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 – Wilmer
Why you should hire an experienced attorney in auto accidents
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. These can range from financial recompense of any losses or hurts you have sustained, missed wage, and skyrocketing expense. For a free consultation, call our Dallas-based law offices. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
Claim adjusters and managers can use tactics and other methods to minimize the payout or get it denied. If a case goes to litigation, then the insurance carrier’s legal team steps in too. These professional teams have one goal: to lower the insurance carrier’s annual costs. Needless to mention, they excel at what they do.
This means that, regardless of what outcome you get, as soon as your conversation with the insurance carrier for the other driver begins, you’ll be working with people whose purpose it is to reduce the claims however they can within the limits of the law. This is usually a bad idea.
Sometimes clients find this out the 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 typically make costly mistakes that are in their favor, which can reduce or even destroy their chances at a favorable claim. It is usually too late for us.
It’s critical that our potential clients don’t communicate with insurance companies. They’re looking for information that could be detrimental to the client, but potentially beneficial to the defendant and the insurance company. This is especially true in light of contributory negligence. It is possible to have misunderstandings when you speak with insurance companies. 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 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 a “modified relative fault state” meaning that rear-end crashes do not just point the finger at the driver. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Were your brake lights on? Did you slow down traffic? You used turn signals. These cases require a finding to fact. Was the defendant’s vehicle following you? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
Rear-end collisions could occur for several reasons. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. An object on the road might have caused the defendant suddenly to stop and cause his/her car to crash into your vehicle. In some cases, the defendant may have been following you too closely, and ran up on your bumper before hitting you.
In court, the questions will come from both sides of the aisle. What can you say about weather conditions, for example? These conditions contributed to the collision. What about speeding? There might even be an argument about whether or not your tail lights were working. 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, being rear-ended is not an automatic win for 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. Head-on collisions caused 538 deaths by 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These accidents accounted for almost 14% total traffic fatalities during the year in Texas.
Distracted Driving Accidents
The distractions caused by personal devices aren’t limited to texting. Although texting while driving has been banned in Texas since 2017, it is still legal to use handheld devices for other purposes, such as GPS and music. The fact that someone was distracted driving at the time of an accident does not excuse them. 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 could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas recorded 1,354 fatalities from single-car accidents in 2020. 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 these types of accidents usually occur without fault, they are not often handled by personal injury law firms.
Some ROR accidents are caused by another driver, requiring you to take evasive actions to avoid a collision. 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. 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 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. If the other driver fled the scene, perhaps eye-witnesses can lend testimony. More and more drivers are also equipping their cars with dash cams.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney if your Run-off road accident was caused by negligence.
Intersection and Side Impact Collision
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. In 2020 there were 865 deaths that were directly related to intersections.
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. While side impact airbags can be used to prevent injuries from occurring, such as curtains and impact pillars on modern cars, these types of accidents are still a serious danger in Texas.
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 is a good chance that even if the other driver was negligent, their negligence may not be enough for their car insurance to pay out. Experience and competence are crucial in Texas, as a Texas accident attorney will help you.
Common Mistakes After 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 common mistake is people contacting the at-fault insurer and make a recorded statement. Many people believe they’re being cooperative. They don’t have to look out for their insurance company. They are seeking information to assist their insured. There is no obligation for the insured to speak to the insurance company.
People make the common mistake of not seeking treatment immediately and believing that they can handle it. They don’t have medical documentation 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.
Fight the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies could falsely accuse a wounded person of causing an accident in order to reduce payouts. It is possible that the police report was incorrect and victim-blaming could follow. There is a possibility that you could find yourself in a conflict with the negligent driver. You’ll need convincing evidence and the support of a professional to win your case.
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 Protection Insurance
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 personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” 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 can also cover lost wages.
Although the Texas minimum policy limit is $2,500, it’s not too high. You may have selected a higher amount if your agent was knowledgeable and had reviewed all the coverages. This will allow you to pay for short-term medical expenses while the case progresses.
When an Accident Case Goes to Court
The majority of insurance claim claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed.
However, not all automobile accidents can be resolved. Some issues may be beyond the ability of the parties. Perhaps the plaintiffs were unable to agree on how much compensation they should pay because they could not resolve their differences.
In a trial, witnesses and expert witnesses may be called, responding law enforcement officers, and possibly others for testimony in front of a jury. 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 may even be able to argue that you be awarded punitive damages which is something that would not be offered in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
After you file your lawsuit, the defense will request that you take a deposition. This is a formal conversation, in which both the plaintiff and defense side will participate. A court reporter will also be present. 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 interview any other drivers in order to learn their stories, gain insight into their testimony at the trial and get an idea of the defense strategy and finances of defendant.
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 ask you questions that can help your case. However, the process does not have to make you feel uncomfortable. 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
Expert witness can provide their opinions to the jury in court cases. Witnesses can use their expertise to help the jurors reach a decision based on the information available.
In motor vehicle accidents, medical experts are the most common expert witness. These medical experts and doctors can give an opinion on the likelihood of recovery, treatment needs, or prognosis for an injured party.
Expert witnesses are able to help claimants build a stronger case but it is not always so. Expert witnesses are rarely called and usually only take part in court cases when the court requires. If this occurs, an experienced motor car firm will have the resources necessary to find the right expert witnesses.
What length of time does it take for a court case regarding an auto accident to be resolved?
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 defendant will have to be served with the lawsuit. After that, each party must 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, going it alone is not an option. Call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have been helping many people recover from crashes over many years.
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