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Sach D. Oliver
Sach D. Oliver
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Post-Suit Investigation/Discovery In 18 Wheeler Trucking Case

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1) Interrogatories and Requests for Production-

The basic discovery tools of interrogatories and requests for production can be very helpful in the early phases of there types of cases.  Interrogatories can give you the basic info of who, what, where, when, and how.  Interrogatories are often useful for identifying witnesses with knowledge about the driver, company, insurance info, and more.  Make sure you ask for the production of any recorded statements your client may have given to an insurance adjuster.  Requests for the production of documents should cover every area imaginable.  Records regarding:

·        The Purchase

·        Ownership

·        Maintenance

·        Use of the Truck

Dispatch records of phone, and paper logs, bills, or anything that would show contact between the driver of the truck, and the dispatcher, while the driver is on the job, should be requested.  If the target operator is not of your party, serve a subpoena requesting any documents that might help identify where he or she was, and when, while contacting the driver.  Use your request and gain entry onto the premises to see what kind of operation is run.

 

2) Corporate and Safety Documents

While requesting the production of documents, the following should be included:  training materials, safety meeting records, and sign in sheets.  Also include handouts, materials, articles, or regulations used at any safety meeting conducted by the company, or a safety consultant for the driver.  Request any driver handbook, corporate mission statements, disciplinary policies and procedures, or other policies and procedures that might matter.  In preparation for an objection from Defense Council, request only the table of contents from the policies and procedures in the initial request.  This will allow you to select specific policies from the manual.

 

3) Depositions

Deposition keys of the key parties are crucial during the discovery phase.  There are many orders in which to order the depositions.  Regardless of order, everyone who has information about the wreck, or the working of the truck company should be deposed.

Any list of deponents in a truck wreck should include the following-

·        Truck Driver

·        Company Safety Director

·        Company Document Custodian

·        Corporate Designee

·        Dispatcher

·        Maintenance Director

·        Mechanics involved in repair

·        Training Personnel

·        Human Resources Personnel, if any

·        Investigating Officers

·        Tow Truck Drivers

·        EMTs/Ambulance Personnel

 

Absolutely everything should be checked in an investigation of a truck wreck.  Time is an important factor, and the investigation should proceed as soon as possible.