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 – Paloma Creek South
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. 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. To learn more about your possible choices, contact our Dallas based law offices immediately for a free initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
The claims adjusters or managers of insurance companies use tactics and methods in order to limit the payouts, or even deny it entirely. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. These teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. 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. This is usually a bad idea.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. They typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It is important that potential clients do away 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. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. They don’t care about you. They’re just trying to win your business by trying not to pay you as much as they can.
Common Case Types: Texas Traffic Collision
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 accident is probably the most common nationwide 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. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Did you have your brake lights on at all? Did you stop traffic completely? You used turn signals. In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
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. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? They contributed to the collision? Is speeding an issue? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. There is also the question of contributory neglect. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
Although head-on crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. 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
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to just texting. Texas banned texting while driving in 2017. However, it is still possible to use a handheld device to do other things like GPS or play music. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. 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 the state laws, the individual cities of the Dallas/Fort Worth area have adopted ordinances to differing degrees. Some are stricter than the state laws.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. 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.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. Texas saw 51% of fatal accidents in rural areas during 2020. 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’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. 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. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. 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 Collision
Side impact and intersection collisions are major contributors to serious injury and death in Texas, just like head-on collision cases. In 2020, there were 865 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections accidents.
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. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
Common Mistakes in a Traffic Collision
Many times, the parties involved in an accident will not take photos of the scene or have police present. 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.
Another common error is when people contact their at fault insurer and make a recorded declaration. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. The insured is not required to contact the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have medical documentation 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. 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their payouts. It is possible that the police report was incorrect and victim-blaming could follow. You might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance 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), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. 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 can also cover lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
An Accident Case goes to Court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not resolve their differences.
In a trial, witnesses and expert witnesses may be called, responding law enforcement officers, and possibly others for testimony in front of a jury. The jury will decide whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their 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 may even be able to argue that you be awarded punitive damages which is something that would not be offered 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. 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 depose any other drivers to get their side of the story, get insight into what they may say in their testimony at the trial, learn more about the finances and insurance coverage of the defendant, get a feel for the defense strategy of the defendant, and more.
Your attorney will assist you in answering any questions you may have. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. 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.
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.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. These medical experts and doctors can give an opinion on the likelihood of recovery, treatment needs, or prognosis for an injured party.
While expert witnesses can make a claimant stronger, it is not always possible. Expert witnesses are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where required by the court. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
How long does it take to get a court case for an auto crash?
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. 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 to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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