With the prevalence of "court shows" on television, many of our readers in Texas are familiar with the overall process of a civil jury trial. Trials start with jury selection, and then move through the steps of openings statements, the presentation of evidence, closing arguments, jury instructions, jury deliberation and then, hopefully, a verdict. Each step of a civil jury trial is crucial, but opening statements set the stage for what is to come, which means these statements can make or break a case.
A common question that many people have about the litigation process is "why do lawsuits take so long to get resolved?" After all, most people probably think that if you have enough information to justify filing a lawsuit, then the facts should be quite clear. That isn't always the case. Sometimes, more information is needed even after a lawsuit is filed. That is when the "discovery" process comes into play.
There are, unfortunately, seemingly endless ways in which Texas residents can suffer injuries, many of which require medical treatment. When injuries happen to children, there is oftentimes a heightened sense of urgency to get treatment. According to a recent report, one family's rush to get medical treatment for their little girl after the girl was bitten by a rattlesnake did not go well at all, leading to alleged medical malpractice and a subsequent lawsuit.
Each year in America hundreds of thousands of lawsuits are filed. The facts and laws involved in these cases can vary greatly, but the basic structure of a civil trial - if the case gets that far - is generally the same throughout the country. So, what are the basics of a civil trial in plaintiff litigation?
The word "litigation" naturally makes many people nervous. After all, the vast majority of people in Texas and throughout the country have never been involved in a lawsuit of any kind, except perhaps in a divorce or small claims case. In complex litigation, specifically, many people may think that the legal hurdles are simply insurmountable. That is where our law firm comes into play.
Some ailments, such as the common cold, are minor. They may cause some discomfort for a few days but can be taken care of at home and go away on their own. Other ailments, however, are much more serious. Some serious illnesses, such as cancer, require immediate medical care. However, if a disease goes undiagnosed or is improperly treated, it could make a bad situation worse. The victim will continue to suffer not just from the disease that is going untreated, but also possibly from the wrong treatment being administered.
We trust that after years of education and training, the doctors, nurses, surgeons and other medical professionals who care for us when we are ill or injured know what they are doing. For the most part, medical professionals in Houston meet their duty of care to their patients. However, they are not perfect, and mistakes are sometimes made. When a medical mistake is made due to the negligence of the medical practitioner at issue, it could lead to plaintiff litigation.
Personal injury claims often boil down to one thing: negligence. In general, people have a duty to act reasonably given the circumstances. If they don't, and this failure causes another person to suffer damages, they may be held legally responsible.
When a person is injured due to another person's negligence, for example due to a car crash, their primary concern may just be regaining their health, so they can return to their normal life. Unfortunately, doing so can cost a lot of money, from medical bills, to missed work to emotional distress. Or, say a business owner entered into a contract that has been breached, causing them to lose the benefit they contracted for and costing them greatly both in money and time. In either of these cases, the harmed party may wish to file a lawsuit. However, a person who wishes to pursue plaintiff litigation should not wait too long to do so. This is because Texas, like all other states, has a "statute of limitations" with regards to civil claims.
Many people in Houston have used Johnson & Johnson baby powder and other products made by the company containing talc. However, they may be concerned to hear that, according to a Reuters investigation, since the 1970s Johnson & Johnson continued to manufacture and sell its baby powder product, despite having the knowledge that the talc in the products contained asbestos. These products have caused many to contract terminal illnesses, such as cancer.