Unfairness of Accident Registers and CSA 2010

Trucking companies are required by the United States Department of Transportation to keep an accident register of all accidents. See (49 CFR 390.15)

Often times plaintiff’s attorrneys  attempt to introduce as evidence  the accident registers  without any restriction to the driver in question. Now with the requirement of CSA 2010, what will our opponents try to do?

Admissibility of accidents occurring before and after a specific accident hinder the defense of the trucking by introducing other, non-related, accidents.

Unfair prejudice occurs in the jury knowing that other trucks were involved in other accidents and potentially creates a  tendency to suggest a decision on an improper basis such as emotion, sympathy, punishment or something other than the established propositions of the case.

Evidence of other accidents may threaten the instant case with “confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury” because the proof and the answering evidence by Defendants would create side issues and distract the jury from the main issues.”

Does the fact that other trucks, driven by drivers other than the defendant driver in a specifc case, have a tendency to make the existence of negligence on the defendant driver in present litigation more probable?

No, because the accident register address all accidents, no matter the cause.

Even If the issue is whether the trucking company  was negligent in hiring or retaining employees, the inquiry should be limited to whether the trucking company was negligent in hiring or retaining THE PARTICULAR driver in the particular case in litigation, not whether it  was negligent in hiring or retaining any employee who may have been involved in another  accident, particularly since the accident registers give no consideration of the total number of vehicles in use or the total number of miles traveled by vehicles.

Now with the requirements of CSA 2010, we need to be as vigilant to ensure trucking companies and truck drivers are  treated fairly.

I would be interested in your thoughts.

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