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How to prove the truck driver lied – preserve supporting documents and log books in discovery

Rule 3 of “Big 10 Rules of the Road”

  • Presented by: Steven M. Gursten
  • Description: This is the fourth of a series of 13 videos for truck accident lawyers, on handling truck cases. In this video, Steve Gursten shares Rule 3 of his “Big 10 Rules of the Road” during the American Association for Justice Interstate Truck Litigation Group conference in New Orleans. Rule 3 shows attorneys how preserving supporting documentation in discovery can illustrate that a truck driver was negligent, and can make or break a case.
  • Length: 2 minutes, 1 second.

Video Transcript:

Slide: Preservation of supporting docs

A. Types of supporting docs: Receipts, bills of lading, GPS tracking printouts, etc.

B. Motor carriers required to retain supporting docs for six months from date of receipt

C. Carrier has burden to investigate and audit driver’s compliance through supporting docs

Preservation of supporting documents. We’ve learned that drivers and motor carriers falsify their log books. This rule is how you catch them. And it covers everything. It covers everything you can think of from food, gas receipts, to GPS printouts. And what it does is it makes it very, very easy to fact check. Failure to preserve this information is a very, very big deal. Appendix b to section 385, the rule is 385 sub case sub one, it’s in the materials. Failure to preserve this by the motor carrier is considered a critical offense. It’s basically a criminal act. And the motor carrier has the burden and responsibility to investigate and to audit to ensure compliance. So one of the tricks so to speak when you’re litigating these truck cases, is you never want to make them about the truck driver; you always want to make them about the trucking company. And this rule lets you do that. Because what it does is you shift the responsibility, the onus from the truck driver to the trucking company for failure to investigate and audit. And you make it about the motor carrier, not about the driver.

How our truck accident lawyers can help you

If you’re a truck lawyer and you need help with a truck case, take a look at our online guide, Help for attorneys handling truck accident cases. For more information, here’s a blog on getting your hands on discovery documents.

If you’ve been in a truck accident, call (800) 968-1001 to speak with one of our truck accident lawyers today. The call and the advice is free.