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 – Rowlett
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a jury award. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. This can cover everything from financial recompense to any losses or injuries you have suffered, missed wages and skyrocketing medical 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.
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. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. Needless to mention, they excel 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. 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. Normally they make huge mistakes that play to the advantage of the company and hurt or destroy their chances of a favorable claim. It is usually too late for us.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t communicate with 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 won’t be looking out for your best interests, but instead they will try to make as much money as possible by trying to get you to pay what you claim is worth.
Common Case Types – Traffic collision – Texas
While the Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t have data on rear-end accidents in traffic collisions, it does know that about 28% and 29% of all traffic collisions are these. 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. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Have your brake lights been on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Was your use of turn signals evident? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? Since your testimony is susceptible to being refuted, other evidence must be presented to support the claim that defendant followed you too closely.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. Sometimes, a defendant might be following you too closely and run up to your bumper before running into you.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? What contributed to this collision? Speeding is another possibility. The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Finally, there’s the question 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, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
Although head-on collisions are statistically less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically more deadly. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. 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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
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.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. The NHTSA refers to these as “ROR” or Run-Off-Road crashes.
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.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. 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.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. A car accident claim that was not in direct contact with another vehicle will be reviewed by an insurance company. They will look into the circumstances and determine if there were any other factors. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. Drivers are increasingly equipping their cars to have dash cams.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
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 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
Side impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or rear. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
Because Texas has modified contributory neglect laws, even a broad side accident cannot be automatically considered a case. There is a good chance that even if the other driver was negligent, their negligence may not be enough for their car insurance to pay out. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes after a Traffic Collision
Many times, the parties involved in an accident will not take photos of the scene or have police present. This is an error as it reduces photographic evidence’s reliability and makes it impossible for police to inspect the vehicles immediately after the collision.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They’re trying to get information that will help 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 possess any documentation from a physician to support their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. 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.
Common mistakes made by people include not seeking immediate treatment, talking to their at-fault insurer, recording a statement, trying and resolving their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement, refusing to accept the outcome of the case, and refusing to take action.
Combating Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their payouts. It’s possible that the police report is incorrect. Victim-blaming can follow. There is a possibility that you could find yourself in a conflict with the negligent driver. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional to win your case.
We examine all aspects of our clients’ claims. This includes reviewing police reports, gathering witness testimony, preserving electronic data from automobiles, surveillance videos, and consulting 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 can be omitted in certain cases, such as Medicare, but for most drivers it is mandatory.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. This means that you can get some medical costs for yourself and passengers regardless of the outcome of your case involving the liability of the other driver. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole lot. There’s a chance you could have chosen for a higher amount if you had an experienced agent who reviewed the coverages with your. 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
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. 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 may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
The defense side will request a deposition after you have filed a lawsuit. 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. To learn more about other drivers, the attorney will ask them questions.
Your attorney will accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases: Expert Witnesses
An expert witness is a person who can testify before a jury in a court case. 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 contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. This is when an experienced motor vehicle business will have the resources to locate the right expert witness.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are many things that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on 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.
This overview of Texas motor vehicle accident cases shows that it is not a good idea to do everything yourself. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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