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 – McLendon-Chisholm
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. 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. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. Needless to mention, they excel 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. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. For instance, people have come to us after having given a recorded declaration. They want to be able to work with insurance companies. 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 critical that our potential clients don’t 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 especially true in light of contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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: Texas Traffic Collision
Although the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. This kind of accident is likely the most common nationally and, based on our experience, 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. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you stop traffic completely? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. 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 be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. Weather conditions are one example. They contributed to the collision? Is speeding an issue? Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
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 accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
Distracted driving accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to texting. While Texas has outlawed texting while driving since 2017, it is still permissible to use a handheld device for other things such as using GPS or playing 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. 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.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. The NHTSA refers to these as “ROR” or Run-Off-Road crashes.
ROR accidents involve just one person in an accident. These factors include alcohol use, poor driving conditions, distraction driving, poor visibility and other road conditions that can cause the driver to lose control. Because most of these accidents occur due to the fault of the single party, these cases are not as commonly handled in personal injury law firms.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Texas was home to 51% of all fatalities in 2020. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. A car accident claim that was not in direct contact with another vehicle will be reviewed by an insurance company. They will look into the circumstances and determine if there were any other factors. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
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.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related accidents.
Side impacts can cause serious injury. This is due to less protection on the sides of cars than the front and 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.
Because Texas has modified contributory neglect laws, even a broad side accident cannot be automatically considered a case. It is possible that, even if the driver was negligent in an accident, their negligence might not be enough to get their car insurance paid out. 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
Often, parties to the accident will move the vehicles involved without taking pictures or having police present on the scene. 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 mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are seeking information to assist their insured. The insured is not required to contact 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. 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. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company as a defense.
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.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional to win your case.
We investigate the details surrounding our clients’ claims. We read police reports, gather testimonies and preserve electronic data from vehicles and surveillance video.
Personal Injury Protection 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 personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” 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 also covers lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a 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 cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. The jury will decide the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. 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 may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
After you file a suit, the defense side will ask for 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. Both sides will ask you questions regarding the accident, who is at fault, your injuries, or 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 be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly medical experts. These medical experts, as well as other doctors, can provide an opinion about the chances of recovery for injured parties, their treatment requirements, and prognosis.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Expert witnesses do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. An experienced motor vehicle company will be able to tap into its resources to find the right expert witness when this happens.
How Long Does a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
How long it takes to get through a trial isn’t the only factor. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people are involved.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. 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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