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 – Shady Shores
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. This commitment and attention are the best way to get compensation, in settlement or at trial. A lawyer for vehicle accident victims can help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation under no-fault coverage. 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 is committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. They do a great job.
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. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
Sometimes clients learn this the hard 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 often make mistakes that benefit the company and can hurt or ruin their chances of winning a favorable claim. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their 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. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. They aren’t trying to protect you. Instead, they are playing a game in which they try to get out from paying you the amount of your claim.
Common Case Types: Texas Traffic Collision
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 that rear-end accidents in Texas are not solely attributed to the person who caused them. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Were your brake lights on? Did you stop traffic completely? Did you use turn signals? 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 crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. How can we talk about the weather? Did they contribute to cause this collision? Was speeding a factor? There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. Then there is the issue of 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. A skilled attorney in auto accidents is invaluable for helping you navigate these issues.
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 accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t limited to 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. It does not necessarily mean that someone who causes an accident because of distracted driving is exempted from liability if they are doing something other than texting. The law states that a person may be charged with a Class A offense, which can lead to jail time of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Many more people were involved in or contributed towards non-fatal accidents.
Texas saw 1,354 car-related deaths in 2020. These are referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
ROR crashes almost always involve one party. 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 accidents can happen when another driver is driving, and you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being in a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. These areas commonly have two lane highways with opposing traffic and the potential for drivers to drift into an oncoming lane. Other times, drivers may try to pass unintentionally.
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. 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. 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.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. The state recorded 865 fatalities in 2020 that were attributed to intersection or related to intersections accidents.
Side impacts can cause serious injury. This is due to less protection on the sides of cars than the front and 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.
A broad-side accident, like other types of Texas accidents, can’t automatically be considered a case due to Texas’ modified contributory negligence laws. 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. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
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 because it makes photographic evidence less reliable and leaves the possibility for police to observe the vehicles after they have settled from the collision.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people think they’re being cooperative. They are not being looked after by the insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with 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 medical documentation to support their claims. There is more time between getting treated and not getting it. If you delay in seeking medical attention, or if you wait too long to seek it, insurance companies can claim that you are not injured. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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 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. For your case to be successful, you will need strong evidence and the help of a professional.
We carefully examine the circumstances surrounding clients’ claims by reading police reports and gathering testimony.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile policies. 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 may also be used to pay lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will help you cover your short term medical expenses while the case is advancing.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. 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.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. The jury will decide on the defendant’s extent of liability. A trial case is much more costly than one that is settled outside of court. However, a jury can award a plaintiff more 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 where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will a court reporter. 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 sit with you to defend you against answering questions in a way that may hurt your case while abiding to truthful answers. You might be asked questions that help to shed light on your case by your attorney. 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
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. The expert witness can assist those who are hearing the case to draw a conclusion using their knowledge.
Expert witnesses in motor vehicle accident cases are most commonly medical experts. These doctors and other medical experts can offer an opinion about the probability of recovery, treatment needed, or prognosis of an injured party.
Expert witnesses are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. Expert witnesses aren’t always called. They typically participate only when requested 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 must be served to the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. The whole process can take up to a year, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of 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 has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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