The trucking industry is complex and ever evolving, subject to a maze of state and federal statutes and regulations, not to mention tort law questions. Baker Sterchi is cognizant of the significant issues facing the industry. Our firm’s trial lawyers have long been partners with members of the trucking industry, representing their interests on several fronts. We are committed to working with clients on designing risk reduction measures and implementing strategies to avoid or minimize losses in litigation through effective pretrial analysis, trial tactics mediation techniques and negotiation.
We represent leasing companies and motor carriers (LTL, long haul, and parcel) and their insurers in a wide range of matters. Our clients are interstate and intrastate companies whose presence is national, regional and local in scope. Our attorneys provide counsel on the various statutes, regulations, standards, policies, customs, and practice that are controlling in different jurisdictions.
Baker Sterchi attorneys begin preparing for the possibility of litigation from the moment an accident occurs. With a 24/7 emergency “go-to” team, our lawyers coordinate with reconstruction experts and field adjusters to get to the scene of an accident as soon after it is reported as possible. Because of the importance of gathering evidence immediately, our “go team” interviews the driver, ensures that the motor carrier complies with all federal post-accident inspection and testing protocols, arranges criminal defense counsel for the driver if necessary, takes and/or arranges for scene, vehicle and aerial photographs, vehicle inspections and data downloads, and generally assures preservation and documentation of everything that could be relevant in a future lawsuit. Such early investigation, preservation of evidence, and assessment is a critical component of a motor carrier defense today, particularly in the case of catastrophic injuries or death. Our firm is exceptionally skilled at coordinating this early investigative and evaluative process.
Adding to our extensive knowledge base, Baker Sterchi attorneys have experience in the design and manufacturing of commercial motor vehicles; diesel engine electronic control modules (ECMs) and vehicle sensing diagnostic modules (SDMs), and the retrieval, interpretation and application of data from these and other on-board recording devices that assist in the analysis of commercial motor vehicle accidents. In addition, we have experience with driver technique and response; visibility and conspicuity; vehicle maintenance; driver qualification, hiring, training, supervision, retention and discipline; hours of service and compliance reporting; drug and alcohol testing; loading and unloading; and various other aspects of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, CSA 2010 and CARMAC.
Our attorneys also are available to represent trucking clients on business matters where transactional disputes arise between lessors, lessees, shippers, carriers, brokers and others within the transcontinental cargo distribution system; insurance matters; premises and product liability claims; and employment and labor issues involving discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.
We act as panel counsel for a number of industry clients or their insurers. In addition, our attorneys hold prominent positions in professional organizations that have committees devoted to the trucking or transportation industry. Some of our attorneys practicing in this area are members of the steering committee of ALFA International’s Transportation Practice Group, the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA) and the Defense Research Institute (DRI) Trucking Law Committee. Our attorneys are often asked to speak about current legal issues affecting the business at industry-sponsored events and seminars.