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Five Procedural Issues Common in Commercial Trucking Accidents

An accident with a big rig is a big deal – and enduring this kind of collision can leave lasting effects, both physical and emotional. If you are reeling from a recent truck accident in the Westchester County area, our lawyers can help you navigate through the procedural issues that typically arise in personal injury actions – which can be especially complex if a commercial freightliner was involved in the wreck.

The following are the top five procedural issues likely to arise in your truck accident claim:

#5:  Choosing a Venue: Venue can be a minor issue or a major battle, depending upon the goals and intentions of the defendant. If a defendant is unhappy with the plaintiff’s particular choice of court, it may motion for a change of venue – but it must do so in its initial filing or the objection is considered waived. Changes of venue can be from state to federal court, as well as from one county or jurisdiction to another.

#4:  Choosing the Defendant(s): This issue is particularly unique to cases involving commercial trucking outfits because plaintiffs can not only sue the individual driver involved in the crash, but also the driver’s employer under the doctrine of vicarious liability.

If the evidence uncovered shows that the driver may have been pushed to drive beyond the number of hours allowed under federal law or the employer has not properly maintained the vehicle, your truck accident lawyer could successfully obtain a verdict or settlement from the driver’s employer – which will likely have much deeper pockets than the driver himself.

#3:  Meeting Deadlines: Civil litigation is under a strict timeline, otherwise cases would drag on for years. Once a plaintiff files his complaint, he must serve the defendant(s) with notice of the lawsuit right away. Once served, the defendant has 30 days to file a response – or 45 days if it plans to raise certain defenses. From there, discovery deadlines and pretrial matters will be closely regulated to ensure a swift and efficient resolution to the matter.

#2:  Disclosing Evidence: Once your case makes it past the inevitable defense motion for summary judgment, your lawyers will be ready to begin the discovery process, which involves the mutual exchange of evidence between the parties.

The parties must answer lists of questions about the incident and resulting injuries (known as interrogatories), produce relevant non-privileged documents and participate in depositions allowing both parties to ask and answer questions under oath. The process can be long, but discovery is truly the only way to ensure a fair and accurate trial.

#1:  To Appeal or Not to Appeal: Appealing a verdict is an individual decision each plaintiff must make with his truck accident lawyers, and an appeal is often necessary if certain issues arose at trial that were improperly handled by the court. By contrast, a party may opt not to appeal if the evidence is highly skewed in favor of the successful party. 

Contact the Experienced Westchester County Truck Accident Lawyers at Lynch Schwab & Gasparini

If you are considering a lawsuit following your recent truck accident, we encourage you to contact Lynch Schwab & Gasparini right away. To set up an appointment, please call (914) 304-4353.

Posted on May 13, 2015 in Personal Injury