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Trucking accidents are among the most challenging types of personal injury cases. Not only can they involve multiple lines of insurance, complicating factors, and more severe injuries, they also pit your plaintiff against a well-oiled insurance defense machine. Trucking insurance companies have millions to lose in court—and they won’t give it up without a fight.
Holding trucking companies accountable means understanding your trucking case from the inside out and empowering your jurors to bring motor carriers to justice. These goals are central to Cowen’s Big Rig Boot Camp: Maximizing Case Value, a nine-part video series from Trial Guides.
Seasoned trial lawyer and trucking accident expert Michael Cowen teaches you how to maximize your case value in six common types of trucking accidents. He shows how to illustrate to the jury that the trucking company made unsafe choices, and reveals insights into this niche industry. You will get invaluable information on traumatic brain injuries, the potential pitfalls of using expert witnesses, and an optional video on newly enacted Texas House Bill 19.
This On-Demand CLE series includes the following videos:
Rocket Docket: From Crash to Cash (14 Minutes)
Cowen shares strategies for bringing cases from beginning to end within one year—and why quick resolution can be your key to a strong outcome. When a case drags on, clients can get reinjured, lose interest, or stop treating their injuries; the longer your cases languish, the harder liability is to prove. Learn why a smaller caseload and quicker turnaround can benefit your firm and your clients financially.
Rear-End Collisions (24 Minutes)
Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of truck accidents. Cowen covers the three most common causes of rear-end truck accidents: tailgating, distracted driving, and maintenance issues. He illustrates the higher standard that truck drivers are held to on the road, and what policies trucking companies can—and should—implement to prevent these types of crashes.
Lane-Change Collisions (14 Minutes)
Cowen covers how to dismantle common defense arguments in cases involving lane changes and blind spots. He shows how pre-trip inspections are key to preventing these crashes, and why the “blind spot” defense doesn’t hold up. Learn how trucking companies can adopt technology that prevents blind spots, and dismantle this common defense.
Right-of-Way Cases (8 Minutes)
When a truck driver fails to yield the right of way, tragedies happen. In this section, Cowen analyzes the cause of this common type of accident, and shows how training issues, maintenance, and regulatory changes can come into play. He shows attorneys how to look at their local transportation code and consider it from every angle before presenting it in court.
Backing-Up Cases (13 Minutes)
Trucks have a significantly restricted view behind their trailer, but don’t let the defense use that as an excuse. Learn about how, and why, these cases occur—and how to prove that back-up crashes are 100 percent preventable when the drivers follow basic safety rules.
Wide-Right-Turn Cases (11 Minutes)
Due to their complexity, wide-right-turn cases require significant education for the jury. Cowen shows that there is a better technique truck drivers should use when making a right turn to avoid an accident. Because liability often comes into play in these cases, Cowen covers what to look for when deciding to take a case involving a wide right turn.
Hazardous Weather (19 Minutes)
Whether through rain, sleet, hail, or snow, trucking cases that involve inclement weather have many consistent elements. Drivers must consider visibility, reaction time, and vehicle control at all times—especially in poor driving conditions. Here, Cowen illustrates the key principles drivers should be following to determine when they should stop or change their driving.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (51 Minutes)
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are common in trucking accident cases. In this segment, Cowen gives a brief primer on what a TBI is, and when they may be misdiagnosed by medical professionals. He outlines symptoms you should look for in your client; and he also discusses storytelling techniques in TBI cases, and how to deflect and defend against common defense tactics.
Dealing with Expert Witnesses (22 Minutes)
Expert witnesses can be expensive, and juries are wary of believing their testimony. Cowen covers various ways that experts can potentially hurt your case, and how to neutralize these issues. Learn how to make your expert testimony more effective while improving your credibility with the jury.
House Bill 19 (Optional) (47 Minutes)
House Bill 19 is a new law in Texas that applies to any case filed after September 1, 2021. It introduces significant procedural changes to trucking lawsuits in the state of Texas; it allows trucking companies to request a bifurcated trial, separating compensatory damages and exemplary (punitive) damages into two separate phases. At first glance, this bill would allow trucking carriers to hide any evidence of employer negligence—including failure to train, vet, and remove poor drivers—until the punitive damages portion of the case. Cowen covers what exceptions are allowed under the bill, and what circumstances invite employer negligence back into the first portion of the trial.
Cowen covers the historical case law, strategies for state court, and what this new bill means for your cases moving forward. You will learn about the McHaffie Rule, and Arrington’s Estate (gross negligence, not just entrustment), and why to include gross negligence in your original petition. With similar legislation being drafted in other states, even attorneys outside of Texas will find valuable strategy information in this course.
This video is optional and is not included in the overall CLE credit certification for this course. This video is separately accredited in Texas for .75 credits
Need accreditation in another jurisdiction? Fill out this form and note Course No. 220100P02
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