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 – Navo
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. 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 committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. If a case goes to litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. They are skilled 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 find this out the hard 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. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
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 particularly true when you consider contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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 – Traffic collision – Texas
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 is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
Texas is a modified comparative fault state, which means that rear-end accidents in Texas are not solely attributed to the person who caused them. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Was your use of turn signals evident? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. How can we talk about the weather? They contributed to the collision? Was speeding a factor? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. There is also the question of contributory neglect. 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. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
Although head-on collisions are statistically less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically more deadly. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These accidents accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during 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. This does not mean that someone who caused an accident due to distracted driving is excusable just because they were doing something other than texting on their device. 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.
Out of state laws, each city in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has its own ordinances. Some may be more strict than those created by the state.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Numerous others were likely to have contributed to or been involved in other non-fatal accident.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 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 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. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. Another reason a driver might be trying to pass dangerously is that he or she may not know how to do so.
You will need to prove that another driver ran you off the road, such as someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone who fell asleep while driving. 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. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
For a Run-off-road case where another driver was negligent, you should contact a good personal injury lawyer to help you build a strong case.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection accidents.
Side-impact collisions can result in serious injury. There is less impact protection on the side than there is on the front. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
As with other accident types in Texas, due to modified contributory negligence laws, even a broad-side accident can’t be automatically considered a clear cut case. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
Common Mistakes in a Traffic Collision
Parties to an accident may move vehicles without taking photographs or having officers present at the scene. This is a mistake because it makes photographic evidence less reliable and leaves the possibility for police to observe the vehicles after they have settled from the collision.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They’re looking for information that will assist them and their insured. The insured is free to not speak with the insurance company.
People sometimes make the wrong decision to not seek immediate treatment. They believe they can handle the situation. They don’t have medical documentation to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. The insurance company can then claim that you have not been injured if you don’t seek medical attention immediately or if the wait goes on too long. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
Common mistakes made by people include not seeking immediate treatment, talking to their at-fault insurer, recording a statement, trying and resolving their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement, refusing to accept the outcome of the case, and refusing to take action.
Combating Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. You will need to have strong evidence and professional assistance in order 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. PIP can sometimes be turned off, such as if your Medicare is not available, but it is required for most drivers.
This form of personal auto insurance protection is in place to cover medical expenses after an accident and it is a form of “no-fault” coverage. This means that you can get some medical costs for yourself and passengers regardless of the outcome of your case involving the liability of the other driver. 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. 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.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the 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 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.
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. 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 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 sit with you to defend you against answering questions in a way that may hurt your case while abiding to truthful answers. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. You won’t feel intimidated by the Texas deposition rules. Your accident lawyer will also ensure this.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. 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 professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
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. If this occurs, an experienced motor car firm will have the resources necessary to find the right expert witnesses.
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 will be served on the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This whole process can take as much as a year depending on how complex the case is and how many parties are involved.
As you can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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