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 – Verona
Why you should work with an experienced auto accident attorney
Every component of the incident will be examined by our legal team as they develop the strongest possible claim. 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. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. 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 the case moves to litigation, then the legal team from the insurance carrier steps in. 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 are skilled 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. A very bad idea is to go up against these professionals without an attorney.
Sometimes clients find this out the 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 vital that potential clients refrain from communicating with 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 when you consider contributory negligence. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. They aren’t looking out for you; instead, they are playing a game where they’re trying to get out of paying you what your claim is worth.
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 the most common across the nation and Texas is no different.
Texas is a state with modified comparative fault. This means that rear-end collisions in Texas do not only point to the driver responsible for them. You should evaluate mitigating factors. Are your brake lights on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Were you using turn signals? Finally, in these instances, there must be a finding of fact: Was the defendant’s vehicle behind you? You can refute your testimony, but there must be evidence that the defendant did not follow you too closely.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. A road object might cause the defendant’s vehicle to suddenly stop, causing it to collide with you. 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. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? Did they contribute to cause this collision? What about speeding? There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. Then there is the issue of contributory negligence. If you did not brake for traffic ahead of you then some might argue that you contributed to the collision.
As you can see, a rear-end does not guarantee a win for the claimant. These issues can be complicated and a skilled auto accident lawyer is your best friend.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. In 2020 the Texas Department of Transportation reported 538 deaths from head-on collision accidents. These accidents were responsible for nearly 14% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t limited to texting. Texting while driving is illegal in Texas, but it is still allowed to use a handheld phone for other purposes such as GPS or 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.
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 is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas had 1,354 single car accident-related deaths 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. Because these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
ROR crashes can be caused by an accident involving another driver. You will have to take evasive steps to avoid collisions. In Texas during 2020, 51% of the fatal accidents occurred in what were called “rural” areas. 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.
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 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
Like head-on collision cases, intersection and side impact crashes are a major contributor to serious injury and fatalities in Texas. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection accidents.
Side collisions often result in serious injury. This happens because the vehicle’s side is more vulnerable to being struck than it is the front. 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. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes Following a Traffic Collision
Often, parties to the accident will move the vehicles involved without taking pictures or having police present 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.
People make another common error when they contact their at-fault insurance company and give a recorded statement. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. The insurance company doesn’t look out for them. They are seeking information to assist their insured. The insured is not required to contact 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. 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 company can also use a delay in treatment as a defense.
Common mistakes made by people include not seeking immediate treatment, talking to their at-fault insurer, recording a statement, trying and resolving their claim themselves, accepting an earlier settlement, refusing to accept the outcome of the case, and refusing to take action.
Stopping Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may unjustly accuse the wounded person of causing a collision in an effort to reduce 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. A professional can help you gather the evidence necessary to win your case.
We investigate the details surrounding our clients’ claims. We read police reports, gather testimonies and preserve electronic data from vehicles and surveillance video.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP), which is a type if coverage that is included with many personal auto policies, is an option. 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 insurance protection is in place to cover medical expenses after an accident and it is a form of “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 also covers lost wages.
The Texas minimum policy limit for PIP is $2,500. This is not much. If you had a good insurance agent who went over the coverages with you, there’s a good chance that you may have opted for a higher amount. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all accidents involving vehicles can be solved. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Maybe the defendants and plaintiffs couldn’t agree on the amount of compensation to be paid because they couldn’t settle 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. Although a trial case takes much more time and expense than a claim settled out of court, a jury can potentially award a plaintiff more than any settlement offered. 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 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 you questions to get more information about the accident, who was negligent, your injuries, damages, and other details. 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 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 is not intimidating, but you don’t have the right to feel afraid. 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
An expert witness can present their opinion to a jury in a court matter. A witness’s expertise can be used to help the jury draw a conclusion from the available information.
Most often, experts in motor vehicle accidents are medical professionals. These doctors or other medical professionals can give opinions about the likelihood of recovery, need to treat, and prognosis of an injury victim.
Expert witnesses are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. Expert witnesses do not usually participate in cases and are only called when necessary. 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 that have to occur before you can ever enter the courtroom. The lawsuit will be served on the defendant. Then there is a period where each party exchanges evidence and depose witnesses. This whole process can take as much as a year depending on how complex the case is and how many parties are involved.
As you can see, going it alone is not an option. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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