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 – Sanger
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 commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A lawyer who specializes in vehicle accidents can help you determine whether you are eligible for no-fault compensation. This can include anything from financial recompense for any losses or hurt you have incurred, missed wages, and skyrocketing expenses. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as possible.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. If a case goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called 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 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. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes clients discover this the hard and fast way. We’ve seen clients come to our office after they have recorded a statement. This is because they are now trying to work with the insurer. They make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a 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 especially true in light of contributory negligence. Misunderstandings can occur when insurance providers are contacted. 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
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 relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Did your brake lights turn on? Did you stop traffic completely? You used turn signals. Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: 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 could occur for several reasons. It can sometimes be caused by circumstances or circumstances that are not known. One example is when a defendant might suddenly stop in front of you because there may be an object in the way. 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? These conditions contributed to the collision. What about speeding? There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. There is also the question of contributory neglect. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. This is where an experienced auto accident attorney can help you.
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 constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Nowadays, distractions from personal phones are more than just texting. Texas banned texting while driving in 2017. However, it is still possible to use a handheld device to do other things like GPS or play music. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. However, the law allows for a Class A Misdemeanor to be filed. This can include a one-year sentence and a maximum $4,000 fine.
Additionally to state laws and ordinances, cities in Dallas/Fort Worth have their own ordinances. Some are more restrictive than others.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths in 2020. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) by the NHTSA.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. These cases are less common in personal injury law firms because most of these accidents are caused by the fault of one party.
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 have often two-lane highways that are shared with opposing traffic. This makes it easy for drivers to drift into the oncoming lanes. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was responsible for you being run off the road. 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. Eye-witnesses may be able to testify if the other driver fled. Many drivers now have dash cams in their vehicles.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. 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. Although side impact airbags, curtains, and impact pillars in modern cars have helped cut down these injuries, as you can see from the fatality statistic above, this kind of accident is a real 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. 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 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 mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. They aren’t being looked out for by their insurance company. They want to help their insured. The insured is not required to contact 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 any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. The negligent driver might cause you to be in a “he said/she said” situation. You will need to have strong evidence and professional assistance in order 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 Insurance
Personal injury coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. Although you can opt out of PIP in some cases such as if you have Medicare, for most drivers, the coverage is mandatory.
This form of personal auto insurance protection is in place to cover medical expenses after an accident and it is a form of “no-fault” coverage. 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.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole lot. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
The moment an Accident Case is taken to Court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the issues to be resolved are beyond both parties’ capabilities. Maybe the defendants and plaintiffs couldn’t agree on the amount of compensation to be paid because they couldn’t settle 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 on the defendant’s extent of liability. 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 may even be able to argue that you be awarded punitive damages which is something that would not be offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
The defense side will request a deposition after you have filed 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 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 be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. You may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. 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 witnesses can offer their opinions to jurors in court cases. 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.
How Long Does a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. Before you can step foot in the courtroom, there are many things that must happen. The defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. 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’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 helped many people recover after accidents for many years.
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