Filing a lawsuit
Your lawyer will prepare and file a complaint with the court, which officially opens your lawsuit.
In the complaint, and in other court documents, the plaintiff is the injured party, and the defendant(s) caused or contributed to the truck crash.
The complaint describes the crash, and how the defendants were responsible for it. It describes what happened to you, and your injuries, and what you have lost.
Common defendants in Washington truck crash lawsuit might include:
- The truck driver;
- The motor carrier who owns the truck, and may employ the truck driver;
- The broker or shipper who owns the goods being transported;
- The company that loaded the truck, or secured the loaded truck;
- The maintenance shop that performed work on the truck or parts.
After the complaint is filed with the court, it must be served, or officially delivered, to all of the defendants.
When they get the complaint, each defendant has to file a response.
In Washington, the Superior Court judge sets a trial date, and gives us deadlines for discovery and mediation.
“Discovery” is how we exchange information with the other side.
We prepare and send official documents called Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents to each defendant. Their lawyers will do the same. Your lawyer and paralegal will help you answer questions and collect information.
Based on the questions we ask and the information we get during discovery, the lawyers will request depositions. These are interviews, conducted under oath – just like in a courtroom. They can be very useful tools in a Washington truck crash lawsuit.
In Washington State, the plaintiffs and defendants have to sit down with a neutral person who tries to “mediate” a settlement agreement.
If mediation isn’t successful, your lawyer will talk to you about going to trial.
A trial is supposed to be the final option, used only when other methods of resolution have failed.
Most truck crash lawsuits are settled before trial. But there is always the possibility of a trial, and we are always ready for it.
If your case does go to trial, your lawyers will meet with you to explain what to expect in court.
After your case is concluded by settlement or trial verdict, your lawyer’s office will prepare a financial statement for you.
It can take several months finalize outstanding medical bills or liens, and confirm balances.
Keep in mind, lawsuits was can take several years. Our legal system was purposefully set up this way. The courts want us to resolve our own disputes, and come to an agreement without the time and expense of a court trial.
This is a basic overview of Washington truck crash lawsuit. It won’t all apply to every case—but you can contact Coluccio Law with any questions.