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 – Trinity Park
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. You have the greatest chance for getting justice, whether it is through a settlement or jury award. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will help you determine if your injuries are covered by no-fault insurance. 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 committed to helping you get the best outcome 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. The basic truth is that these teams of professional’s entire jobs are in place to reduce what the insurance carrier has to pay out every year. 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. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an 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 make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. It is usually too late for us.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their 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 particularly true in the light of contributory neglect. Talking to insurance providers can cause misunderstandings. They don’t look out for you, but they play a game to try and get out of paying what your claim is worth.
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 is most likely to be the most prevalent in the nation, and Texas is no exempt.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Have your brake lights been on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Were you using turn signals? In these cases, there must be a finding that the defendant was behind you. Your testimony may be refuted so there must be additional evidence to show that the defendant was following too closely.
Rear-end accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. 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. Weather conditions are one example. What contributed to this collision? Is speeding an issue? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. Finally, there’s the question of contributory negligence. Some might argue that you contributed to the collision if you didn’t stop for traffic ahead.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. 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. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 538 fatalities from head-on collisions in 2020. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. 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. 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.
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 is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. There were many more who could have been involved in non-fatal crashes or contributed to them.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. 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. These cases are not usually handled by personal injury attorneys because they involve only one party.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. 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. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
If another driver ran you off of the road, for example someone under the influence of alcohol or drug or someone who fell asleep at work, you will need to provide proof that the other driver caused the accident. 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. 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
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.
One reason why side impact collisions tend to involve serious injury is because there is less barrier to impact on the side of the car as compared to the rear or 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.
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’s a chance that the negligence of another driver may not be sufficient for their car 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
Many times, the parties involved in an accident will not take photos of the scene or have police present. 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 think they’re being cooperative. They don’t have to look out for their insurance company. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. There is no obligation on the insured to speak with the insurance company.
People can also make the mistake of not seeking treatment immediately, believing they can handle it. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As the time passes, so does the delay in receiving treatment. 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. 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.
The fight against the insurance companies
Insurance companies may falsely accuse the victim of causing a collision to lower their payouts. You might find yourself victim-blaming after the police report is wrong. You might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. To win your case, you’ll need compelling evidence and the assistance of a professional.
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 protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many 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 type of personal insurance protection protects against medical expenses after an auto accident. This means that you can get some medical costs for yourself and passengers regardless of the outcome of your case involving the liability of the other driver. PIP also covers lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. It’s possible that you would have selected a higher sum if you had a competent agent who explained the coverages to you. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
A majority of insurance claim cases are settled before a lawsuit can be filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. It is possible that the parties cannot resolve all issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
In a trial witnesses and expert witness may be called. Responding officers from the law enforcement agency and others could also be called. 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 might be able to argue that punitive damages should be awarded. This is something that would not have been offered in a settlement.
After you file a lawsuit, the defense side will want to hold 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. To get the other drivers’ perspectives, our attorney will depose them to gain insight into their testimony at trial. We will also learn about the finances of the defendant and their insurance coverage.
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. Your attorney may also ask you questions that shed a favorable light on your case. The process is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. You won’t feel intimidated by the Texas deposition rules. Your accident lawyer will also ensure this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. 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 are not always called, and they typically only assist in cases where required 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 a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
The trial itself is actually not the only consideration when answering how long the process takes. There are many things you need to do before you step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to 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 can see, it’s not wise to go it alone in Texas. Call us to setup a free consultation to find out what your legal options are. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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