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 – McKinney
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. 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. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as possible.
When an insurance claim is started, claims adjusters and managers use tactics and methods to mitigate the potential payout or even get it denied it altogether. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. 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 discover this the hard and fast way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. They make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
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 when you consider contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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 Texas Department of Transportation is not able to collect data on the percentage of traffic collisions that are rear-end, we know from national statistics that they are around 28% and 29%. 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, according to state laws, rear-end collisions do not solely point blame towards the driver who caused them. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Were your brake lights on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Did you use turn signals? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. For example, an object in the roadway might have caused the defendant to stop suddenly causing his/her vehicle to run into you. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. For example, what about weather conditions? They contributed to the collision? Was speeding a factor? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Last but not least, there’s the matter 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, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These accidents constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. Texting while driving is illegal in Texas, but it is still allowed to use a handheld phone for other purposes such as GPS or 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. But the law does say that a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor including jail time up to a year and as much as a $4,000 fine.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. 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.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas are often surrounded by two-lane highways and have the potential for drivers drifting into another 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. If an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. It’s more common than ever that more drivers equip their cars with dash cameras.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
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, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections accidents.
Side impacts can cause serious injury. This is due to less protection on the sides of cars than the front and 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. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
Common Mistakes following 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 people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. The insured is free to not speak with the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t possess any documentation from a physician to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you delay in seeking medical attention, or if you wait too long to seek it, insurance companies can claim that you are not injured. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might follow. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help 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 Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), is a type coverage that is included in 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 type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. This means that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. 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 be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
A case involving an accident goes to court
Most insurance claims can be settled without the need to file a suit.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. 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 how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. A trial case is much more costly than one that is settled outside of court. However, a jury can award a plaintiff more than any settlement. 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. You will be asked questions by both sides during this formal conversation. Both the attorneys on each side will be there as well as a reporter. Both sides will ask questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, your injuries and damages. 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. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the 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
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 or other medical experts can render an opinion about an injured party’s probability of recovery, need for treatment, or prognosis.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. 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 a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. 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. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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