This is the next post in our series discussing common issues that arise in personal injury cases resulting in paralysis in Fort Worth, Texas. Our last article provided an overview of the topics to be addressed in this series. It also stressed the importance of speaking with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs in order to help protect the victim’s legal rights. In this article we will discuss another important topic – the handling of personal injury cases involving multiple defendants. If you need assistance with a serious injury then it is suggested that you contact a lawyer immediately.
It is not uncommon for personal injury accidents to involve multiple defendants. This is especially true in matters involving commercial vehicles or private commercial property. Common examples might include accidents caused by a charter bus or a fall in a restaurant, in each case involving different owners, operators, etc. It is imperative to identify all potential defendants as early as possible in the investigation and settlement process. Failing to do so may prevent a victim or their family from recovering their desired amount of damages. This process can be lengthy as the identity and liability of each potential defendant is not always obvious.
For instance, suppose a pedestrian was hit by a commercial semi-truck. Now suppose that the truck driver ran a red light and hit the victim in a crosswalk. Clearly, the driver would be responsible for his own negligence. In addition, as a general rule, employers are held liable for the negligent acts of their employees. This means that the driver’s employer will be a potential defendant. The driver’s employer may also be held responsible under other causes of action. If it is shown, for example, that the driver has a poor driving history, or other such issues, then the employer may also be potentially liable for engaging in negligent hiring and/or supervision. The extent to which an employer will bear additional responsibility in such matters will always depend on the specific facts of the case. Additional defendants may also include the owner of the truck, to the extent not owned directly by the employer, and the manufacturer of the vehicle if the accident relates to a design or product liability problem. For obvious reasons, potential defendants may be identified as the accident investigation develops.
For the reasons outlined above, Fort Worth, Texas residents should retain an attorney with meaningful resources for the handling of a personal injury case involving a paralyzed victim. In cases which involve commercial defendants, it is possible that your counsel will have to retain multiple experts while paying other costs in advance. If you retain a firm without the ability to pay these costs, then you run the risk of your matter not being handled properly. We suggest you retain a firm which employs multiple attorneys, which employs an on-staff investigator, and which has the financial backing necessary to deal with large corporate defendants.