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How truck accident lawyers can depose a sick or tired trucker

Video tip 7 for handling truck accident lawsuits

This is the seventh tip of my series of 13 videos for truck accident lawyers from an American Association for Justice truck accident attorneys conference. In this video, I was talking about different ways to show when a trucker was dangerously fatigued or ill when a serious truck accident occurred. This could be through deposition, or by inspecting the truck cab.

The takeaway from this tip is that there are certain questions truck accident lawyers can ask the truck driver during a deposition that will prove he was unfit when the truck accident occurred – that the driver was sick or overly tired when driving.

You can also get the information by having the truck inspected — and taking photos of the cab area.
According to FMCSR 49 CFR ? 392.3, no driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired as to make it unsafe for him to operate the truck.

Here’s a blog I wrote with more information: How to nab the tired trucker in a deposition

In the deposition, truck lawyers should be prepared to asked the truck driver the following questions:

1. What did you eat in the last 48 hours?
2. Did you experience stomach pains or issues?
3. Did you pull off the road because you weren’t feeling well?
4. How long did you wait before returning to driving the truck?
5. Did you have coffee, tea, energy drinks or anything caffeinated?
6. Were you taking any medications at the time of the truck crash?
7. What medications and what were they treating?
8. Would this medical condition(s) appear on your medical certificate?

When you’re inspecting the truck cab, keep your eyes peeled for empty prescription bottles, energy drinks, coffee cups, receipts, etc.

If you find the truck driver was taking medications or prescription drugs, do some research on the side effects of those drugs. Many can cause nausea, drowsiness and have other side effects that, aside from the medical condition itself, make it very unsafe to drive.

Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law and one of the top truck accident lawyers in the country. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group, and has received the top-reported jury verdict in Michigan for truck accident lawsuits. Steve was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his work to promote truck safety throughout the country.

Related information to protect yourself:

What you must know about Michigan truck accident cases

Help for Michigan truck accident attorneys

Finding a tractor-trailer lawyer

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our Michigan truck accident lawyers.

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