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 – Lavon Beach Estates
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. You have the greatest chance for getting justice, whether it is through a settlement or jury award. A lawyer who specializes in vehicle accidents can help you determine whether you are eligible for no-fault compensation. 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.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. 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. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad 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 make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
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 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 most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is a state with modified comparative fault. This means that rear-end collisions in Texas do not only point to the driver responsible for them. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Are your brake lights on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? You used turn signals. In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. In some cases, a defendant may be following too closely and ran up on your bumper before slamming into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. How can we talk about the weather? These conditions contributed to the collision. What about speeding? There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. 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.
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.
Although head-on crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
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. 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. 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 state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. The NHTSA refers to these as “ROR” or Run-Off-Road crashes.
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. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. Another reason a driver might be trying to pass dangerously is that he or she may not know how to do so.
If another driver ran you off of the road, for example someone under the influence of alcohol or drug or someone who fell asleep at work, you will need to provide proof that the other driver caused the accident. 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. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
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 are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or 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.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight case. It’s possible that even though the other driver was negligent, there may not have been enough negligence to allow their car insurance policy to pay. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
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 because it makes photographic evidence less reliable and leaves the possibility for police to observe the vehicles after they have settled from the collision.
Another common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. The insured is free to not 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 have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. If you do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. 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.
Fight 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 might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional to win your case.
We review the facts surrounding each client’s claim, including reading police reports, collecting testimonies, conserving electronic data from cars and surveillance videos, as well as consulting with crash reconstruction specialists.
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 form of personal auto insurance protection is in place to cover medical expenses after an accident and it is a form of “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 can also pay for lost wages.
Although the Texas minimum policy limit is $2,500, it’s not too high. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. This will cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. 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 how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. 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 might be able to argue that punitive damages should be awarded. This is something that would not have been offered in a settlement.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take 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. You’ll be asked questions by both sides to find out more about the accident, who was at fault, 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 sit with you to defend you against answering questions in a way that may hurt your case while abiding to truthful answers. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to 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.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
Expert witness can provide their opinions to the jury in court cases. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. 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. 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?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the defendant. The parties then exchange evidence and take deposition witnesses. This whole process can take as much as a year depending on how complex the case is and how many parties are involved.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn about your legal rights. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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