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 – Oak Point
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Every component of the incident will be examined by our legal team as they develop the strongest possible claim. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. If a case goes to litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. These teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. Needless to say, they are good at what they do.
This means that no matter what happens, if you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure you’ll be dealing with people whose goal is to minimize claims in any legal way possible. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients find this out the 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 make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It is vital that potential clients refrain from communicating with insurance companies. Because they want information that can be harmful to clients but benefit the insurance company or defendant, this is a problem. This is especially true in light of contributory negligence. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to misunderstandings. They aren’t trying to protect you. Instead, they are playing a game in which they try to get out from paying you the amount of your claim.
Common Case Types – Traffic collision – Texas
Although the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. 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. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Was your use of turn signals evident? Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: 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.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. For example, an object in the roadway might have caused the defendant to stop suddenly causing his/her vehicle to run into you. Sometimes, the defendant may have been following too closely before running up to your bumper and then ramming into you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. For example, what about weather conditions? These conditions contributed to the collision. Speeding is another possibility. 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 can see rear-ending is not an automatic win. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
Although they are statistically safer than rear-end collisions, head-on crashes are more common than rear-end ones. 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
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to just 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. 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.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. These cases are less common in personal injury law firms because most of these accidents are caused by the fault of one party.
ROR accidents can happen when another driver is driving, and you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being in a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. These areas typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
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. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related 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.
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. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
Common Mistakes in a Traffic Collision
Often, the other party to an accident will simply move the cars involved without taking photos or having the police 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.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people mistakenly think they are being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
People can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can handle it. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional 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. An insurance carrier may also use a gap between treatment as a defense.
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.
Stopping Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance 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 Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on 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 type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. This means you can pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP also covers lost wages.
It should be noted that the Texas minimum policy limit to cover PIP is $2,500. If you had a good insurance agent who went over the coverages with you, there’s a good chance that you may have opted for a higher amount. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to 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 on the defendant’s extent of liability. Although a trial case may take more time and money than a settled claim, a jury might be able to award a plaintiff higher than any settlement. Sometimes, your lawyer may be able argue for punitive damages. This is something that cannot be offered in a settlement.
The defense side will request a deposition after you have filed a lawsuit. 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. To get the other drivers’ perspectives, our attorney will depose them to gain insight into their testimony at trial. We will also learn about the finances of the defendant and their insurance coverage.
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 may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm this.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the available information.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. These doctors and other medical experts can offer an opinion about the probability of recovery, treatment needed, or prognosis of an injured party.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. Expert witnesses do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
What is the average court case time for an auto accident?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to 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. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn about your legal rights. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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