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 – Ponder
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. 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 could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. If a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. Needless to say, they are good 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. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their 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 is usually too late for us.
It is important that potential clients do away with insurance companies. This is because they seek information that might be harmful to their client but which may prove to be beneficial to both the defendants and the insurance company. This is particularly true when you consider contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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 type of accident is most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. It is important to consider the potential contributing 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? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. Sometimes, the defendant may have been following too closely before running up to your bumper and then ramming into you.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. For example, what about weather conditions? These conditions contributed to the collision. How about speeding? You might also argue about whether your tail lights worked. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. If you did not brake for traffic ahead of you then some might argue that you contributed to the collision.
As you can see rear-ending is not an automatic win. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
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 made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted driving accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t limited to 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. A person can be charged for a Class A misdemeanor, including jail time of upto a year and a maximum $4,000 penalty.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
ROR accidents involve just one person in an accident. These factors include alcohol use, poor driving conditions, distraction driving, poor visibility and other road conditions that can cause the driver to lose control. 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 accidents can happen when another driver is driving, and you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being in a collision. Texas had 51% fatal accidents in 2020. These areas typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
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. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other 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.
Intersectional and Side Impact 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 fatalities that could be attributed to intersection accidents or related to intersections accidents.
Side impacts can cause serious injury. This is due to less protection on the sides of cars than the front and rear. 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.
As with other accident types in Texas, due to modified contributory negligence laws, even a broad-side accident can’t be automatically considered a clear cut case. 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. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
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, as it stops photographic evidence from being as reliable as possible and prevents police from being present on the scene to observe the vehicles.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people mistakenly think they are 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. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you wait too much or don’t seek medical attention right away, the insurance company can claim that your injuries aren’t sustained. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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.
Fighting 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. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary to win your case.
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), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. PIP is optional for some drivers.
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 pay for your own and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of how the case ends. PIP can also provide coverage for 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. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
An Accident Case goes to 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. Maybe the defendants and plaintiffs couldn’t agree on the amount of compensation to be paid because they couldn’t settle their differences.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. The jury will decide the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. Although a trial case takes much more time and expense than a claim settled out of court, a jury can potentially award a plaintiff more than any settlement offered. Sometimes, your attorney might be able to argue that punitive damages should be awarded. This is something that would not have been offered in a settlement.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation, in which both the plaintiff and defense side will participate. A court reporter will also be present. Each side will ask you questions about the accident and who was responsible, as well as your injuries and damages. Our attorney will also question any other drivers to find out their story and gain insight into what they might say at trial. He will also provide information about the defendant’s finances and insurance coverage.
Your attorney will help defend you from answers that are misleading or harmful to your case. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. You won’t feel intimidated by the Texas deposition rules. Your accident lawyer will also ensure this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. These doctors or other medical experts can render an opinion about an injured party’s probability of recovery, need for treatment, or prognosis.
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. A motor vehicle firm with experience will be able draw on its resources to find an expert witness.
How long does a court case take for an auto accident?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people are involved.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn about your legal rights. Ward Maedgen Accident attorneys have helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
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