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How truck lawyers can prove motor carrier is turning blind eye to unfit truck drivers

October 1, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Video tip 4 for truck accident attorneys

Onto the fourth tip from my series of 13 videos for truck accident attorneys, on handling truck lawsuits. The video below is from a presentation I did during the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Lawyers conference in New Orleans.

The takeaway from this video is that a truck accident attorney must show that the employer trucking company either did not properly investigate the truck driver’s safety history with his former employers, or that the motor carrier turned a blind eye to it.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations:
o The employing motor carrier must make an inquiry into each state where the truck driver applicant holds a license for the past three years.
o The motor carrier must investigate truck driver safety performance with previous employers for last three years.
o This investigation information must be retained for as long as the driver was employed, plus three years.

Increasing the insurance coverage in serious truck accident injury and death cases

Often, when I am contacted by other lawyers who want to bring me in to help in very serious truck accident cases, it is because they need help finding more insurance coverage. You have a lawyer who has a client with catastrophic personal injuries, or a husband or wife who was killed in a truck crash, but the lawyer has no idea about finding more coverage – looking at MCS-90s, agent or shipper liability, hidden layers of coverage (or hidden owners of the motor carrier set up like nursing home cases to disguise parties).

The nice thing about this is that if you follow my “rule of threes,” you may have a cause of action against the current motor carrier and the former employer, doubling the applicable insurance in a catastrophic truck accident injury or death case to fully compensate the victims.

Remember, if the mandatory safety rules discussed above are being ignored, and someone is dead or seriously injured as a result, you have a completely preventable truck crash that never should have occurred.

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 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:

What to do when there’s been a truck accident

Michigan truck accident FAQs

Legal discovery – the trucker

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 (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our Michigan truck accident attorneys.

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