sides will ask you questions to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. 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 sit with you to defend you against answering questions in a way that may hurt your case while abiding to truthful answers. Your attorney may ask you questions that can help your case. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
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.
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. 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?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. After that, each party must exchange evidence and depose witnesses. The entire process can take anywhere from a few months to one year depending on how complex and involved the case.
As you can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many people recover after accidents for many years.
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