Lawsuits are the means by which a case is brought into the court system. When a lawsuit is filed, it begins the litigation process. Depending on the type of case at hand, litigation can be resolved in a matter of months or may stretch into a years-long battle. There are many components that go into a lawsuit from start to finish. An explosion accident lawsuit has its own special features and challenges that make it potentially more complex than other types of cases.
Victims of explosions often have questions about how the legal process works. It may be their first time encountering the court system. Naturally, if you were hurt in an explosion accident, there is a certain amount of anxiety surrounding your case and its outcome. In this article, we will explain how an explosion lawsuit typically works and some key steps that occur in the process from the time an explosion occurs until a case is filed.
Choosing a Venue for an Explosion Case
Explosions happen in all areas of the United States and in a variety of settings. They may occur at your home, in an industrial plant, on an offshore oil rig, or at a construction site. One thing that all explosions have in common is that they almost always result in personal injuries for one or more people. When injured victims bring their cases to us, one of the first questions that must be answered is where the suit will be filed.
Choosing a proper venue for an explosion accident claim brings about many potential considerations. The first factor to consider is where the explosion occurred. Typically, a lawsuit is filed in the county or judicial district where the injured victim resides. In some cases, it may be filed where the defendant or alleged negligent party is located. Choosing the proper venue is important to ensure that the case is not delayed.
Another factor to consider in choosing a venue is whether the claim should be filed in state or federal court. This is often a function of the value of the claim and whether the injured plaintiff and defendant are residents of the same state. Under Title 28, Section 1332 of the United States Code, a lawsuit that alleges more than $75,000 in damages between two parties who reside in different states must be filed in federal court. Otherwise, cases may be filed in state courts.
Choosing between state and federal court may simply come down to the most advantageous forum for the plaintiff. Certain jury pools may be more likely to return a verdict in favor of a plaintiff or a defendant in any particular case. Choosing the appropriate forum that best suits your explosion accident claim is a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to filing a lawsuit.
Filing a Summons and Complaint
Submitting a summons and complaint serves as the first official filing in an explosion case. A summons is issued by a local clerk of court. The summons allows the court to exercise jurisdiction over the case. A complaint is simply the legal term for the lawsuit you filed.
In an explosion case, the complaint will lay out the facts of your case. It will contain the reasons why you are entitled to compensation for the explosion. The complaint will also contain the legal theories or claims upon which you are seeking recovery.
After the complaint is filed, it is then served on the defendant or defendants in the case. Serving the complaint puts the defendant on notice that a case has been filed against them. Once the complaint is served, a defendant has a window of time in which to file their response.
The Discovery Phase
The discovery phase of a case begins once a lawsuit is filed. Typical discovery in an explosion accident case seeks all information related to your claim, including:
- Photographs from the scene
- Reports regarding the explosion
- Evidence of whether safety regulations were followed
- Witness statements
- Copies of tests and inspections performed
Discovery may also include taking a deposition of any potential witnesses and the parties to the case. In a deposition, a witness must answer questions about the case. Their answers are given under oath for later use at trial. Typically, depositions help lawyers to prepare for trial by obtaining information about their case.
The Trial of an Explosion Case
After discovery is completed, and assuming that the case does not settle in pre-trial negotations, the next and final step is to have a trial. At your explosion accident litigation trial, you will present evidence about your case. The evidence you present will paint a picture of the explosion and how it affected your life. These trials typically occur in the presence of a jury. The jury will hear about your medical treatment, your associate financial expenses, how your injuries have affected your life, and the amount of compensation that you are requesting. Following your evidence, the jury will next hear from the defendant as to why they should not be held accountable for the explosion.
Many attorneys and law firms have little experience taking a case all the way to trial. At Burg Simpson, our national explosion accident attorneys have handled cases throughout all stages of the litigation process. We are not afraid to go to trial. We will not back down or give in simply because an insurance company refuses to be fair in settlement talks. Our team of trusted and tested trial attorneys stands ready to assist you in any way possible.
Contact a National Explosion Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in an explosion and believe that you may have a legal claim, you should seek assistance right away. Your rights are important and should be protected at all costs.
We offer free consultations for all potential clients. When we meet with you, we will help to formulate a successful strategy for your case. To speak with a United States explosion accident lawyer, please reach out to us at our online contact form or give us a call at (866) 637-1207.