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Truck Accidents: Left Turn Cases
 

Truck Accidents: Left Turn Cases

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Information for lawyers in truck accident cases. Joe Fried of Fried Rogers Goldberg in Atlanta, Georgia offers insights on left-turn cases.

Information for lawyers in truck accident cases. Joe Fried of Fried Rogers Goldberg in Atlanta, Georgia offers insights on left-turn cases.

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    Truck Accidents: Left Turn Cases Truck Accidents: Left Turn Cases Presentation Transcript

    • What  are  we  going  to  cover?  •  Big  picture    •  Defensive  Driving  and  Safe  Driving  Rules  •  Adjunct  issues  (night,  weather,  load)  •  Accident  Reconstruc?on  Issues  •  Approach  to  Driver  Depo/Examina?on  •  Approach  to  Safety  Director  Depo/Examina?on  •  Approach  to  Accident  Inves?gator/Reconstruc?onist   –  Direct  and  Cross  Deposi?on  •  What  about  compara?ve  fault?     FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • Big  Picture  –  Kind  of  LeR  Turn  Cases  •  Intersec?on    •  Driveway/Street  Pull  Out  or  In   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • •  Rules  of  the  Road  •  Society  is  rules-­‐based  •  The  more  conserva?ve,  the  more  rules  based  •  Jurors  want  to  know  what  rules  apply  to  case  •  Easier  for  jurors  to  find  against  a  rules  breaker  •  Also  think  Breach  of  Contract  
    • •  Rules  should  be:   –  Easy  for  jurors  to  understand   –  Hard  to  credibly  refute   –  Violated  by  defendant   –  Important  enough  to  be  significant   –  JOE’s  Rules   •  Preferably  comes  from  source  other  than  ME   •  Not  Nitpicky  (If  you  nitpick,  you  lose)   •  Fair    (if  not  fair,  jurors  will  excuse  viola?on)   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • •  Carrier  contracts  w/Govt  to  be  allowed  to  operate   –  Agrees  to  follow  the  FMCSR  and  State  Regs  •  Carrier  requires  driver  to  sign  onto  above  contract  •  Driver   contracts  to  follow  FMCSR/law  to  get  CDL  •  Driver   contracts  to  follow  policies  of  carrier  •  Policy  manual  as  contract  •  Employee  manual  as  contract  •  Training  manuals  as  contracts  •  You  get  the  point   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • Where  to  Find  Rules?  •  State  Statutes  and  Cases  •  Federal  and  State  Regula?ons  •  Jury  Charges   –  A  statement  of  law  read  to  jury   –  Creates  the  language  of  a  case   –  Liability,  causa?on  and  damages  –  Policy  Manuals  –  Schneider,  UPS  –  JJ  Keller  Training  Videos,  Books,  Pamphlets   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • Focus  Today   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • •  Driver   –  What  are  the  rules   –  Did  he  or  she  do  it  right   –  What  excuses  are  they  pu`ng  forward   –  How  can  I  use  rules  to  nail  liability,  make  case  bigger  than   crash,  add  to  my  credibility,  detract  from  their  credibility,   negate  compara?ve  fault,  etc     FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • •  Company   –  What  are  their  rules   –  Did  they  do  it  right   –  How  is  this  case  about  COMPANY  failing  to  follow  rules   –  What  should  they  (we)  be  able  to  expect  from  them/driver?   –  What  excuses  are  they  pu`ng  forward   –  How  can  I  use  rules  to  nail  liability,  make  case  bigger  than   crash,  add  to  my  credibility,  detract  from  their  credibility,   negate  compara?ve  fault,  etc     FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • CDL  –  A  LiNle  Background  •  Each  State  Publishes  –  95+%  content  mandated  FHA  •  Purpose  is  to  set  out  what  State  expects  from  CDL   driver  –  Trucking  101  •  Its  not  me  saying  it  –  by  govt  for  industry  •  TIP  –  Get  CDL  Manual  for:   –  State  where  Driver  resides   –  State  where  collision  occurs   –  State  where  Defendant  Company  resides   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • GA  CDL  REVIEW  
    • INTRO  TO  SECTION  2  
    • GA  CDL  REVIEW  –  SECTION  2   DRIVING  SAFELY  •  Vehicle  Inspec?on   •  Railroad  Crossings  •  Basic  Control  of  Vehicle   •  Mountain  Driving  •  ShiRing  Gears   •  Driving  Emergencies  •  Seeing   •  An?lock  Braking  Systems  •  Communica?ng   •  Skid  Control  and  Recovery  •  Space  Management   •  Accident  Procedures  •  Seeing  Hazards   •  Fires  •  Distracted  Driving   •  Alcohol,  Drugs,  &  Driving  •  Aggressive  Driving   •  Staying  Alert  &  Fit  to  Drive  •  Night  Driving   •  Hazardous  Materials  Rules        •  Winter  Driving   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • •  Idea  is  to  use  CDL   •  Does  Driver  agree  w/Rule?   manual  to  iden?fy   •  Does  Safety  Director  agree?   rule(s)  violated  in   •  Does  Defense  expert  agree?   case     •  Strategically  decide     –  Whether  to  show  rule   –  When  to  show  rule   •  Depo  –  early  late   •  Wait  for  trial?  
