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Helping attorneys handle their very first trucking injury case

Written by Steve Gursten Posted May 5th, 2014

Steven Gursten will be keynote speaker at Ohio Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Track

Attorney Steven Gursten

Legal discovery and trial of a truck accident case is very  different from an auto accident case.  The problem is that very few personal injury lawyers know that.

For lawyers who only take one or two cases every now and then involving commercial trucks,  it’s nearly impossible to understand  the rules and regulations that apply, the unique industry practices, and the law and the psychology of trying cases involving these types of commercial vehicles.

One tip for any lawyer getting ready for his first truck accident case: It’s important for lawyers to always keep the focus on the truck company – not on the driver. The company wants the focus to be on the driver, but it’s usually the company that is violating important safety regulations and pushing its drivers to break the laws.

It’s equally important to make these cases about the “rules of the road” and to understand the new theories in jury persuasion, such as “Reptile,” fit very naturally in serious truck injury cases.

I will expand on these points Thursday, when speaking to the  Ohio Association for Justice on a special litigation track focused on Truck Accident Litigation. I’m going to present the basics for lawyers involved in their first trucking lawsuit, and review and update the key Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that every lawyer who has a truck injury or serious accident case must understand.

This also includes the essential documents to ask for in discovery and  understanding truck driver logbooks.

Finally, I’ll talk about key trial themes and the rules that attorneys should adopt in these cases, and give an example of the opening statement and demonstrative exhibits of a truck accident wrongful death case that I tried to verdict recently.

Related information:

Tips for taking defendant depositions in truck cases

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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