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 – Yucote Acres
Why an Auto Accident Attorney is an Expert in Your Area
Our legal team will examine every aspect of the incident to determine the strongest possible claim. That attention and commitment are your greatest hope for compensation, whether in a settlement or a 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. Call our Dallas-based law office immediately to discuss your options and receive a complimentary initial case consultation. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys is dedicated to making sure that your case goes as well as possible.
Claims adjusters and managers employ tactics and methods to reduce the payout, or get it denied altogether, when an insurance claim is filed. If a case goes to trial, then the legal department of the insurance carrier is called in. The bottom line is that these teams of professionals have their entire job to lower the insurance company’s annual payouts. Needless to mention, they excel 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. It is generally a bad idea to face these professionals unarmed without the assistance of your attorney.
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 usually make major mistakes that work in the company’s favor and decrease or even eliminate their chances for a favorable settlement. 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. There are many misunderstandings that can result from interacting with insurance providers. 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 – 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 state with modified comparative fault. This means that rear-end collisions in Texas do not only point to the driver responsible for them. You must consider mitigating circumstances. Were your brake lights on? 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? Although your testimony could be disproven, you must provide additional evidence to prove that the defendant actually followed you.
Rear-end collisions may occur for a couple of reasons. Sometimes, it is not obvious circumstances that lead to the collision. 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.
In court, questions will be asked from both sides. For example, what can be said about weather conditions? These conditions contributed to the collision. What about speeding? The question of whether your tail light worked could be up for debate. Last, but not least is the question about contributory negligence. Some may argue that you contributed the collision by not stopping for traffic ahead.
Rear-ending is not an automatic win for a claimant, as you can see. This is where an experienced auto accident attorney can help you.
While head-on accidents are less common than rear end accidents, they are statistically much more dangerous. 538 deaths were reported by the Texas Department of Transportation in 2020 from head-on collisions. 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. 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. However, this does not make it any less possible for someone to cause an accident by texting while driving. A person can be charged for a Class A misdemeanor, including jail time of upto a year and a maximum $4,000 penalty.
Additionally to the state laws, the individual cities of the Dallas/Fort Worth area have adopted ordinances to differing degrees. Some are stricter than the state laws.
Regardless the laws, in 2020 368 traffic accident fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. Hundreds more could have been involved or contributed in non-fatal traffic accidents.
Texas’ single car accident deaths were responsible for 1,354 deaths in 2020. These are known as “ROR” (Run-Off-Road) 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.
However, some ROR crashes are caused due to another driver forcing you to take evasive action 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. A driver might also be trying to pass in an unsafe manner.
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. If an accident occurred between two cars, the insurance company will examine why. 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.
To prove that your Run-off-road accident occurred due to negligence of another driver, you will need to consult a personal injury attorney.
Intersectional and Side Impact Collision
In Texas, serious injury and deaths are often caused by side-impact crashes. In 2020, 865 deaths were related to intersection 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.
Due to Texas’s modified contributory negligent laws, even a broad-side collision can’t always be considered a straight 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. A Texas accident attorney can help you if you lack the experience and expertise.
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, as it stops photographic evidence from being as reliable as possible and prevents police from being present on the scene to observe the vehicles.
Another common mistake is to call the at-fault insurer and make a recorded confession. 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. 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 passes, there is a delay in getting treatment. If you do not seek immediate medical attention or wait too long, your insurance company could claim that you were not injured. An insurance carrier may also use a gap between treatment 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.
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.
Personal Injury Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP), is a type coverage that is included in 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 personal auto insurance protection provides coverage for medical expenses incurred after an accident. It’s a type of “no-fault.” This means that you and your passengers can receive medical costs regardless of whether the case involves the liability of another driver. PIP may also be used to pay lost wages.
However, Texas’ minimum policy limit for Personal Injury Protection (PPI) is $2,500. Not a lot. 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.
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, expert witnesses and witnesses may be called. Responding law enforcement officers can also be called and could testify before a jury. The jury will decide whether the defendant is responsible for the full extent of their liability. Although a trial case may take more time and money than a settled claim, a jury might be able to award a plaintiff higher than any settlement. Sometimes, your attorney may be able even to argue for punitive damage. This is something you would not get in a settlement.
Discovery & Deposition
A deposition is required by the defense side after you file a lawsuit. This is a formal conversation where you will be sworn in. Each side’s lawyers will be present, as will a court 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 accompany you and help you refrain from answering questions that could damage your case. You may be asked questions by your attorney that will shed light on your case. The process doesn’t have to intimidate you. You won’t feel intimidated by the Texas deposition rules. Your accident lawyer will also ensure this.
Texas Motor Vehicle Trial Cases – Expert Witnesses
Expert witness can provide their opinions to the jury in court cases. Expert witnesses can offer their expert opinion to assist the hearings in drawing a conclusion, based upon the 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 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. If this occurs, an experienced motor car firm will have the resources necessary to find the right expert witnesses.
How Long Does a Court Case Take For an Auto Accident?
In answering the question of how long the process will take, it is not just about the trial. There are a lot of things that need to happen before you ever step into the courtroom. The lawsuit must be served to the defendant. The parties then exchange evidence and take deposition 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, going it alone is not an option. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn about your legal rights. Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys have helped many to recover after crashes for years.
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