Litigating Trucking Cases: Utilizing and Defending Against Distracted Driving Allegations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, November 8, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will discuss how driver distraction, and cell phone use in particular, impacts trucking cases and include tips for both defending against claims of driver distraction and establishing the plaintiff’s distraction as a contributing factor to the accident.


Distracted driving can manifest when drivers take their eyes off the road or hand(s) off the steering wheel, or their mind wanders from driving. In today’s world, distracted driving often results from texting, talking on a cell phone, or using a navigation system.

In virtually every case, trucking defense counsel can expect plaintiff’s counsel to investigate whether the commercial driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident. Even if the use was via a hands-free device, trucking defense counsel should be prepared to defend against claims that the commercial driver’s distraction caused or contributed to the accident—even if he or she was not determined to be at fault by the investigating officer. Equally as important, defense counsel should be on the lookout from the beginning of the case for clues in the documentary evidence, discovery responses, oral testimony, and third-party records that the plaintiff’s distraction played a role in the accident.

Listen as our distinguished panel discusses how defense counsel for trucking companies can prepare to defend claims that the commercial driver was distracted at the time of the accident. The panel will also provide tips for investigating and establishing that the plaintiff’s distracted driving either caused or contributed to the underlying accident.



  1. Overview of distracted driving issues and their role in trucking litigation
  2. Discussion of gathering evidence during discovery to evaluate whether distraction played a role in the underlying accident
  3. Best practices for trucking defense counsel when both defending against claims of distraction and asserting distraction on the part of the plaintiff


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • How the trucking company’s policies and procedures on cell phones and driving distraction can work both for and against you in the course of litigation
  • Common methods used by plaintiff’s attorneys to claim that a commercial driver’s cell phone use contributed to the accident—even if he or she was not determined to be at fault by the investigating officer
  • Tips and strategies for investigating and establishing plaintiff’s cell phone use at or near the time of the accident


Greene, Whitney
Whitney Lay Greene

Drew Eckl & Farnham

Ms. Greene is a civil litigation attorney, practicing primarily in the fields of general liability and workers'...  |  Read More

Kiella, Melody
Melody C. Kiella

Drew Eckl & Farnham

Ms. Kiella specializes in all aspects of complex civil litigation and represents clients in connection with a broad...  |  Read More

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