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Teaching lawyers how to maximize truck accident injury settlements

September 19, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Steve will be speaking to the Michigan Association for Justice (formerly Michigan Trial Lawyers Association) on how attorneys can better help clients injured in truck accident cases

Attorney Steven Gursten Michigan Auto Law

On Friday, I’ll be speaking to other Michigan lawyers during the Michigan Association for Justice 2013 No Fault Institute in Southfield. My topic is, “Maximizing truck wreck cases.”

The mistake that many personal injury lawyers make in Michigan is that they litigate truck accident cases like car accident cases —  only with bigger insurance policy limits. This mistaken mindset leaves money on the table. And more importantly, it shortchanges clients.

During my presentation, I will give tips for injury lawyers, so they can recover better results for their clients in serious  truck wreck injury and wrongful death cases.  I will also spend some time analyzing my last three truck accident jury trials, and give the audience lessons that they can apply to their own cases.

Truck accident cases are vastly different from car accident cases. There are literally hundreds of very important special rules and federal regulations that apply for the sole purpose of protecting the public and making these massive commercial motor vehicles safer on our roads.  There are also trucking industry practices that make these cases very different from car wrecks.

One tip is that it is vital for attorneys litigating truck accident cases to focus on is the truck company’s role in the crash – not on the truck driver.

I will use examples from my recent case, Fairley v. Schiber Truck, where my client was almost killed  by a commercial truck driver who was over his hours of service.

In Fairley, the trucking company was violating several Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules (FMSCRs), all of which have been adopted by the state of Michigan.  While it was the truck driver that slammed his big rig into my client’s car, it was  the trucking company that  chose to violate its duty to train, supervise and instruct the truck driver as it is required to under federal law.

I will also review  deposition questions that I use in these cases and  a closing argument that focuses on the trucking company’s role in a crash, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules and Michigan CDL requirements. In addition, I will outline how to frame and source the rules on speeding, improper lane change, and failure to inspect and perform required safety maintenance.

The Michigan Association for Justice is a association for consumer protection and plaintiff persona linjury attorneys who fight for injury victims and consumer rights.

Related information:

Truck accident tips and checklists: What you need to know now

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