Defense Guidelines for Truck Driver Interview
Much of this information, you may already have available electronically, but I have a checklist available in PDF or Word version. Please let me know and I will forward it to you.
Legal counsel need to know the good, the bad and the ugly. If an attorney is taking the driver’s statement, his investigation is arguably privileged work product. This is NOT to say that the driver’s deposition will not be taken ultimately, so the information is discoverable; however, if field adjuster or in-house claims professional take the statement, then the information IS more likely to be discoverable unless you can argue that the information was prepared in anticipation of litigation.
With Hours of Service issues that may come up as to the driver’s negligence or even the independent negligence of the company negligent supervision, I want to be sure that I get the following:
Number of hours driving that day Time day Started _______
Amt.of sleep ______
Are log books current Y or N –
Under dispatch Y or N – To Whom:__________ (This issue is increasingly important when evaluating possible shipper or broker liability)
Name of Driver____________ Address ______________
Date of Interview
Age ____ Marital Status ____ Spouse’s Name______
CDL # ______________
Employer ____Years w/ current employer ___________
Total # years driving __________
Long Haul Line Haul_____ City Haul_____
Coming from_______ Delivering to__________
Type of cargo_________
Weight of Cargo Prior Accident __________
Date of Accident Time_____________
Where did this accident occur? (City or Town)
Exact location where vehicles impacted (street, driveway, parking lot)?
Name of closest intersecting street or crossroad?
Direction of travel for each street?
Number of lanes on each (including turning lanes and shoulders)?
Traffic controls or signals (locate and identify type) Speed limits?
Weather (visibility, condition of road surface, headlights necessary)
Cars involved: Yours (A) Others (B, C, etc)
Where were you coming from (place)?
What street were you on?
What direction were you traveling?
Which lane were you traveling in?
Purpose of this trip (errand for someone else, etc.)?
What street was the other car on? What direction was the other car traveling?
Which lane was it in?
Your location when you first saw the other vehicle/pedestrian (Use fixed objects or distances in feet or car lengths to qualify witness.)
Your speed when you first saw the other vehicle? Location of the other vehicle?
Speed of the other vehicle?
What was the other vehicle doing that caused you to notice it?
Were headlights, brake lights or turn signals in use?
Was there anything between you and the other vehicle that blocked your vision (describe)?
If you did not see the other vehicle prior to impact – why?
Could you have seen the other vehicle sooner than you did? Why
What were your actions from the time you first saw the other car until impact?
What did other car do (slow, brake, speed up, swerve)?
Where on the street did impact occur? (Relate to painted lines, lanes, fixed objects)
What parts of cars came together?
Rest: Speed and path of travel of each car from first impact to stop.
What caused each car to stop – skidding, hitting object?(Qualify witness how he knows, as this is conclusion).
Identify place of rest each car (relate to fixed object).
Examination of Scene:
What inspection of the scene of the accident did you make?
When did you make this inspection?
Describe what you saw (debris, skid marks, hedges, etc.)
Conversation: Did you talk to the other driver(s)?
Exactly what was said about how the accident happened?
Did anyone overhear this conversation?
Where located (place at scene)?
Witness observations (conversation at scene)?
Citations? If yes – To whom? For what?
Did you notice any indication of injuries at the scene? (If yes, explain)
The following/last question can be tricky if the person asking the question does not have privilege: “Is there anything else about the accident that we haven’t discussed that you would like to add?” But it can also lead you to a treasure trove of information.
All of this is about getting as much detail as quickly as possible. If there is anything we can assist you, feel free to call 318-222-2426.