For years, lawyers in our firm have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to handle significant trucking cases for Plaintiffs across the country. As we have discussed in previous issues of the Report, the results of these trucking accidents are most often horrific. For example, an entire family can be killed when a truck driver loses control of a large truck and crashes into a family vehicle.
Our firm has assembled a team of lawyers with experience in litigating significant trucking cases. They include Chris Glover, Parker Miller, Rob Register and Ben Keen in our Atlanta office, and Greg Allen, Cole Portis, Mike Crow, Ben Baker, Ben Locklar and Warner Hornsby in our Montgomery office. Even in a year dominated by COVID-19, our lawyers have secured multiple major truck accident resolutions in Georgia and Alabama and in other states, including Illinois.
The firm also has cases coming up for trial in the coming months, including a major truck wreck death case in Alabama federal court in November. Truck wreck cases are often removed to federal court based on the nature of the trucking industry (and, from a jurisdictional perspective, the diversity that results). While our lawyers often handle trucking cases in state courts, some of our co-counsel who would prefer to litigate in state court contact us when one of their cases is removed to federal court. Whether in state or federal court, we are glad to help other lawyers and their clients get justice.
While a lawyer would be tempted to treat a trucking case like a regular car accident, trucking cases are quite different. All aspects of handling these cases – including investigation, discovery, technology analysis, and the special laws involved – are far more complicated and time-consuming than what’s involved in a traditional car accident case.
For instance, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides regulations for the safe operation of interstate commercial vehicles. Federal rules and regulations speak to a variety of issues, including a host of matters involving the drivers themselves, the vehicles they operate, company administration, safety measures, hazmat situations and regulatory guidance.
Defendants can range from the trucking company at issue, to a product manufacturer, a broker, the owner of a trailer, or even a maintenance company.
Federal preemption can sometimes become an issue depending on the type of case. For those large commercial trucks operating inside of states, there is typically a state equivalent to the FMCSA.
If you have a truck wreck case, we value flexibility in these cases with our co-counsel and would welcome the opportunity to work with you. If you have any questions about these cases, contact Cole Portis or Parker Miller.
This story appears in the November 2020 issue of The Jere Beasley Report. For more like this, visit the Report online and subscribe.