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What is the New Bifurcated Truck Accident Lawsuit Process in Texas?
March 27, 2023 Clark Law Group

What is the New Bifurcated Truck Accident Lawsuit Process in Texas?

Posted in Truck Accidents

Filing a truck accident lawsuit has never been a straightforward process. Unlike lawsuits that concern collisions between cars and other consumer-owned passenger vehicles, truck accident lawsuits tend to be particularly complex. One of the primary reasons for this disparity is that there are almost always defendants named in truck accident lawsuits beyond the drivers of the vehicles involved.

In addition to any negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing committed by the truck driver, the following parties are frequently named as defendants in truck accident lawsuits:

  • The trucking company that employs the truck operator

  • The owner of any business that maintains the employer’s fleet and/or is responsible for loading freight

  • The owner of the truck itself, which may be a distinct entity from the employer and truck operator

And yet, despite the complexities inherent in holding a trucking company liable for any of its practices that may have directly contributed to a crash victim’s harm, the state of Texas recently made it even more difficult for a victim to seek justice.

A Two-Tiered System

Instead of navigating a standard personal injury lawsuit process, victims of truck accidents will now generally be required to deal with a two-tiered system. At the request of a trucking company named as a defendant in a victim’s lawsuit, the action will be subject to a bifurcation structure.

This means that before the victim can potentially hold the trucking company liable for wrongdoing in “phase two” of the process, they must seek to hold the driver responsible in “phase one.” Only if certain criteria are met in phase one will the lawsuit move on to phase two. Not only will this make holding a trucking company liable more challenging generally, it will make the pursuit of justice particularly difficult for victims when their harm was caused primarily or exclusively by the company at issue and not by the driver involved in the collision.

Contact a Skilled Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer Today to Learn More

If you have recently been injured in an accident involving a large commercial truck, it is important to both understand the challenges of the new Texas system and to avoid allowing those challenges to deter you from seeking justice. Texans do not shy away from doing what is right simply because doing what is right may be hard.

It can help to keep in mind that you do not need to navigate this complex two-tiered system alone. The knowledgeable team of Dallas, TX truck accident lawyers at Clark Law Group can help you to protect your rights and your interests at every step along the way.

To learn more about your options and about our firm’s approach to truck accident victim representation, consider scheduling a risk-free, confidential consultation. You can submit a contact form on the firm’s website or you can call us at 469-906-2266 to get started. We look forward to speaking with you.

Source:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CP/htm/CP.41.htm


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