If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident and hired trucking accident attorneys to handle your case, you may be wondering about the legal process and how long it will take. Cases involving truck accidents can be complex and take a long time to resolve. Below is an overview of the legal process and what steps must be taken by trucking accident lawyers at each stage.
Initial Accident Investigation
The first thing trucking accident attorneys do before filing a lawsuit is to carefully and thoroughly investigate the accident and all available evidence. Such an investigation must begin right after the accident so the lawyer can ensure evidence is protected by sending a spoliation letter to each opposing party’s insurance company or lawyer.
If trucking accident lawyers find evidence suggesting another party is at fault and a claim for damages may lead to a trial, this process will officially begin with the filing of a complaint.
Filing The Complaint
Trucking accident attorneys will file a complaint with the court once a decision has been made to proceed with a lawsuit. This document must state the purpose of the complaint, who was injured in the accident (the plaintiff), and who is being sued (the defendant).
Defendants must respond to the complaint within a certain time period with either a response to the complaint, a counter-complaint, or a motion to dismiss if they feel such a reason exists. If there is no response, the court will enter a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
The next step in a lawsuit is the discovery process. This is a period of investigation and exchange of information that can be used by either party to build a legal case. Trucking accident lawyers can request records, interrogate defendants, interview witnesses, and consult with experts during this time. The discovery period is usually the longest part of this type of legal process.
Mediation and Lawsuit Resolution
After the discovery process has been completed and all evidence and information regarding the accident has been provided to all parties, the case can be mediated if both sides agree. Mediation is where both parties involved in the accident discuss the event and the evidence, then try to agree on a resolution without going to trial.
Mediation is done before a mediator who is a neutral party unrelated to the case; it takes place with the plaintiffs and defendants seated in separate rooms. If an agreement is reached, the lawsuit is resolved. If no agreement can be reached, the case continues on to trial.
How Long Will It Take?
Every lawsuit involving a truck crash is different, so how long it takes to resolve a case depends on each case's individual circumstances. A simpler case may be resolved in a few months, while a more complicated case involving severe injuries or fatalities could last many months, even years.
A case that cannot be settled through mediation and goes to trial will take longer since evidence presentation must then be repeated in front of a judge and jury.
A trucking accident is a traumatic event that can cause serious injuries to those involved. If you are a victim of such an incident and want to receive a reasonable settlement, you need qualified trucking accident attorneys to file your claim against the defendants and their insurance companies, then prepare for mediation or trial. If a trial is necessary, experienced trucking accident lawyers will support you through the entire legal process until an acceptable settlement agreement can be reached!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190