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 – Princeton
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. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. 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 will ensure that your case is as smooth as possible.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. If a case proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step 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 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. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. For instance, people have come to us after having given a recorded declaration. They want to be able to work with insurance companies. 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 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 especially true for contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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
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 is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
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. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you slow down traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
Rear-end crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. 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. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? Did they contribute to cause this collision? How about speeding? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. You might be argued that you contributed to the accident if you did not lane brake ahead of traffic.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. An experienced auto accident attorney is invaluable in navigating these issues.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t 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. 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.
Out of state laws, each city in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has its own ordinances. Some may be more strict than those created by the state.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash 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. 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 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 often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the 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. If an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have 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.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
As with head-on collisions, side and intersection crashes contribute significantly to fatalities and serious injuries in Texas. In 2020 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
One reason why side impact collisions tend to involve serious injury is because there is less barrier to impact on the side of the car as compared to the rear or 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.
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’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. 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, 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 common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. The insured is free to not speak with 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 the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As time passes, the likelihood of getting treatment is greater. If you do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. An insurance company can also use a delay in treatment as a defense.
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.
Stopping 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. 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), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile policies. Although you can opt out of PIP in some cases such as if you have Medicare, for most drivers, the coverage is mandatory.
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 can also pay for lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
An Accident Case goes to Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. It is possible that the parties cannot resolve all issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to 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 the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. A trial case is more expensive and takes longer than a settlement. However, a jury could award more damages to a plaintiff than any settlement. Sometimes, your attorney can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation in which you will be sward in, both side’s attorneys will be present along with a court reporter. Both sides will ask questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, 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 assist you in answering any questions you may have. You may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the process. 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
Expert witness can provide their opinions to the jury in court cases. The expert witness can assist those who are hearing the case to draw a conclusion using their knowledge.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. These medical experts and doctors can give an opinion on the likelihood of recovery, treatment needs, or prognosis for an injured party.
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. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
What is the average court case time for an auto accident?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. 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. The entire process can take anywhere from a few months to one year depending on how complex and involved the case.
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. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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