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 – Savannah
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. Your best chance of getting compensation is to pay attention and be committed, regardless of whether you are settling or going to trial. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. 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.
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 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. This is usually a bad idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this hard way. For example, we have seen clients come to us after recording a statement. They are trying to work with their insurance company. They typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It is crucial that potential clients do not 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 when it comes to contributory negligence. Conversing with insurance providers can lead to misunderstandings. 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 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 is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Were your brake lights on? Did you stop traffic completely? Were you using turn signals? In all these instances, a finding must be made of fact. For example, was the defendant’s vehicle behind your vehicle? Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. 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 have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. How can we talk about the weather? Can they be blamed for this collision? Is speeding an issue? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Then there is the issue of 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. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 538 people died in head-on collision accidents in 2020. These accidents made up almost 14% the total traffic fatalities in Texas for the year.
Distracted driving accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not limited to texting. While Texas has outlawed texting while driving since 2017, it is still permissible to use a handheld device for other things such as using GPS or 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.
In addition to state laws, individual cities in the Dallas / Fort Worth area have created ordinances to varying degrees, some more strict than the state laws.
Distracted driving caused 368 traffic accident deaths in 2020. Hundreds more were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents 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. These cases are less common in personal injury law firms because most of these accidents are caused by the fault of one party.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action to avoid a collision. 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. 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. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. It’s more common than ever that more drivers equip their cars with dash cameras.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection Collision
As with head-on collisions, side and intersection crashes contribute significantly to fatalities and serious injuries in Texas. In 2020 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
Side-impact collisions can result in serious injury. There is less impact protection on the side than there is on the front. 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. It is possible that, even if the driver was negligent in an accident, their negligence might not be enough to get their car insurance paid out. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
Common Mistakes Following a Traffic Collision
Often, the other party to an accident will simply move the cars involved without taking photos or having the police present at 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. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are trying to find information that will benefit their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with the insurance company.
Sometimes people make the error of not seeking immediate treatment, thinking they are able to handle it. They don’t have documentation from a professional to support their claims. As time passes, the likelihood of getting treatment is greater. 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.
People can make common errors by not speaking to the at-fault company, making a statement, trying their best to resolve the claim, accepting an earlier settlement without knowing the outcome and not seeking treatment immediately.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce payouts. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. It is possible that you will find yourself in a “he told, she said” dispute with the negligent driver. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
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 Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many personal auto policies. PIP is optional for some drivers.
This personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” This means you can cover your medical expenses for yourself and your passengers, regardless of what happens in the case. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
Although the Texas minimum policy limit is $2,500, it’s not too high. 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.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
But not all car accidents can be resolved. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs or defendants couldn’t agree upon how much compensation should go because they couldn’t resolve 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 determine the defendant’s 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
Discovery & Deposition
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation that you will have with the defense side. The court reporter and both attorneys from each side will also be present. Both sides will ask questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, your injuries and damages. Our attorney will also depose any other drivers to get their side of the story, get insight into what they may say in their testimony at the trial, learn more about the finances and insurance coverage of the defendant, get a feel for the defense strategy of the defendant, and more.
Your attorney will be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. 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
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.
In motor vehicle accidents, medical experts are the most common expert witness. These doctors and other medical experts can offer an opinion about the probability of recovery, treatment needed, or prognosis of an injured party.
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. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
How long does it take to get a court case for an auto crash?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served on the defendant. After that, each party must 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. 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.
- 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