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How to depose truck drivers and truck company management in injury cases?

Written by Steve Gursten Posted May 12th, 2016

Truck Roundtable Co-Founder Steven Gursten to lead national legal webinar on trucking depositions 30(b)(6) deps

Attorney Steven Gursten

On May 24, I’ll be leading a 90-minute CLE webinar called “Deposing Truck Drivers and Trucking Company Representatives in Injury Cases.”

The webinar is hosted by Stafford publications, and will include interactive questions and answers. The program is designed so lawyers will be able to interact and ask questions of some of the top truck accident attorneys in the nation. For more information about the program or to register, click here.

This webinar will prepare personal injury attorneys representing victims in truck injury cases to depose truck drivers and motor carrier representatives, especially management and “safety directors.” It will include best practices for effectively questioning deponents, videotaping driver depositions, using demonstrative exhibits, dealing with difficult drivers or trucking company representatives, and raising and defending objections. The expert attorney panel will also discuss how to skillfully navigate Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when preparing deposition notices for truck and bus company corporate representatives.

In my 20-plus years as a lawyer, I’ve probably litigated close to 400 truck accident cases. And I’ve deposed plenty of truck drivers and safety directors after they’ve caused very serious wrecks. I’ve written about this topic in depth, and I’ve also spoken about it during many other national legal seminars. As a Past-Chair of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group, one of my main goals was to disseminate knowledge on how lawyers can do a better job when litigating truck accident cases, and I started the members-only seminars for attorneys to share their secrets. The better we do individually as attorneys, the more we can all help to keep an industry, that has many bad actors, safe. We can all make a meaningful difference in preventing future wrecks by teaching lawyers how to be better.

Here’s a blog post I wrote about “How to nab the tired trucker in a deposition,” which includes a list of sample questions to ask a truck driver who you suspect was fatigued and caused the crash at hand. And here’s a video on how to depose a truck driver with a serious medical condition.

It’s also important for lawyers to remember to also focus on the company, and not just the driver. Yes, the trucker causes the wreck, but often there are systemic issues that led to many safety violations. When a truck driver was fatigued, sick or driving a dangerously out-of-service big rig, it’s the fault of the trucking company that put that trucker on the road without the proper training and supervision.

Steven Gursten Photo

About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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