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 – Millwood
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. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by no-fault insurance. This can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you get the best outcome 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 a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. They do a great job.
This means that you are guaranteed to work with people who have the same goal as you: to reduce your claims and to keep the law in line. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their 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. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
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 in light of 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 – Traffic collision – Texas
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 considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Were your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Did you use turn signals? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
Rear-end accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. 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, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? What contributed to this collision? What about speeding? Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t 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. 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 was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash 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 accidents can happen when another driver is driving, and you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being in a collision. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
If you were run off the road by another driver such as someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs or someone who fell asleep at the while, you’ll likely need to show proof that the other driver caused this. 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. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. In 2020 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
Side-impact collisions can result in serious injury. There is less impact protection on the side than there is on the front. Although side impact airbags, curtains, and impact pillars in modern cars have helped cut down these injuries, as you can see from the fatality statistic above, this kind of accident is a real 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. 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. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. The insured does not have to speak with insurance companies.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have the documentation required by a doctor to back up 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.
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. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary to win your case.
We examine all aspects of our clients’ claims. This includes reviewing police reports, gathering witness testimony, preserving electronic data from automobiles, surveillance videos, and consulting crash reconstruction specialists.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most 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 auto insurance protection covers medical expenses following an accident. It is also a form “no fault” coverage. This means you can cover your medical expenses for yourself and your passengers, regardless of what happens in the case. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. 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. 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
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. 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 may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. 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 Witnesses
Expert witness can provide their opinions to the jury in court cases. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly medical experts. 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 can be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested by the court. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
How Long Does a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the 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 have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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