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How lawyers can get important information about a truck accident from the FMCSA

July 14, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

Truck attorneys can FOIA the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

I’m preparing my presentation materials for two truck accident lawyer seminars I’ll be speaking at this fall, and periodically incorporating some of these ideas and tips into a series of blog posts. Here’s the fourth installment. This one is on how lawyers litigating truck accident cases can get important information from the FMCSA through a FOIA request.

Tip: Send a FOIA request to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will often have records that may include a history of safety regulation violations by the trucking company that is a defendant in your lawsuit. This goes far beyond the summary information that’s available for attorneys and the public online, and can help you identify patterns and history of unsafe behavior by the trucking company. Send a Freedom of Information Act request and in some cases you will be rewarded with a treasure trove of additional information about the trucking company defendant in your lawsuit, and that can pay big dividends on your case.

It’s important to send the FOIA request as soon as you are retained.

Trap: This information about the at-fault trucking company is not saved forever.

Records are destroyed on a rolling basis. Remember, the longer you take to request the documents, the more likely the information will disappear.

Here’s information on filing a FOIA request.

– Steven Gursten is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group, and was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his work promoting national truck safety, and a Lawyer of the Year for a record truck accident injury settlement in Michigan.

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Help for attorneys handling truck accident cases

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 (248) 353-7575 to speak with one of our attorneys today.

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