    • •  Ask  Ques?ons  to  establish:    •  Iden?fy  the  concept  as  a  rule  •  That  it  is  a  basic  rule  that  all  drivers/companies  are   supposed  to  know  and  abide  •  That  driver/company  knew  this  was  the  rule  •  Had  to  know  for  CDL  test  •  Rule  wriNen  for  drivers,  not  lawsuits  •  Fair  for  jury  to  hold  them  to  the  rule  •  RULE  VIOLATED  !  (knowingly,  willfully,  inten?onally)  
    • DRIVERS ARE TRAINED TOKNOW IT TAKES OTHERDRIVERS TIME TOPERCEIVE AND REACT –USE IT
    • Managing  Space  
    • Distracted  Driving  
    • o  Show all the things they have to do to get a license  o  Show all they have to do daily before they can drive o  INSPECTIONS  o  Show that they have to know how to do things like check the adjustment of brakes, etc., that most people do not need to know  o  Distinguish them from regular non-CDL drivers to show that it is fair to hold them to a higher standardo  CDL DRIVER = PILOT   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • Commercial  Vehicle  Preventable   Accident  Manual   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • Commercial  Vehicle  Preventable  Accident  Manual  
    • Commercial  Vehicle  Preventable  Accident  Manual  
    • Commercial  Vehicle  Preventable  Accident  Manual  
    • Commercial  Vehicle  Preventable  Accident  Manual  
    • CMV  Preventable  Accident  Manual  
    • Professional  Driver:  •  You  consider  yourself  to  be  a  professional    •  Professional  because  you  earn  living  on  the  road   –  It  is  a  great  privilege  to  be  allowed  to  earn  living  on  road   –  With  great  privilege,  Yoda  said  comes  great  responsibility  •  Professional  because  lot  more  training  than  US   –  Special  driving  school   –  Know  how  to  do  all  sorts  of  things  (brkes,  axles,  INSPECTION,  etc)   –  Special  tests  •  YOU  hold  self  to  professional  standard  (higher?)  •  FAIR  for  your  ER  to  hold  you  up  as  a  professional?  •  Fair  for  US  to  hild  you  to  professional  standard?  
    • Part  of  being  professional  is  being  courteous  •  Not  being  a  bully  in  how  you  drive    •  Not  parking  anywhere  you  want  to  •  Not  tailga?ng    •  Not  driving  aggressively  •  Not  trying  to  beat  lights  •  ATTITUDE    •  Insert  what  you  need  from  case  
    • •  Being  a  defensive  driver  means  never  star?ng  a   leR  turn  unless  you  KNOW  that  you  can  complete   that  turn  without  other  vehicle  ever  reaching  you     –  INSERT  CDL  MANUAL  AND  OTHER  INDUSTRY  MATERIAL   –  Without  any  other  vehicle  having  to  brake  or  take  other   evasive  ac?on   –  If  you  cant  be  certain,  you  cant  turn   –  You  cant  hold  your  breath  and  turn   –   You  cant  expect  other  drivers  to  see  you  –  misnomer   –  You  cant  expect  other  vehicles  to  avoid  you  
    • RULES  –  LEFT  TURN  -­‐  DRIVER  •  CMV  Driver  must  consider  op?ons   –  Op?on  to  go  to  controlled  leR  turn   –  Op?on  to  make  three  right  turns    •  Never  acceptable  for  CMV  driver  to  start  turn   unless  can  CLEAR  all  lanes  without   –  Other  vehicles  reaching  them   –  Other  vehicles  having  to  brake  or  take  other   evasive  ac?on  •  If  CMV  driver  is  not  SURE,  cant  go.  BeNer  safe   than  sorry.  
    • RULES  –  LEFT  TURN  -­‐  COMPANY  •  CMV  Driver  must  consider  op?ons   –  Op?on  to  go  to  controlled  leR  turn   –  Op?on  to  make  three  right  turns    •  Never  acceptable  for  CMV  driver  to  start  turn   unless  can  CLEAR  all  lanes  without   –  Other  vehicles  reaching  them   –  Other  vehicles  having  to  brake  or  take  other   evasive  ac?on  •  If  CMV  driver  is  not  SURE,  cant  go.  BeNer  safe   than  sorry.  •  TRAINING  –  WHAT  IS  YOUR  DUTY?  
    • Negate  Compara?ve  Fault  • ShiR  focus  from  what  the  Plain?ff  did  • Expect  the  unexpected  • Means driving expecting to encounter __________"• (ice, drunks, young drivers, old drivers, carelessdrivers, bad drivers, aggressive drivers, Whateveryou have in your case)"• YOU DO NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY"
    • •  LeR  Turn  Cases  are  ALWAYS  ?me  distance  cases  •  Lets  discuss  how  to  evaluate  ?me  distance  •  How  to  address  these  issues  with  police  and   experts  and  jury  
    • How  to  Win  Trucking  Cases:   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • How  to  Win  Trucking  Cases:   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • How  to  Win  Trucking  Cases:   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com  
    • How  to  Win  Trucking  Cases:   FRIED  ROGERS  GOLDBERG  LLC                             www.thetruckingaNorneys.com