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Understanding the Bifurcated Truck Lawsuit System in Texas

Posted on in Personal Injury

corpus christi truck accident lawyerIn June of 2021, Texas lawmakers made it more difficult for individuals who have been injured in accidents involving large commercial trucks to hold trucking companies accountable for any role they may have played in such collisions. Texas law now requires that most injury victims navigate a bifurcated lawsuit system that is unique to the resolution of truck accident cases. 

It is important to avoid being discouraged by this turn of events because truck accident injury victims still remain empowered to seek significant compensation under various circumstances. Yet, it is also important to understand the challenges that this system poses so that injury victims can be better prepared to weather its ups and downs successfully. 

Why Was This Reform Enacted?

The legislative bill analysis for this reform indicates that concerns about frivolous lawsuits inspired the change. While creating “a fair framework” is cited as one rationale for the bill, the authors also explicitly state that the reform protects commercial motor vehicle operators from so-called “unjust and excessive lawsuits.” It is, therefore, perhaps unsurprising that this tiered legal process favors trucking companies and places significant burdens on injury victims who have chosen to pursue compensation. 

How Does the Bifurcated Approach Work?

If a defendant named in a personal injury lawsuit asks for a bifurcated process, injury victims must first “win” a favorable verdict against a truck driver during phase one of a trial before they can attempt to hold a trucking company/operator accountable in phase two of the trial process. Phase one primarily concerns the issue of compensatory damages, and phase two primarily concerns the issue of exemplary damages. This approach is particularly burdensome in actions wherein a trucking company’s conduct is primarily responsible for a victim’s injuries. 

Contact a Skilled Corpus Christi Lawyer Today to Learn More

If you have recently been injured in a truck accident, reach out to the knowledgeable team of Nueces County, TX personal injury lawyers at The Edwards Law Firm for assistance with your legal case. Once we have assessed the potential strengths and weaknesses of your claim in a risk-free, no-cost, confidential consultation, we will provide you with personalized, objective feedback. Should you decide to pursue legal action against those responsible for your harm, we will advocate aggressively on behalf of your rights.

You can schedule a free case evaluation by submitting a contact form on our website or by calling us at 361-320-6752. If you are entitled to compensation at this time, we will do our utmost to ensure that your case is resolved as favorably as possible. We look forward to speaking with you. 




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