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 – Providence Village
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 is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by no-fault insurance. This can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as possible.
Managers and claims adjusters use strategies and methods to try and reduce or deny the payout of an insurance claim. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. The basic truth is that these teams of professional’s entire jobs are in place to reduce what the insurance carrier has to pay out every year. They are, of course, skilled in what they do.
This means that regardless of outcome, as soon as you engage with the insurance carrier of the other driver, you will be guaranteed to be working against people who’s purpose is to reduce claims while staying within the bounds of the law. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes clients learn this through hard work. 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 for us.
It is crucial that potential clients do not communicate 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 aren’t looking out for you; instead, they are playing a game where they’re trying to get out of paying you what your claim is worth.
Common Case Types: Texas Traffic Collision
Although Texas Department of Transportation is not able to collect data on the percentage of traffic collisions that are rear-end, we know from national statistics that they are around 28% and 29%. 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. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Have your brake lights been on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. In some cases, a defendant may be following too closely and ran up on your bumper before slamming into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. Weather conditions are one example. Did they contribute to cause this collision? Was speeding a factor? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Then there is the issue of 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 rear-ending is not an automatic win. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
Although head-on crashes occur less frequently than rear-end accidents, they can be statistically more serious. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. 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. Although texting while driving has been banned in Texas since 2017, it is still legal to use handheld devices for other purposes, such as GPS and music. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. 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 caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
The majority of ROR crashes involve just one party in an incident with factors such as alcohol use, poor weather, and distracted driving, poor visibility, or other road conditions where loss of control of the vehicle is common. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. Texas was home to 51% of all fatalities in 2020. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
You will need to prove that another driver ran you off the road, such as someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone who fell asleep while driving. An insurance company reviewing a claim involving a car which was not in contact with another vehicle will investigate the details of how and why you claim that an accident was caused by another person. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. It’s more common than ever that more drivers equip their cars with dash cameras.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection accidents.
Side impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or 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. Even if the negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible that their negligence will not be sufficient to make their car insurance pay. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
Common Mistakes After 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.
Another common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people mistakenly think they are being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit 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 documentation from a professional to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. An insurance carrier may also use a gap between 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.
The fight against the insurance companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional 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.
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 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.
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 all vehicle accidents can be settled. It is possible that the parties cannot resolve all issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs or defendants couldn’t agree upon how much compensation should go 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 whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their 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 attorney might be able to argue that punitive damages should be awarded. This is something that would not have been offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file 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 to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. 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 help defend you from answers that are misleading or harmful to your case. Your attorney may ask you questions that can help your case. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. Texas law for depositions ensures that you will not be intimidated. Your accident attorney will also ensure that you aren’t.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. These medical experts, as well as other doctors, can provide an opinion about the chances of recovery for injured parties, their treatment requirements, and prognosis.
Expert witnesses are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. 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.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
How long it takes to get through a trial isn’t the only factor. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. Then there is a period where each party exchanges 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 can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. 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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