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 – Weston
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. Your best chance of getting compensation is to pay attention and be committed, regardless of whether you are settling or going to 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. Contact our Dallas law offices for a free initial consultation to learn more about all your options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys are dedicated to making your case as successful as possible.
When an insurance claim is started, claims adjusters and managers use tactics and methods to mitigate the potential payout or even get it denied it altogether. The legal team of the insurance company can also intervene if a case is brought to court. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. Needless to say, they are good at what they do.
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. Unarmed and without a lawyer is a terrible idea.
Sometimes, clients have to learn this hard way. We have seen for example folks come to us after they have given a recorded statement, trying to work with the insurance company themselves. They usually make major mistakes that work in the company’s favor and decrease or even eliminate their chances for a favorable settlement. It’s often too late by this point to assist.
It is crucial that potential clients do not communicate with insurance companies. Because they are seeking information that is potentially harmful to the client but advantageous to the defendant and insurance company, this is why. This is especially true in light of contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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 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 comparative fault state, which means that rear-end accidents in Texas are not solely attributed to the person who caused them. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Were your brake lights on? Are you able to stop traffic flow completely? Did you use 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.
There are a few reasons rear-end collisions can occur. Sometimes it’s not apparent circumstances or conditions that cause them. You might be able to see an object on the roadway that caused the defendant’s vehicle suddenly to stop. 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. They contributed to the collision? Was speeding a factor? It’s possible to argue whether or not your taillights worked. 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, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for claimant. An experienced auto accident attorney is invaluable in navigating these issues.
Head-on crashes are less common than rear-end accidents but are statistically more dangerous. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 538 people died in head-on collision accidents in 2020. These accidents constituted almost 14% of the traffic fatalities for the year in Texas.
Distracted driving accidents
Today, texting is no longer the only distraction from personal devices. 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. 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.
Distracted driving is the cause of 368 traffic fatalities in 2020, regardless if there are any laws. 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 referred to by NHTSA as “ROR” – Run-Off Road Crashes.
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 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 collisions can also be caused by another driver. In these cases, you will need to take evasive measures to avoid a collision. Texas’ 2020 fatalities were 51% in “rural” areas. These areas are often surrounded by two-lane highways and have the potential for drivers drifting into another 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. If you allege that the accident was caused or contributed to by another driver, an insurance company will review your claim. Witnesses who witnessed the accident may be able give evidence if the driver fled. 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
As with head-on collisions, side and intersection crashes contribute significantly to fatalities and serious injuries in Texas. In 2020, the state had 865 fatalities due to intersection-related 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’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 following 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 an error as it reduces photographic evidence’s reliability and makes it impossible for police to inspect the vehicles immediately after the collision.
Another mistake people make is to contact the at-fault insurer and record a statement. Many people believe they are being cooperative, which is wrong. 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 sometimes make the wrong decision to not seek immediate treatment. They believe they can handle the situation. They don’t have any documentation from a medical professional to support their claims. As time goes by, it becomes more difficult to get treatment. If you wait too long or don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company may claim you weren’t injured. Insurance companies can also use gaps in treatment to defend their clients.
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.
Combating Insurance Companies
In order to decrease their payouts, insurance companies may wrongly accuse injured persons of causing a wreck. 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 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.
Insurance for personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP), a type insurance coverage, is included on many personal automobile 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 coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills incurred in an accident. 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 provide coverage for lost wages.
That said, the minimum required policy limit for PIP in Texas is only $2,500 – not a whole lot. A good agent will have reviewed your coverages with you and recommended a higher amount. This will be useful to cover medical expenses for the short term while your case is developing.
A case involving an accident goes to court
Most insurance claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not every vehicle accident can be fixed. Perhaps the parties are unable to resolve the issues. Perhaps the plaintiffs and defendants could not agree on how much compensation should be paid because they couldn’t resolve their differences.
Witnesses and expert witnesses, responding officers of the law enforcement, and others may be called to testify in front of a jury during a trial. The jury will decide on the defendant’s extent of liability. 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 can argue that punitive or other damages be awarded to you. This is something not offered in a deal.
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation in which you will be sward in, both side’s attorneys will be present along with a court reporter. Both sides will ask you questions regarding the accident, who is at fault, your injuries, or 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 be there to help you avoid answering questions that could hurt your case. Your attorney might also ask questions that are favorable to your case. You don’t need to feel intimidated by this process. Texas regulations for depositions make it clear that you will not feel intimidated. And your accident lawyer will confirm 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.
The most common example of an expert witness in a motor vehicle accident case are medical experts. These medical experts, as well as other doctors, can provide an opinion about the chances of recovery for injured parties, their treatment requirements, and prognosis.
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. When this happens, an experienced motor vehicle firm will have resources to draw upon for finding the right expert witness.
How long does it take to get a court case for an auto crash?
It is not the only thing that will determine how long the process takes. There are many things to be done before you even step foot into the courtroom. The lawsuit will need to be served on defendant. The parties then exchange evidence and take deposition 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’ve seen from this overview of the ins and outs of motor vehicle accident cases in Texas, going it alone is never recommended. For a free consultation, please call us. We will help you determine your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident attorneys have helped many recover from car crashes over the years.
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