What Is A Trucking Lawyer?
A trucking lawyer, also known as a commercial trucking attorney, practices transportation law. They provide legal services to commercial entities, including contractors, trucking companies, and logisticians. A trucking lawyer can help businesses understand transportation law’s intricacies while protecting their clients’ rights during legal proceedings.
What Is Transportation Law?
Transportation law addresses commerce and travel matters that occur on streets, by air, on water, and by train. It is primarily concerned with the administration and oversight of safety standards and logistics activity. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are responsible for regulating transportation law.
While federal trucking laws apply, individual states create and follow their own transportation laws. However, federal agencies are the leading authorities over trucking company rules and regulations, laws for truck drivers, and delivery vehicle regulation.
Numerous legal issues can arise when driving trucks in the state and throughout the country. Transportation law also encompasses several legal issues, including labor laws, personal injury, workers’ compensation, criminal law, contract law, and more.
For more information about trucking regulations, take a look at this article .
Who Needs A Trucking Lawyer?
Transportation lawyers are helpful when you have a vested business interest in trucking. Transportation laws are highly technical and complicated. A trucking lawyer can help your business interpret them while staying compliant.
The following individuals and entities may need a trucking lawyer:
- Independent truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Trucking operators
- Logistics providers
- Insurance companies
- Transportation brokers
- Freight forwarders
- And more
A trucking lawyer oversees issues related to the commercial company’s legal interests and not the private employee. Private employees and contractors follow different sets of laws, which means that they need to find an attorney that addresses a specific area of practice.
Here is an article that helps you understand trucking regulations .
What Does A Trucking Lawyer Do?
Trucking lawyers handle a wide range of cases. However, they primarily fall under the arm of trucking and transportation regulation. A trucking lawyer should stay aware of recent legal developments at the state and federal levels while conveying these changes to clients.
A trucking lawyer handles the following issues:
- Commercial vehicle accidents : Accidents happen. Trucking lawyers can represent commercial entities when one of their drivers or employees get into an accident.
- Commercial vehicle damage claims : Insurance companies are not always on your side. Hiring a trucking lawyer will ensure that you get a fair settlement for your losses.
- FMCSA and DOT compliance : Federal laws are intricate. A trucking lawyer will help you interpret these laws while overseeing your compliance measures.
- Public transportation defense : Public transportation cases follow a different set of laws than traditional trucking matters. Your attorney will ensure that your company meets all notification requirements, deadlines, and other issues related to tort laws.
- Labor law matters : Federal and state laws heavily regulate labor laws and truck drivers. Your labor force is your most valuable asset. Work with a trucking lawyer to manage this aspect of your business lawfully.
- Civil litigation representation : If you need to go to court, a trucking lawyer will help you prepare and appear on your behalf. He or she will also provide ongoing advice and counsel to protect your rights.
- Contract matters : Contracts govern the formal business relationships that we share. Your trucking lawyer will draft and update contracts as the governing laws change over time.
- Ongoing legal counsel : Trucking companies often face ongoing legal issues related to compliance alone. When you consider personal injury laws, insurance matters, and labor law, having ongoing counsel becomes critically important for trucking companies to thrive.
- Truck driver legal services : Truck drivers need legal help as well when they work for themselves. Rather than being managed, independent drivers must oversee every aspect of compliance. Truck driver legal services will provide clarity and insight when you need it.
Regardless of your company size, a trucking lawyer is your best bet on staying in business while mitigating exposure to high legal risks. If you are a smaller company, you could work with a legal team by the project as well. Ensure that you have a game plan for hiring labor lawyers for truck drivers or lawyers for trucking companies.
Check out this article on trucking hours and regulations .
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Hiring A Trucking Lawyer
You should never hire a lawyer without considering your options carefully. After narrowing down your choices, request an initial consultation with a trucking law firm to get a sense of how they can help before making any commitments. Some charge a nominal fee for consultation, while others offer them for free.
Here are a few items that you will want to consider when selecting an attorney to represent your trucking company or organization:
- Licensing and training : Start by ensuring that the trucking lawyer is licensed with your state’s bar association. It is wise to check out whether they have experienced any disciplinary issues and the circumstances surrounding them.
- Reputation : A trucking lawyer must have a sterling reputation with a strong track record of success serving commercial transportation entities. Spend time to review testimonials and the attorneys’ website to gain a sense of their reputation.
- Experience : Experience is critical to effectively and efficiently providing trucking legal services. For example, you don’t hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your business affairs in the same way that you only hire a trucking lawyer to address transportation laws and regulations.
- “Desk-side” manner : Find a lawyer that makes you feel good about hiring them. If you get a sense that something is off or not right, listen to that instinct. It is essential that you hire a legal professional you trust.
- Communication style : It is much easier to conduct business with someone who communicates well. Is the attorney proactive about updates? Can you reach them quickly? Ask these questions when you attend your initial consultation.
- Organization : A well-organized attorney is much different from a disorganized one. You can always tell that an attorney is organized when they never fail to follow-up and follow through on their word every time. You can determine the level of an organization possessed by the appearance of their office.
- Attorneys’ fees : Attorney fees are wide-ranging in the legal industry. Your organization could pay up to $1,000 an hour for legal services. However, others cost much less, such as the $150 to $500 range.
- Payment options : Some lawyers may request that you pay a traditional retainer for their legal services. However, modern law firms are now working on flat fees and subscription services. Determine what level of service makes the most sense for your situation.
It is worth taking your time when hiring a trucking lawyer rather than rush through the process. Vet your prospects carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask questions that matter to your organization. Any pushback could be a red flag and signal that it is time to move on.
Ultimately, you must use common sense when hiring a trucking lawyer. The relationship may continue for several years, and you want to be sure you are hiring someone for the long haul. Go with an attorney who makes you feel comfortable and confident.
You can also check out this website to learn more about trucking lawyers and representation.
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