After an accident with a tractor-trailer, it is important that the victim and his or her family receive necessary care. Determining liability and seeking compensation for those injuries can often be a complex process. Every case is unique, so you will want to consult a qualified Houston truck accident attorney such as those at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. about the specifics of your accident.
Investigating Your Texas Personal Injury Case
Often, the first step toward a lawsuit is an investigation into the events that resulted in your injury. The investigation helps preserve vital evidence early on. It also helps your attorney identify who is at fault in your accident and who to sue.
Get Your Truck Accident Lawsuit Filed Successfully
A complaint is a legal instrument by which a lawsuit is initiated. Your Texas trucking accident attorney will draft a complaint that outlines what happened during the accident in the broadest terms and draws attention to the legal principles that support your claim. As the person bringing the lawsuit, you will be known to the court as the plaintiff.
The person or parties that your attorney claims was negligent in their actions before or during the accident are named defendants. The complaint summarizes their actions, why you deserve compensation, and then seeks a legal remedy for your injuries or damages.
In a Texas personal injury lawsuit, damages are generally awarded as monetary compensation and may include money for the past and future medical costs, loss of earning capacity, pain, and suffering, mental anguish, physical limitations, or disfigurement. Once the complaint is complete, your attorney will file it in the appropriate state or federal court.
Serving Your Complaint
Once a complaint has been filed with the court, a copy is required to be provided to all of the defendants named in the complaint to give them a chance to respond. This action is called service. Service is not as simple as dropping a copy of the complaint in the mail. The complaint may be sent by certified mail, or your attorneys may hire a professional to deliver the copy in person.
Private investigators may also be engaged at this level. If for example, the plaintiff has been negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company for many months, the persons involved in the original accident may have physically changed addresses, moved across the country, or changed jobs. This may require some investigation simply to track down where the defendants are in order to serve them.
When Defendants Respond
After receiving the complaint, defendants are permitted a specified amount of time to submit a written response to the court. The deadline to respond usually is set by court rules. If defendants fail to respond by the deadline, the court may award a “default judgment,” which essentially means you win the lawsuit because the other guy didn’t show up. However, in most cases the defendants’ attorney will file a response that denies the allegations made in your complaint.
Get Your Legal Claim Effectively Handled
There are some important phases a Texas personal injury lawyer may need to address when representing a victim who has been injured in a trucking accident.
Discovery — This is the process of gathering evidence and establishing facts about the accident. This phase takes up the majority of time in a personal injury case. All parties will exchange written questions and answers as well as requests for evidence. During discovery, attorneys for both sides will also conduct formal interviews known as depositions.
Depositions — These are conducted under oath and in the presence of a court reporter. While these are normally conducted in the geographic location where the accident occurred, depositions can also be taken by court reporters in other areas if a defendant has since moved, or the court can require that they return to give deposition locally. Deposition testimony is often used to ensure that a defendant’s story doesn’t change during a trial. Attorneys will also use the deposition to unveil contradictions or inconsistencies in a witness’ account of the accident. Witnesses may be subpoenaed to testify in a deposition.
Motions — Your attorneys and the defendant’s attorneys may need to deliver a series of motions, which are written arguments to the court. Commonly, one or both sides will file what is known as a motion for summary judgment, a sort of all-or-nothing action to have the judge rule in favor of one party. Motions are complex legal tools, so be sure to have your attorney explain what each one means as you move through the legal process.
Texas Personal Injury Recovery Negotiations
At any time after a lawsuit is filed — or even before — your Texas personal injury case can be settled if both parties agree to a reasonable recovery amount. In fact, most personal injury cases do not ultimately go to trial and are determined through agreements or arbitration. However, if both parties in a truck accident lawsuit cannot come to an agreement, the case will proceed to trial. In Texas personal injury lawsuits involving commercial trucks, the case may be decided by a judge in a bench trial or a jury through a jury trial.
How Long Will It Take to Resolve a Houston Trucking Accident Case?
There is no specific deadline to resolve a case involving a commercial truck accident. Some cases may settle quickly while others may take years to litigate and receive a verdict. No matter the circumstance in your truck accident case, our Houston trucking accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. will work tirelessly to secure a fair recovery for your injuries as quickly as possible.
Compassionate and Reliable Legal Advocacy That Works
The attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. who work with truck accidents and lawsuits take our work seriously. We understand that working through the legal processes involved in a truck accident lawsuit can seem complex, particularly to a victim who is also dealing with medical care and rehabilitation.
We pride ourselves on working diligently through all steps of the legal process to secure the maximum possible compensation for injuries sustained in a commercial truck accident. Our firm has litigated many notable cases, and we continue to assertively pursue full value for all injury claims.
Find out more about what our Houston personal injury attorneys can do for you by calling us at . We offer a free consultation and there are no fees unless we recover compensation for your truck accident injuries.