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 – Sachse
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Our legal team will evaluate every part of the incident and develop the strongest possible case. This is your best hope of receiving compensation in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. A vehicle accident lawyer can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation through no fault insurance. This could include financial recompense, lost wages, or other high-spending expenses. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
When an insurance claim is started, claims adjusters and managers use tactics and methods to mitigate the potential payout or even get it denied it altogether. If the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. They are skilled 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. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
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 make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t communicate 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 particularly true when you consider contributory negligence. Talking to insurance providers can cause misunderstandings. They don’t care about you. They’re just trying to win your business by trying not to pay you as much as they can.
Common Case Types – Traffic collision – Texas
Although Texas Department of Transportation does not collect data on the proportion of traffic collisions are rear-end accidents, nationally speaking, we know that they are about 28% or 29%. This type of accident is the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
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. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Were your brake lights on? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Did you use turn signals? Then, the finding of fact must be made in these cases: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? Because your testimony can be refuted, there must be other evidence to prove the defendant followed too closely.
Rear-end accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes there are unseen circumstances or conditions that cause it. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. Sometimes, the defendant may have been following too closely before running up to your bumper and then ramming into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? What contributed to this collision? Is speeding an issue? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Last, but not least is the question about contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. An experienced auto accident attorney is invaluable in navigating these issues.
Although they are statistically safer than rear-end collisions, head-on crashes are more common than rear-end ones. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. 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. Distracted driving can still be a cause of an accident. However, it does not mean that a driver who causes an accident through distracted driving is excused just because they were texting. 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.
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’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. These are called “ROR”, or Run-Off Road Crash by the NHTSA.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
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 typically have two-lane highways with opposing traffic, which can lead to drivers drifting into the oncoming lane. In other cases, a driver may be attempting to pass unsafely.
If another driver drove you off the road, like someone who is under the influence or someone who falls asleep, you will likely have to prove that they caused it. An insurance company that reviews a claim involving a car that didn’t come into contact with another will scrutinize how and why if you claim the accident was caused by someone else. Eyewitnesses might be able to give testimony if another driver fled the scene. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prove negligence by another driver in a Run off-road accident.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
Side impact and intersection collisions are major contributors to serious injury and death in Texas, just like head-on collision cases. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection or related to intersections accidents.
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. This type of accident is very dangerous in Texas, despite the fact that modern cars come with side impact airbags, impact pillars, and curtains.
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. 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
Parties to an accident may move vehicles without taking photographs or having officers present at 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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. People mistakenly believe that they are being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They are seeking information to assist 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 have medical documentation to support their claims. As time passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. A gap in treatment can be used by an insurance company as a defense.
It is common for people to make mistakes by talking to the at fault insurance company, recording statements, trying to resolve their claims themselves, accepting an early settlement before they know the outcome, or not getting treatment immediately.
Fight 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 carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
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 type of personal auto insurance protection covers medical expenses following an accident. It is also a form “no fault” coverage. 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 cover lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. If you had a good insurance agent who went over the coverages with you, there’s a good chance that you may have opted for a higher amount. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
An Accident Case goes to Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues that need to be resolved are beyond the parties’ abilities. Perhaps the plaintiffs had difficulty agreeing on the amount of compensation due to 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 the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. Although a trial case may take more time and money than a settled claim, a jury might be able to award a plaintiff higher 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.
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. 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 question any other drivers to find out their story and gain insight into what they might say at trial. He will also provide information about the defendant’s finances and insurance coverage.
Your attorney will be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney may ask you questions that can help your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. 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. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the available information.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. These doctors or other medical professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
Expert witnesses can be a valuable asset to a claimant’s case. However, this is not always true. Expert witnesses are rarely called and usually only take part in court cases when the court requires. 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?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. Each party will then have to 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. To learn more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
- Balch Springs
- Beverly Hill
- Blue Ridge
- Camp Dallas
- Cedar Hill
- Cockrell Hill
- Cooper Creek
- Copper Canyon
- Corral City
- Cross Roads
- Deep Water Point Estates
- Double Oak
- Farmers Branch
- Flower Mound
- Glenn Heights
- Grand Prairie
- Green Valley
- Hickory Creek
- Highland Park
- Highland Village
- Lake Dallas
- Lakewood Village
- Lavon Beach Estates
- Lavon Shores Estates
- Ledbetter Hills
- Liberty Grove
- Little Elm
- Lowry Crossing
- Mobile City
- New Hope
- Oak Point
- Paloma Creek
- Paloma Creek South
- Pilot Point
- Providence Village
- Royse City
- Shady Shores
- St. Paul
- The Colony
- Trinity Park
- Trophy Club
- University Park
- Yucote Acres