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 – Lucas
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. 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.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. If a case goes to litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. 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 outcome, as soon as you engage with the insurance carrier of the other driver, you will be guaranteed to be working against people who’s purpose is to reduce claims while staying within the bounds of the law. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this hard way. 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 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 crucial that potential clients do not communicate with insurance companies. This is because they seek information that might be harmful to their client but which may prove to be beneficial to both the defendants and the insurance company. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. Talking to insurance providers can cause misunderstandings. 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: Texas Traffic Collision
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 the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is a “modified comparative fault state” which means, according to state laws, rear-end collisions do not solely point blame towards the driver who caused them. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Were your brake lights on? Did you slow down traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
Rear-end accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. Sometimes, the defendant may have been following too closely before running up to your bumper and then ramming into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. How can we talk about the weather? These conditions contributed to the collision. Is speeding an issue? There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. Then there is the issue 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. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to texting. 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. Distracted driving can still be a cause of an accident. However, it does not mean that a driver who causes an accident through distracted driving is excused just because they were texting. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
In addition to state laws, individual cities in the Dallas / Fort Worth area have created ordinances to varying degrees, some more strict than the state laws.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash by the NHTSA.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Texas saw 51% of fatal accidents in rural areas during 2020. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
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. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with dash cams.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection 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 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
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. 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.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. 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 in 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 error is when people contact their at fault insurer and make a recorded declaration. Many people think they’re being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They want to help 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 possess any documentation from a physician to support their claims. As time passes, the likelihood of getting treatment is greater. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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.
Combating Insurance Companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. It is possible that the police report was incorrect and victim-blaming could follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
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 Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), is a type coverage that is included in many personal auto policies. Although you can opt out of PIP in some cases such as if you have Medicare, for most drivers, the coverage is mandatory.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. 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 cover lost wages.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole 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.
A case involving an accident goes to court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. 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.
In a trial, expert witnesses and witnesses may be called. Responding law enforcement officers can also be called and could testify before a jury. 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 may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get 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 help defend you from answers that are misleading or harmful to your case. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
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.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. These doctors and other medical experts can offer an opinion about the probability of recovery, treatment needed, or prognosis of an injured party.
Expert witnesses can be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Expert witnesses are rarely called and usually only take part in court cases when the court requires. 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?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. After that, each party must exchange evidence and depose 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 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 has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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