New Truck accident lawyer says truckers must be physically fit

This is the third of a series of 13 videos for truck accident lawyers, on handling truck crash cases.

In this video, Steve Gursten, one of the most renowned truck accident lawyers in the country, shares Rule 2 of his “Big 10 Rules of the Road” with other truck accident lawyers, during the American Association for Justice Interstate Truck Litigation Group conference in New Orleans. Rule 2 emphasizes the physical qualifications of truckers and shows attorneys how to highlight the lack of those qualifications in a truck accident lawsuit, where a trucker was negligent. They key is, regardless of the truck driver’s negligence, attorneys must always highlight the fault of the motor carrier in the accident.

Below is the video transcript:

Slide: Physical qualifications of truck drivers
A. Drivers must have medical certificate of a licensed physician to operate a CMV
B. 49 CFR rule 391.45: Motor carrier has obligation to determine if an injury or illness renders a driver physically unqualified

“When I think about impairments, physical, but especially mental impairments, I think about Ohio State University. Rule No. 2. This is the takeaway with rule 2. The onus, the responsibility to ensure this truck driver is fit to drive is on the motor carrier, always. And it cannot be delegated. If they send him for a medical exam, it doesn’t mean the motor carrier is off the hook. The responsibility is always with the motor carrier. Any changes to that truck driver’s health, if the medical exam was one year ago, or one week ago, any change in that truck drivers health, the onus and responsibility still lies with the motor carrier. So you can think of this as the better safe than sorry rule, but the point is this: Any health problem that you encounter that this truck driver has in any of your cases, unless it’s an unexpected, genuine act of God, without any warning whatsoever, that motor carrier is responsible for that truck driver behind the wheel. And that’s what this rule is.”

If you’ve been in a truck accident in Michigan and need guidance, you can visit our Truck Accident Resource Center or call (800) 777-0028 to speak with one of our truck accident attorneys now. There’s no fee or obligation.

This video clip is used with permission of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA®)). Copyright © 2010 American Association for Justice. Further reproduction of any kind is prohibited. This video is excerpted from AAJ’s Litigating Truck Collision Cases Seminar, New Orleans, LA, Feb. 2010. For more information about AAJ Education programs, please visit AAJ Education at, or contact [email protected] or (800) 424-2725, ext. 8612. To view or listen to recordings from past programs, visit Playback Now at


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