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 – Royse City
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. You have the greatest chance for getting justice, whether it is through a settlement or jury award. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. This can cover everything from financial recompense to any losses or injuries you have suffered, missed wages and skyrocketing medical expenses. Our Dallas-based lawyers are available to help you learn more and provide a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well 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 the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. Needless to say, they are good at what they do.
This means that no matter what happens, if you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure you’ll be dealing with people whose goal is to minimize claims in any legal way possible. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. We have seen for example folks come to us after they have given a recorded statement, trying to work with the insurance company themselves. They often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. We often cannot help you once it is too late.
It is vital that potential clients refrain from communicating with insurance companies. Because they want information that can be harmful to clients but benefit the insurance company or defendant, this is a problem. This is particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. 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 – 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 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. Consider the possible mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Was your use of turn signals evident? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind 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 there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. Weather conditions are one example. Did they contribute to cause this collision? Speeding is another possibility. There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. Last, but not least is the question about contributory negligence. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
As you can see rear-ending is not an automatic win. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
These days, the distractions from personal devices is not limited to just 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. This does not mean that someone who caused an accident due to distracted driving is excusable just because they were doing something other than texting on their device. A Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and as much as $4,000 in fines.
Additionally to the state laws, the individual cities of the Dallas/Fort Worth area have adopted ordinances to differing degrees. Some are stricter than the state laws.
Distracted driving was responsible for 368 fatal traffic accidents in 2020, regardless of the laws. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash 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 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. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. These areas often have two-lane highways, with opposing traffic. Drivers could drift into the oncoming lane. In other cases, a driver may be attempting 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 you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related accidents.
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. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight case. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
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 as it prevents photographic evidence from being as dependable and misses the chance for police observation of the vehicles as they were immediately upon settling from the collision.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They don’t have to look out for 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 can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can handle it. They don’t have the documentation required by a doctor to back up their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. The insurance company can then claim that you have not been injured if you don’t seek medical attention immediately or if the wait goes on too long. An insurance carrier can also use a gap 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. The police report may be incorrect, and victim-blaming might 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 carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), is a type coverage that is included in many personal auto policies. PIP is optional for some drivers.
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.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended 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
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all vehicle accidents can be settled. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to 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. 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 lawyer may be able argue for punitive damages. This is something that cannot be offered in a settlement.
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. 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. You’ll be asked questions by both sides to find out more about the accident, who was at fault, 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. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. You won’t feel intimidated by the Texas deposition rules. Your accident lawyer will also ensure this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
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.
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. 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?
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 need to be served on defendant. Each party will then have to exchange 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 from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. Call us to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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