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
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine 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 can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. For a free consultation, call our Dallas-based law offices. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you get the best outcome possible.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. If a case goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called 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 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. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this hard way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. It is usually too late to assist them.
It is crucial that potential clients do not communicate 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. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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
The Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t collect data about the percentage of rear-end collisions in traffic accidents. However, they know that this number is around 28% to 29% nationally. This type accident is probably the most common nationwide and Texas is no exception.
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. Did you have your brake lights on at all? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. It can sometimes be caused by circumstances or circumstances that are not known. 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.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? They contributed to the collision? Was speeding a factor? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. 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.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 538 people died in head-on collision accidents in 2020. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to texting. Texas has made texting while you drive illegal since 2017. However, it is still legal for a handheld device to be used for other purposes like GPS and 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. 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.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. The NHTSA refers to these as “ROR” or Run-Off-Road crashes.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas saw 51% of fatal accidents in rural areas during 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. An insurance company that reviews a claim involving a car that didn’t come into contact with another will scrutinize how and why if you claim the accident was caused by someone else. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection or related to intersections accidents.
Side collisions often result in serious injury. This happens because the vehicle’s side is more vulnerable to being struck than it is the front. 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.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. It’s possible that even though the other driver was negligent, there may not have been enough negligence to allow their car insurance policy to pay. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
Common Mistakes after a Traffic Collision
Parties to an accident may move vehicles without taking photographs or having officers present at the scene. This is a mistake as it prevents photographic evidence from being as dependable and misses the chance for police observation of the vehicles as they were immediately upon settling from the collision.
Another common error is when people contact their at fault insurer and make a recorded declaration. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with the insurance company.
People can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can handle it. They don’t have medical documentation to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. If you wait too much or don’t seek medical attention right away, the insurance company can claim that your injuries aren’t sustained. An insurance carrier can also use a gap in treatment as a defense.
People can make common errors by not speaking to the at-fault company, making a statement, trying their best to resolve the claim, accepting an earlier settlement without knowing the outcome and not seeking treatment immediately.
The fight against 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. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance of a professional.
We carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile policies. PIP can be removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole lot. 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 be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
Most insurance claims can be settled without the need to file a suit.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t resolve 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 determine the defendant’s 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 assist you in answering any questions you may have. Your attorney may ask you questions that can help 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
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 doctors and other medical experts can offer an opinion about the probability of recovery, treatment needed, or prognosis of an injured party.
Although expert witnesses can help to strengthen a claimant’s case, this is not always the case. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested by the court. 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 many things you need to do before you step into the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. The parties then exchange evidence and take deposition witnesses. The entire process can take anywhere from a few months to one year depending on how complex and involved the case.
As you can see, going it alone is not an option. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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