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
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. 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 what outcome you get, as soon as your conversation with the insurance carrier for the other driver begins, you’ll be working with people whose purpose it is to reduce the claims however they can within the limits of the law. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes clients learn this 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. It is usually too late for us.
It is important that potential clients do away with insurance companies. Because they want information that can be harmful to clients but benefit the insurance company or defendant, this is a problem. This is especially true in light of contributory negligence. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to misunderstandings. They won’t be looking out for your best interests, but instead they will try to make as much money as possible by trying to get you to pay what you claim is worth.
Common Case Types
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 modified comparative fault state, which means that rear-end accidents in Texas are not solely attributed to the person who caused them. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Have your brake lights been on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Were you using turn signals? Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
Rear-end accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. For example, what about weather conditions? These conditions contributed to the collision. Is speeding an issue? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. If you did not brake for traffic ahead of you then some might argue that you contributed to the collision.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
Although head-on collisions are statistically less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically more deadly. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
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 is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
In 2020 there were 1,354 deaths recorded in Texas as being caused by single car accidents. 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. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. Texas was home to 51% of all fatalities in 2020. These areas typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
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 an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection 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.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. 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. 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 an error as it reduces photographic evidence’s reliability and makes it impossible for police to inspect the vehicles immediately after the collision.
Another common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people think they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can handle it. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. An insurance carrier can also use a gap 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.
Combating Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary 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 of coverage that is included on many personal auto policies. PIP can be removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. PIP can also provide coverage for lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
A case involving an accident goes to court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to their differences.
Witnesses and expert witnesses, responding officers of the law enforcement, and others may be called to testify in front of a jury during a trial. The jury will decide the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for a deposition. This is a formal conversation, in which both the plaintiff and defense side will participate. A court reporter will also be present. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. Our attorney will also question any other drivers to find out their story and gain insight into what they might say at trial. He will also provide information about the defendant’s finances and 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. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. 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
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. These medical experts and doctors can give an opinion on the likelihood of recovery, treatment needs, or prognosis for an injured party.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. Expert witnesses are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where 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?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not the only factor. Before you can step foot in the courtroom, there are many things that must happen. The defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. After that, each party must 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. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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