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 – Pike
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
As they build the strongest claim possible, our legal team will review every component of the incident. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for compensation through no-fault insurance. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free 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 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. They are skilled 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. This is usually a bad 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’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their 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 particularly true when you consider contributory negligence. Talking to insurance providers can cause 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 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 kind of accident is likely the most common nationally and, based on our experience, Texas is no exception.
Texas is a state with modified comparative fault. This means that rear-end collisions in Texas do not only point to the driver responsible for them. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Have your brake lights been on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. 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, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. For example, what about weather conditions? What contributed to this collision? How about speeding? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. 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 see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. This is where an experienced auto accident attorney can help you.
Although they are statistically safer than rear-end collisions, head-on crashes are more common than rear-end ones. 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
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to 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. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. However, the law allows for a Class A Misdemeanor to be filed. This can include a one-year sentence and a maximum $4,000 fine.
In addition to state laws, individual cities in the Dallas / Fort Worth area have created ordinances to varying degrees, some more strict than the state laws.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
In 2020 there were 1,354 deaths recorded in Texas as being caused by single car accidents. The NHTSA refers to these as “ROR” or Run-Off-Road crashes.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures 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. In other cases, a driver may be attempting to pass unsafely.
If another driver drove you off the road, like someone who is under the influence or someone who falls asleep, you will likely have to prove that they caused it. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with 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.
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. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection 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. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. It is possible that, even if the driver was negligent in an accident, their negligence might not be enough to get their car insurance paid out. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes Following 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 mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. People mistakenly believe that they are 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 not required to contact the insurance company.
People also sometimes make the mistake of waiting to seek treatment until they feel they can manage it. They don’t have documentation from a professional to support their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. 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.
Talking to the at-fault insurance company, recording a statement, trying to resolve their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement before they know the outcome, not getting treatment immediately are all common mistakes people can make.
Stopping Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary 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.
Insurance for personal injury protection
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 form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an 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.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. 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 cover short-term medical expenses as the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to 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 the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. 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 be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. 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. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. Our attorney will also interview any other drivers in order to learn their stories, gain insight into their testimony at the trial and get an idea of the defense strategy and finances of defendant.
Your attorney will be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly medical experts. 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 be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Expert witnesses are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where required by the court. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
How Long Does a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served on the 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.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. 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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