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 – Lowry Crossing
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. This can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. 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 goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called 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. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. We have seen for example folks come to us after they have given a recorded statement, trying to work with the insurance company themselves. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their 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 in light of contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. They aren’t looking out for you; instead, they are playing a game where they’re trying to get out of paying you what your claim is worth.
Common Case Types
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 is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
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? Did you slow down traffic? Did you use turn signals? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. It can sometimes be caused by circumstances or circumstances that are not known. 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. For example, what about weather conditions? What contributed to this collision? Speeding is another possibility. The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
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 were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. Texas banned texting while driving in 2017. However, it is still possible to use a handheld device to do other things like GPS or play music. It does not necessarily mean that someone who causes an accident because of distracted driving is exempted from liability if they are doing something other than texting. 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.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. 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. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. 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.
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. An insurance company reviewing a claim involving a car which was not in contact with another vehicle will investigate the details of how and why you claim that an accident was caused by another person. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
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.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
Side impact and intersection collisions are major contributors to serious injury and death in Texas, just like head-on collision cases. 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. 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. Even if the negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible that their negligence will not be sufficient to make their car insurance pay. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
Common Mistakes following a traffic collision
Often, the other party to an accident will simply move the cars involved without taking photos or having the police present at 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 common error is when people contact their at fault insurer and make a recorded declaration. Many people think they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. The insured is not required to contact the insurance company.
People can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can handle it. They don’t have medical documentation to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company 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.
Stopping Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their payouts. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might 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.
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 can be removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
This type of personal auto insurance protection covers medical expenses following an accident. It is also a form “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 may also be used to pay 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 allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
A case involving an accident goes to court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. It is possible that the parties cannot resolve all issues. Maybe the defendants and plaintiffs couldn’t agree on the amount of compensation to be paid because they couldn’t settle 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 on the defendant’s extent of liability. A trial case is more expensive and takes longer than a settlement. However, a jury could award more damages to a plaintiff than any settlement. 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 a lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold a deposition. This is a formal conversation in which you will be sward in, both side’s attorneys will be present along with 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 help defend you from answers that are misleading or harmful to your case. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. 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: Expert Witnesses
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the 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.
Expert witnesses are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested 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?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges 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. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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