This is the third post in our series on the handling of trucking accident cases in Austin, Texas. Our last post discussed the numerous parties who may be liable in a trucking accident. It is important to understand that more entities than just the driver are potentially responsible. In this post we will discuss another important topic – the handling of discovery in such matters. It must be understood that gaining evidence in such a case is complex and that you should retain an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance.
Discovery is the process by which information is gained from the other side in a lawsuit. The process provides several mechanisms for gaining information. Requests for Production of Documents can be used to acquire physical records and other tangible items. Interrogatories can be used to require written answer to written questions. Finally, depositions can be used to gain the sworn testimony of witnesses while they are under oath. Each of these types of evidence are critical in any personal injury case. They are, however, more critical in complex cases such as matters involving a big rig.
Discovery will focus on various issues in cases involving a truck. In establishing that the truck driver failed to act responsibly it may be necessary to take his or her deposition, to request an order for drug testing from the Court, as well as their driving logs. To show that the vehicle owner was negligent in hiring and training the driver it will be necessary to acquire employment files, to gain information about the company’s hiring policies, and to learn more about their training procedures. Internal records from the company who hired the freight agency will be acquired to determine the extent to which they were aware of any dangerous conditions. If the discovery requests are sent on these various issues, and the other side fails to respond, the Court can order their response. If they do not provide responses after an Order then it is possible to gain negative inferences which makes prevailing in the case far more likely.
Discovery is a highly complicated process and it becomes even more cumbersome in complex cases. Hiring a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the process helps to ensure that your case is fully prepared as you go to trial. Counsel who is not as experienced in this area may possibly miss an important piece of evidence and, as a result, you may have difficulty establishing liability at trial. Our attorney discusses these issues further in this video:
Our Austin lawyers have experience in handling trucking accident cases and are ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. In addition to Austin, we also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.