Because the trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the defense of trucking cases is complex and can involve a multiplicity of factual and legal issues. A successful defense always starts early with such tasks as:
- Initial accident scene investigation, collection of fresh witness information and gathering of all physical evidence from the scene
- Gathering of information from all responding law enforcement agencies, emergency personnel, and investigating agencies
- Collection of all news reports and social media content
- Location, inspection and preservation of all vehicles
- Acquiring critical driving, speed and braking data from engine control modules, airbag control modules and radar devices
- Obtaining and assessing location and route history data from Qualcomm, GPS and other satellite tracking software
- Retention of appropriate experts to include accident reconstructionists, conspicuity experts, Federal Motor Carrier experts, biomechanical experts and human factors experts
- Evaluation of the type of accident involved and the liability theories likely to be advanced against the trucking company and its driver
- Review and assessment of post-accident drug and alcohol test results
- Review and assessment of the driver’s qualification file
- Review and assessment of pre-trip and post trip inspection records as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- Review and assessment of annual inspection reports as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- Review and assessment of state transport police inspection records for the trucking company and its driver
- Review and assessment of the accident register/history for the trucking company
- Review and assessment of commercial driver’s manual applicability to the facts of the accident
- Review and assessment of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration safety ratings for the trucking company
- Development of successful trial theme
For a more detailed “Trucking Defense Roadmap” outline please feel free to contact Ron and he will be happy to share his outline with you.
rbdiegel (at) murphygrantland.com | 803-454-1207.
Ronald B. Diegel is a Shareholder at Murphy & Grantland. He is member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association and regularly defends motor carriers against catastrophic claims.