Conducting Discovery in Austin, Texas Wrongful Death Cases

By December 23, 2016Serious Injuries
Distraught family

Distraught familyThis is the next post in our series on the handling of wrongful death cases in Austin, Texas. Our last article discussed calculating damages after a wrongful death. It is important to understand that determining the amount of compensation in such a case involves several different aspects. Hiring a qualified personal injury attorney to assist with such matters is crucial. In this article we will discuss the process of conducting discovery in such a case. If a loved one has been taken from you, due to another’s negligence, then contact our office to speak with a lawyer.

We have previously discussed the importance of discovery in trucking accident cases. The same methods for acquiring information are available to plaintiffs in wrongful death actions. Information acquired may include answers to written questions, testimony of parties or witnesses, and physical records such as work logs, emails, company memos, etc. The discovery process can be used to determine the extent to which each defendant should be considered liable for the accident and for punitive damages (if any).

In a previous post we discussed the fact that multiple parties may be named as defendants in a wrongful death case. Discovery is crucial to establishing the liability of each defendant. If, for example, the owner of a commercial vehicle is a defendant then it will be necessary to determine which steps they took to hire, train and supervise the driver. Determining this information can include acquiring employment manuals, training procedures, and the employee’s work file. It will also be necessary to determine whether the employer had reason to believe that the driver would behave in a negligent manner. These are just a few examples of how discovery can be used to establish the liability of multiple parties.

Obtaining evidence is crucial if one is to prove that punitive damages should be awarded. Receiving such damages will typically require showing that the defendant knew a dangerous condition existed and that they blatantly ignored it. Discovery can be used to gather various internal documents from a business which could establish that such a situation existed. In a case involving punitive damages, the defendant’s counsel will likely fight tooth and nail over whether information should have to be provided. It is important that you retain counsel experienced in handling such situations.

Contact our office today to speak with an Austin wrongful death attorney. We have extensive experience in handling such matters and stand ready to assist you. We also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.