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 – Rockwall
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Every component of the incident will be examined by our legal team as they develop the strongest possible claim. You have the greatest chance for getting justice, whether it is through a settlement or jury award. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for compensation through no-fault insurance. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. To learn more about your possible choices, contact our Dallas based law offices immediately for a free initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you get the best outcome 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 proceeds to litigation, the legal team at the insurance carrier will step in. This is because these professional teams are designed to lower the annual insurance carrier’s payouts. Needless to say, they are good 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 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. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It is important that potential clients do away with insurance companies. This is because they’re seeking information that may be harmful to the client but beneficial to the insurance company and defendant. This is especially true when it comes to contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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 – Traffic collision – Texas
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 type accident is probably the most common nationwide and 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. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? You used turn signals. These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
The courtroom will have questions from both sides. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? What contributed to this collision? Speeding is another possibility. There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. 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.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. 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. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. The law states that a person may be charged with a Class A offense, which can lead to jail time of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving was the reason for 368 traffic 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. 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. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. Texas saw 51% of fatal accidents in rural areas during 2020. These areas typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
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. 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. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with dash cams.
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
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. In 2020 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
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. 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.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. It is crucial to have a Texas accident lawyer on your side.
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. It makes it difficult to get reliable photographic evidence and also leaves little opportunity for police observation of the vehicles once they are settled.
Another common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. 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 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. 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 can also use a gap 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.
Combating Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. It is possible that the police report was incorrect and victim-blaming could follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. 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), is a type coverage that is included in many personal auto policies. PIP can be removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means that regardless of the outcome of the case involving the other driver’s liability, you can still get medical care for yourself and your passengers. PIP can also pay for 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. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
When 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. 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.
In a trial, expert witnesses and witnesses may be called. Responding law enforcement officers can also be called and could testify before a jury. The jury will decide how much (or not) liability the defendant is liable. 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 may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
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. 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 accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. Regardless, you don’t have to be intimidated by the 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 can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. 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.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Expert witnesses do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. A motor vehicle firm with experience will be able draw on its resources to find an expert witness.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
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. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This entire process can take between one and twelve months depending on how complicated the case is, as well as how many parties involved.
As you can see, going it alone is not an option. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn about your legal rights. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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