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 – Lantana
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 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 could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. For a free consultation, call our Dallas-based law offices. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well 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. 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. Needless to say, they are good at 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 through hard work. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. Normally they make huge mistakes that play to the advantage of the company and hurt or destroy their chances of 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. 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 in light of 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 does not collect data on the proportion of traffic collisions are rear-end accidents, nationally speaking, we know that they are about 28% or 29%. This type of accident is most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Did you have your brake lights on at all? Did you slow down traffic? Were you using turn signals? 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 crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. 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.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. Weather conditions are one example. They contributed to the collision? Is speeding an issue? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Last but not least, there’s the matter of contributory negligence. You might be argued that you contributed to the accident if you did not lane brake ahead of traffic.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. 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
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. Although texting while driving has been banned in Texas since 2017, it is still legal to use handheld devices for other purposes, such as GPS and 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. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
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 was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. 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 crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas are often surrounded by two-lane highways and have the potential for drivers drifting into another lane. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
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. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
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, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents 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. 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.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight case. There is a good chance that even if the other driver was negligent, their negligence may not be enough for their car insurance to pay out. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes Following 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 common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They want to help their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with the insurance company.
People also sometimes make the mistake of waiting to seek treatment until they feel they can manage it. They don’t possess any documentation from a physician 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 can also use a gap in 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might follow. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. You will need to have strong evidence and professional assistance in order to win your case.
We carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), is a type coverage that is included in many personal auto policies. PIP can be omitted in certain cases, such as Medicare, but for most drivers it is mandatory.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. 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.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
In a trial witnesses and expert witness may be called. Responding officers from the law enforcement agency and others could also be called. The jury will decide whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their liability. Although a trial case takes much more time and expense than a claim settled out of court, a jury can potentially award a plaintiff more than any settlement offered. Sometimes, your attorney can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take 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. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. Our attorney will also depose any other drivers to get their side of the story, get insight into what they may say in their testimony at the trial, learn more about the finances and insurance coverage of the defendant, get a feel for the defense strategy of the defendant, and more.
Your attorney will accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. 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 is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. 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 experts can render an opinion about an injured party’s probability of recovery, need for treatment, or prognosis.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. An experienced motor vehicle company will be able to tap into its resources to find the right expert witness when this happens.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. Before you can step foot in the courtroom, there are many things that must happen. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. After that, each party must exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people are involved.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. 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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