This is the next article in my series on dealing with Peoria, Illinois car accident cases which involve semi-trucks, delivery drivers, Uber drivers, and other commercial vehicles. My last post discussed how comparative fault applies after a commercial vehicle wreck. It is important to understand in such cases, that comparative fault may alleviate a defendant entirely of liability due to Illinois’ joint and several liability laws. Such matters quickly become complicated and it is important that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. In this article I will discuss the importance of discovery in such matters. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer.
Discovery is important for proving causes of action against individual defendants
Discovery is the process by which information is gained from the other side during litigation. There are several tools which may be used to obtain such information. These include Interrogatories, Requests for Production, Depositions, as well as other tools. Through these methods, it is possible to require that the other side provide written answers to written questions. It is also possible to require that they provide records, documents, correspondence, or other physical items. Additionally, sworn testimony can be taken from parties or non-party witnesses. This testimony will be under oath and, should a witness attempt to change their testimony at trial, then a transcript of their deposition may be used to point out the inconsistency. Given that commercial vehicle cases often involve numerous defendants, it is important to remember that these tools may be used to gain information from each of them.
Discovery is vital to obtaining evidence which may be relevant to a cause of action which only exists against one individual defendant. Consider the following example. Joe is a delivery driver who works for company “X.” Joe is texting on his phone when he runs a stop sign and hits another car. Joe and X would both be liable for Joe’s negligent act of driving while distracted. Now suppose it is shown that the company had not adopted a policy which prohibits the use of cellphones while driving. In addition to being liable for the general negligence, X may face liability for failing to properly supervise its employees. Proof of this negligence could be obtained by forcing the company to state, in writing, its policies regarding cell phones in the car. Additionally, company policy documents could be obtained and executives could be required to give a deposition in regard to safety policies. These are just a few examples of how discovery can be used to gain evidence relating to a cause of action against a particular defendant.
Retain a Peoria injury lawyer with experience in commercial accident cases
If you have been in an accident which involves a commercial vehicle then it is important that you retain an attorney with experience in such matters. Discovery is a complicated process and, if it is not handled correctly, then you will likely be without needed evidence at the time of trial. This could result in you receiving less than what you are entitled to or, worse, you being denied recovery altogether. Given that no two cases are the same, it is vital that you retain counsel with substantial experience in these types of cases.
I am a Peoria car accident lawyer who handles cases which involve commercial vehicles. Contact my office today if you have been in a trucking accident, if you have been hit by a delivery driver, or if you have been involved in some similar type of incident. My office is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals and we take great pride in the level of service we offer. We look forward to speaking with you. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.