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 – Valdasta
Why an experienced auto accident attorney is important
As part of their strongest possible claim, our legal team will investigate every component. Your best chance of getting compensation is to pay attention and be committed, regardless of whether you are settling or going to trial. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in determining whether your injuries are eligible for compensation through no-fault insurance. This includes financial recompense for any injuries or losses you sustained, missed wages, and other skyrocketing costs. 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.
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 teams of professionals are there to help reduce the amount that insurance carriers have to pay each year. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means that no matter what happens, if you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure you’ll be dealing with people whose goal is to minimize claims in any legal way possible. To face these professionals unarmed and without the representation of your own attorney is usually a very bad idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this hard way. We have seen people come to us after giving a recorded statement and trying to work directly with the insurance company. They make big mistakes that can be used to their advantage and reduce or eliminate their chances of winning a claim. By this time, it is often too late for us to help.
It’s crucial that potential clients never communicate with their insurance companies. This is because they seek information that might be harmful to their client but which may prove to be beneficial to both the defendants and the insurance company. 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 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 kind of accident is likely the most common nationally and, based on our experience, Texas is no exception.
Texas is a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. It is important to consider the potential contributing factors. Did you have your brake lights on at all? Did you come to a complete stop in the flow of traffic? Are you using turn signals or a lane change? 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.
Rear-end accidents can happen for many reasons. Sometimes, there are unforeseeable circumstances or conditions that can cause rear-end collisions. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. Sometimes, a defendant might have been following too closely and ran into your bumper before smashing into you.
Both sides will be asked questions in court. How can we talk about the weather? These conditions contributed to the collision. Is speeding an issue? Even if your tail lights are working, there might be a dispute. Last but not least, there’s the matter of contributory negligence. If you didn’t brake in front of the traffic, then you might be considered to have contributed to the collision.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. It is a great idea to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident cases.
Although head-on collisions are statistically less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically more deadly. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These fatalities accounted for almost 14% in Texas’s traffic deaths.
Distracted driving accidents
Distractions from personal devices are not 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. 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.
Individual cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region have their own ordinances, which are more stringent than state laws.
Distracted driving was the reason for 368 traffic deaths in 2020. 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. Personal injury lawyers aren’t as familiar with these cases because the majority of ROR crashes occur because of the fault of one person.
ROR collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas was home to 51% of all fatalities in 2020. These areas are often surrounded by two-lane highways and have the potential for drivers drifting into another lane. Drivers may also attempt to pass unsafely.
You will need to prove that another driver ran you off the road, such as someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or someone who fell asleep while driving. 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. Perhaps eye-witnesses or witnesses can give testimony if the other driver fled from the scene. 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.
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 impact collisions are more likely to result in serious injuries than those that occur at the front or 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.
As with other accident types in Texas, due to modified contributory negligence laws, even a broad-side accident can’t be automatically considered a clear cut case. Even if the negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible that their negligence will not be sufficient to make their car insurance pay. As mentioned previously, having experience and competence on your side in the form of a Texas accident attorney is critical.
Common Mistakes in a Traffic Collision
Parties to an accident often move the vehicles involved in the collision without taking photos or having police on the scene. This is a mistake as it prevents photographic evidence from being as dependable and misses the chance for police observation of the vehicles as they were immediately upon settling from the collision.
Another common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. Many people think they’re being cooperative. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They’re trying to get information that will help them and their insured. The insured does not have to speak with insurance companies.
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 goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. The insurance company can then claim that you have not been injured if you don’t seek medical attention immediately or if the wait goes on too long. An insurance carrier can also use a gap in treatment as a defense.
Talking to the at-fault insurance company, recording a statement, trying to resolve their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement before they know the outcome, not getting treatment immediately are all common mistakes people can make.
Fighting the Insurance Companies
In an attempt to reduce their payouts, insurance companies might unjustly accuse the injured person of causing a crash. The police report might be wrong, and victim-blaming may follow. You might find yourself in a “he said, she said” conflict with the negligent driver. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional to win your case.
We examine all aspects of our clients’ claims. This includes reviewing police reports, gathering witness testimony, preserving electronic data from automobiles, surveillance videos, and consulting crash reconstruction specialists.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that is included on many personal auto policies. PIP can sometimes be turned off, such as if your Medicare is not available, but it is required for most drivers.
This form of personal auto coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. 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.
Although the Texas minimum policy limit is $2,500, it’s not too high. There’s a chance you could have chosen for a higher amount if you had an experienced agent who reviewed the coverages with your. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
The moment an Accident Case is taken 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 or defendants couldn’t agree upon how much compensation should go because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
Expert witnesses, witnesses, responding law enforcement officers and other witnesses can be called in a trial. The jury will decide the extent (or non-extent) of liability held by the defendant. Even though a trial case can take longer and cost more than a settlement, a jury may be able to award plaintiffs more 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.
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. You’ll be asked questions by both sides to find out more about the accident, who was at fault, 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 doesn’t have to intimidate you. Texas’s deposition rules mean you won’t be intimidated, and your accident attorney will ensure that this happens.
Expert Witnesses in Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. Using their expertise, the witness can help those hearing the case draw a conclusion based on available information.
Medical experts are the most common expert witness in motor vehicle accident cases. These medical experts and doctors can give an opinion on the likelihood of recovery, treatment needs, or prognosis for an injured party.
Expert witnesses can contribute to a stronger case for a claimant, but this is not so every time. 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?
When determining how long it takes, the trial is not the only factor. There are many things you need to do before you step into the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Next, the parties will exchange evidence and depose witnesses. This process can take upto a year depending upon the complexity of each case and how many people are involved.
As you can see from the overview, it is not recommended to try and handle all motor vehicle accident cases alone. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many people recover after accidents for many years.
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