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Who is responsible for knowledge of safety rules in truck accident cases?

Video tip 12 for truck accident attorneys

Here’s my final video tip in my series of 13 videos for truck accident attorneys from a past American Association for Justice truck accident lawyer litigation seminar.

In this final video clip, I stress what may be the most important safety rule of all, and the key for holding negligent motor carriers and safety directors accountable.

The takeaway here is Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rule (FMCSR) 392.1says that knowledge of mandatory truck safety rules and regulations that are meant to protect us all and keep all of us safe is not only the truck company’s safety director’s responsibility (if there even is a safety director or department). This important safety rule says that everyone in the trucking company must have knowledge of and comply with mandatory safety regulations.

In other words, the onus of knowledge that could have prevented an entirely preventable truck accident if these rules were followed lies directly with the truck company.

I always tell truck accident attorneys that they should never accept a defense by the lawyers defending a truck company or from a driver in deposition, when the truck driver says something along the lines of, “I didn’t know,” or, “It wasn’t my job,” or “it was the safety director’s job.” This rule drives home the important point that safety and following the laws that protect us all is everyone’s job and responsibility at the trucking company.

Most truckers try to do the right thing. One just contacted me over the weekend because he lives in Georgia and this truck driver was being asked by his boss to fake log book entries and drive over the hours of service. He was threatened that he will be replaced if he does not comply. (this happens all the time, and these truckers have a whistle blower claim under Section 405 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

But there are also some seriously unsafe truck drivers out there who just don’t care. And trust me, as past-president of the American Association for Justice truck accident lawyers group, I know firsthand that some of the motor carriers out there are even worse. These drivers and companies choose to ignore life-saving safety rules in exchange for a bigger bottom line.

This video tip doesn’t let them do it.

To end this blog series of video tips for truck accident lawyers around the U.S., I want to say that by doing our job as truck attorneys well, we prevent truck accidents and save lives. We protect good truck drivers, and, by showing when Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules are disregarded, we hold negligent trucking companies accountable to the full extent of the law. Doing this is the only way to force these companies to take time for safety.

For more information on this rule, take a look at a blog I wrote: Knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules is everyone’s responsibility.

Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law and one of the top truck accident attorneys 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 a truck accident case. Steve was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his work to promote national truck safety.

Related information to protect yourself:

Michigan truck accident resource center

Truck rules and regulations

Support for truck drivers

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. Call (800) 777-0028 to speak with one of our Michigan truck accident attorneys today.

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