This is the next post in our series on the handling of construction accident cases in Fort Worth, Texas. Our previous post discussed the need for expert witnesses in construction accident cases. The Court will not allow laypeople to testify in regards to complicated matters. As such, an expert will be required in order to testify as to whether the company was following proper industry standards. In this article we will discuss what an injury victim should expect during the trial process. If you or a family member have been injured on the job then it is strongly suggested that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
We have previously discussed the process of attending trial in a Fort Worth head injury case. A similar process will be followed in construction accident cases involving “non-subscribing” employers. The trial will begin with the selection of a jury. If a member of the jury pool clearly demonstrates that they cannot be impartial, then the Judge will remove them from the pool for “cause.” The attorneys for each side will also be permitted to “challenge” a certain number of jurors. Once the jury has been empaneled then opening statements will be made. The Plaintiff will present his or her case. The defendant(s) will then present their case. The Plaintiff will follow with rebuttal evidence. Closing arguments will be made and the jury will be asked to deliberate. The jurors will return their findings in regards to liability and damages. This will conclude the trial process.
There are issues which can make construction accident cases different from other personal injury trials. First, as we discussed in our article on the handling of non-subscriber construction injuries, Texas’ comparative fault laws do not apply in these matters. This means that a victim will be able to recover damages as long as the employer has any responsibility for the accident. Trial, therefore, will not involve the typical amount of testimony in regards to fault by the employee. Second, construction accident trials may very well involve numerous defendants. Given that construction projects are typically handled by a general contractor who sub-contracts out work, the employee of a sub-contractor may very well have claims against multiple companies.
Trial is complicated in any personal injury matter but this is especially true in cases involving non-subscriber construction accidents. This is why we suggest you retain a firm in which the attorneys are board certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We also suggest that you retain a firm which employs multiple lawyers, an on-staff investigator, and which has the financial resources necessary to handle such matters. This is our suggestion regardless of whether you were interested in Fort Worth, Dallas, or any part of the DFW area.