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Tip 3 for truck lawyers: Preserve supporting documents and log books

September 24, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Here’s the third video to help my fellow truck accident lawyers, from my series of 13 videos on truck accident litigation tips for lawyers.

In the video, I’m reviewing Rule 3 during a past American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group seminar for truck lawyers from around the nation. My third tip is about how preserving supporting documentation in discovery that can show that a trucker – and the trucking company behind the trucker – was negligent, can make or break a truck crash lawsuit.

The takeaway: Truck lawyers can catch truck drivers who falsify their log books by preserving those supporting documents — because motor carriers are required to retain supporting docs for six months from date of receipt.

Supporting documents can include receipts, bills of lading, GPS tracking printouts, etc.
Failure of the motor carrier to preserve this information (according to Appendix b, Section 385), is considered a critical offense. The motor carrier also has the burden and responsibility to investigate and to audit to ensure compliance.

As I always say, truck lawyers should never make these cases about the truck driver. You always want to point the finger at the negligent trucking company. This lets you do that by shifting the onus from the truck driver to the trucking company — for failure to investigate and audit.

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


Related information to protect yourself:

Truck lawyers: Get your hands on those discovery documents!

Michigan truck accident discovery – the trucker

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