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 – Ledbetter Hills
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 commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. 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.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. If a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. They do a great job.
This means that no matter what happens, if you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure you’ll be dealing with people whose goal is to minimize claims in any legal way possible. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients find this out the hard way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the 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 vital that potential clients refrain from communicating 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 when it comes to contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. They don’t look out for you, but they play a game to try and get out of paying what your claim is worth.
Common Case Types: Traffic collision – Texas
Although the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. This type accident is probably the most common nationwide and Texas is no exception.
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. Were your brake lights on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? You used 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 crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. It can sometimes be caused by circumstances or circumstances that are not known. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. In some cases, a defendant may be following too closely and ran up on your bumper before slamming into you.
In court, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. For example, what about weather conditions? They contributed to the collision? What about speeding? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. 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.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to 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. 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 state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic 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 was home to 51% of all fatalities 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. 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. 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. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with 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 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.
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. 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.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
Common Mistakes following a traffic collision
Parties to an accident may move vehicles without taking photographs or having officers present at 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.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people mistakenly think they are being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. The insured is free to not speak with the insurance company.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can handle it. They don’t have medical documentation to support their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. The insurance company can then claim that you have not been injured if you don’t seek medical attention immediately or if the wait goes on too long. An insurance carrier can also use a gap in treatment as a defense.
People can make common errors by not speaking to the at-fault company, making a statement, trying their best to resolve the claim, accepting an earlier settlement without knowing the outcome and not seeking treatment immediately.
Combating Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. There is a possibility that you could find yourself in a conflict with the negligent driver. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance of a professional.
We thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding our clients’ claims, reading police reports, gathering testimonies, preserving electronic data from automobiles and surveillance videos, and consulting with crash reconstruction specialists.
Personal Injury Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. PIP can be omitted in certain cases, such as Medicare, but for most drivers it is mandatory.
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 you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP also covers lost wages.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole lot. There’s a chance you could have chosen for a higher amount if you had an experienced agent who reviewed the coverages with your. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
An Accident Case 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 were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not resolve 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 on the defendant’s extent of 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 may even be able to argue that you be awarded punitive damages which is something that would not be offered in a settlement.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will a court reporter. Both sides will ask you questions to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
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. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
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. 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?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not the only factor. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. The parties then exchange evidence and take deposition witnesses. The whole process can take up to a year, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of parties involved.
As you can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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