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 – St. Paul
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
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 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 committed to making sure your case proceeds as smoothly 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 a case goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. Needless to mention, they excel 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. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes clients find this out the hard way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. 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 important that potential clients do away 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 especially true in light of contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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 the Texas Department of Transportation has no data on rear-end traffic accidents, we know they are approximately 28% or 29% nationally. This type of accident is most likely the most common in the country and Texas is no exception.
Texas is considered a “modified comparative blame state”, which means rear-end collisions are not always attributed to the driver. It is crucial to evaluate the contributing factors. Did you have your brake lights on at all? Did you bring traffic to a halt? Was your use of turn signals evident? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. 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. It can sometimes be caused by circumstances or circumstances that are not known. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
In court, both sides of an aisle will ask questions. How can we talk about the weather? Did they contribute to cause this collision? Was speeding a factor? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Last but not least, there’s the matter of contributory negligence. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
As you see, rear-ending a claimant is not a guarantee of a win. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
Although they are statistically safer than rear-end collisions, head-on crashes are more common than rear-end ones. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. 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. 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 were likely involved in or contributed to non-fatal accidents.
In 2020 there were 1,354 deaths recorded in Texas as being caused by single car accidents. These are known by the NHTSA as “ROR” or Run Off-Road Crash.
ROR crashes most often involve one party. This includes factors like alcohol use, poor weather and distracted driving. 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.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. 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. Another reason a driver might be trying to pass dangerously is that he or she may not know how to do so.
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. 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. Additionally, more drivers are installing dash cams to their cars.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Side Impact Collision and Intersection
Similar to head-on collisions cases, fatalities from side impact and intersection accidents are a significant contributor to serious injury in Texas. 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. Side impact airbags have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injuries. As you can see in the Texas fatality stats above, side impact collisions are a very real threat.
Like other Texas accident types, a broad-side incident can’t be treated as a straightforward case because of modified contributory negligence law. There’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car policy to pay. An accident attorney in Texas is a great resource for you.
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 common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people mistakenly think they are being cooperative. The insurance company isn’t looking out for them. They want to help 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 documentation from a professional to support their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. If you do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. An insurance carrier may also use a gap between treatment 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
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. It is possible that the police report was incorrect and victim-blaming could follow. You may find yourself in a dispute with the negligent motorist. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance 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 coverage (PIP) can be included on most personal auto policies. PIP can be removed in certain situations, like if you are eligible for Medicare. However, most drivers must have it.
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 can also pay for lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. There’s a chance you could have chosen for a higher amount if you had an experienced agent who reviewed the coverages with your. If so, this will come in handy to cover shorter term medical expenses while the case is progressing.
When an Accident Case Is Submitted to the Court
Most insurance claim settlements are completed before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not resolve 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 determine the defendant’s liability. 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 attorney can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will a court reporter. Both sides will ask questions to learn more about the accident, who caused it, your injuries and damages. 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 assist you in answering any questions you may have. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
In a court case, expert witness can give their opinion to a jury. 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 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. Further, expert witnesses are not always called and typically only participate in a case when required by the court. A motor vehicle firm with experience will be able draw on its resources to find an expert witness.
How long does it take to get a court case for an auto crash?
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 lawsuit must be served on the defendant. Next, the parties will 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 has helped many people to recover from accidents over the years.
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