Fighting the Trucking Industry

Navigating the maze of federal and state laws and regulations, and penetrating the layers of protection surrounding trucking companies, drivers, brokers and shippers can be a daunting task. Experience really matters. Truck wreck cases are different from car wreck cases. Injuries are usually very serious. And, while federal regulations require a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage for interstate trucking companies, $750,000 may not be enough when the injuries require extended hospitalization or extensive medical treatment and are likely to cause permanent disability. In cases of severe injury or death, all possible defendants and sources of recovery must be identified, investigated and sued, if the evidence shows them to have been at fault. That might include a broker who arranged for a trucking company with a poor safety record to handle a shipment or a shipper who failed to load a trailer properly.

Although federal regulations require trucking companies to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and to display a DOT number on the tractor, the driver may not even be an employee of that trucking company. He or she may be an independent owner-operator. He or she may be employed by someone else and just be leased to the company whose logo is displayed. Sometimes leases are arranged for one trip only.

Brokers are often utilized to match companies, drivers and loads, and there may be several entities involved between the driver and the shipper. Shipping commodities, containers and cargos in interstate commerce is often a complex and confusing business, involving hidden participants and unknown entities. Such companies will use a variety of legal devices to try to shield themselves from liability for accidents on the highways. All too often, when a bad wreck occurs and someone is severely injured or killed, no one involved in the selection, training or supervision process is willing to accept responsibility.

To achieve success in such cases, working knowledge of federal law and complex federal regulations (FMCSR), as well as applicable state law, is essential, along with actual experience fighting the trucking industry.

If you, or a family member, are seriously injured in a trucking wreck, seek out, consult with and retain only experienced trucking counsel who have the knowledge, ability and resources to secure the evidence, navigate the maze, sue all the responsible parties, and to hold the truck driver and the trucking company to the highest possible standard of care.

Experience Really Matters

The lawyers at The Hamilton Firm have well over 50 years of combined experience fighting the trucking industry. Much of that experience has been gained through investigating and filing claims and lawsuits against U.S. Xpress and Covenant Transport, two of the nationwide interstate carriers based in Chattanooga.

We are proud of our track record at The Hamilton Firm. Many of our settlements and the settlement amounts are confidential, such as in cases involving minor children, but where possible we have provided information on our Results Page that can help you make an informed decision when selecting an attorney for a serious injury or death case. Check us out, and feel free to call with questions: 800-346-7765.

Bisected by the Tennessee River, bordering Georgia and Alabama, at the junction of three interstate highways, including the heavily traveled I-75 corridor, Chattanooga, Tennessee is both a historic railroad town and a modern transportation hub.  I-24 begins in Chattanooga running northwest toward Nashville, TN.  I-59 also begins just outside Chattanooga and runs south toward Birmingham, AL.  To the south, toward Atlanta along I-75, lies Dalton, GA a world center for the carpet and flooring industry. Chattanooga’s diversified economy includes the Volkswagen North American assembly plant, as well as insurance giants Blue Cross Blue Shield and Unum.  Chattanooga is also a major tourist destination attracting millions of visitors each year.  As a result, The Hamilton Firm LLC focus much of its work on representation of persons injured in trucking and transportation related cases as well as serious workplace injury cases.

Chattanooga is the headquarters for two of the nation’s major trucking companies, U.S. Xpress and Covenant Transport. And as crossroads city, Chattanooga ranks first in the nation among all metropolitan cities for the volume of freight moving through the city by truck (according to a recent freight study by Cambridge Systematics and reported in the Chattanooga Times Free Press). Problem areas include the interchanges as well as the entire section of I-24 from I-59 to I-75, and I-75 north to Cleveland, TN. Tractor trailers, while essential to a thriving economy, also present great risks to the traveling public if not operated safely by well trained professional drivers with well maintained equipment.

Chattanooga is also a rail hub for Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads.  Travel, transport and commerce by water, rail and road are essential to our lives and economy, but all the economic activity also brings traffic and congestion, which can lead to more wrecks, accidents and injuries.  This can be a volatile mix when combined with the high freight volume on tractor trailers traveling through or originating in the area.