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 – Parker
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 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.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. These teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means, that regardless of how the outcome turns out, once you start talking to the other driver’s insurer, you will know you are working with people whose sole purpose is to reduce or keep claims to a minimum. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes clients find this out the hard way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the 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 important that potential clients do away with insurance companies. Because they are seeking information that is potentially harmful to the client but advantageous to the defendant and insurance company, this is why. This is especially true for contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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 the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. This kind of accident is likely the most common nationally and, based on our experience, 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 bring traffic to a halt? 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? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. 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. Weather conditions are one example. Can they be blamed for this collision? Is speeding an issue? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Last, but not least is the question about contributory negligence. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
As you can see, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. 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. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted driving accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not 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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. 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 most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. Another reason a driver might be trying to pass dangerously is that he or she may not know how to do so.
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. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection Collision
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
Side impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or rear. 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. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
Common Mistakes Following a Traffic Collision
Often, parties to the accident will move the vehicles involved without taking pictures or having police present on 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. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. 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 the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you delay in seeking medical attention, or if you wait too long to seek it, insurance companies can claim that you are not injured. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help 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 coverage (PIP) can be included on most 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 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 may also be used to pay lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. 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.
A case involving an accident goes to court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. 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 decide on the defendant’s extent of liability. Even though a trial case can take longer and cost more than a settlement, a jury may be able to award plaintiffs more than any settlement. Sometimes, your lawyer may be able argue for punitive damages. This is something that cannot be offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will 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 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 be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas rules for depositions mean that you won’t be intimidated and your accident attorney will also make sure of this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
In motor vehicle accidents, medical experts are the most common expert witness. These doctors or other medical experts can render an opinion about an injured party’s probability of recovery, need for treatment, or prognosis.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Expert witnesses are rarely called and usually only take part in court cases when the court requires. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not the only factor. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people are involved.
As you’ve seen from this overview of the ins and outs of motor vehicle accident cases in Texas, going it alone is never recommended. Call us to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many people recover after accidents for many years.
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