Practice Areas & Industries

Transportation

There are roughly 15.5 million trucks operating in the United States; approximately 2 million are tractor trailers. The country’s resources are dependent upon the transportation industry to ship goods where they need to be when they need to be there. Thankfully, the vast majority of dispatches are without incident; but when an accident happens, expert response and representation are essential. The Transportation Group is experienced in handling catastrophic accidents. Our team is 24-hour accessible for on-scene investigation, protection and consultation. We have a network of accident reconstructionists, independent adjusters, property appraisers and criminal defense lawyers who are committed to all-hours service.  

Our practice group lawyers represent for-hire and private truck load and LTL carriers. We also represent passenger carriers and public transportation authorities in state and federal courts. The firm has lawyers who are Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA) members and speakers, a frequent presenter at the Northwest Arkansas Trucking Seminar, members of the Transportation Law Association, and a past chair of ALFA International’s Transportation Practice Group. The firm also hosts an annual transportation seminar. Several of our lawyers have training and experience in the following:
  • Computer-assisted drawings and demonstrative simulations (PC Crash) 
  • Biomechanics and injury causation 
  • Cargo claims, including Carmack Amendment issues
  • Use and preservation of electronic control modules (ECMs), air bag control modules (ABMs), telematics, and electronic logging devices (ELDs)  
  • Accident reconstruction techniques 
  • Advanced trial techniques, including focus groups use, social media searches and combating “reptile” techniques
Our relationships with accident reconstructionists and other experts who possess high-level credentials and a proven track record ensure our clients receive experienced representation.

As active members of the ALFA Transportation Practice Group, our lawyers regularly meet and advise general counsel, risk managers, and other representatives of the major companies in the industry.

We have tried numerous cases in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas involving serious injury, wrongful death, and punitive damages. Our experience includes:
  • Obtained defense verdict in favor of trucking company in a case involving negligence claims resulting from an automobile collision involving a tractor-trailer.
  • Secured a defense verdict in the City of St. Louis for a trucking company. The truck driver passed away from unrelated causes before giving a deposition on an alleged rear-end collision. The plaintiff switched lanes due to another accident and claimed the defendant had rear-ended her vehicle. There was no damage to the direct rear of plaintiff's vehicle; the damage was to the rear driver's side corner. The plaintiff claimed a closed head injury with headaches, stuttering, and PTSD and had asked the jury for more than $767,000. 
  • Obtained defense verdict for a transportation company in a case in which a van was struck from behind by a semi-truck. The plaintiff filed suit for injuries, including past and future medical expenses and impaired earning capacity.
  • Obtained defense verdict in case where plaintiff was struck by mass transit train causing severe injuries. Plaintiff asked for $750,000, and the jury returned a defendant’s verdict.
  • Successfully defended a trucking company in a case in St. Louis City Circuit Court regarding an intersection collision between a tractor trailer and another truck where stop lights were malfunctioning. The jury trial resulted in a net verdict value of just over $2,700, and 90 percent of fault was allocated to the plaintiff.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in Boone County, Missouri, for a line haul motor carrier and its driver. After coming up over a hill, the defendant saw that the plaintiff had stopped in traffic. The defendant tried to avoid the plaintiff's vehicle, but ultimately his pup trailers came around and struck the vehicle. The plaintiff had a large lost income claim and asked the jury for a verdict between $1 million and $1.5 million.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in St. Louis County for a common-carrier client in a sideswipe accident in which the plaintiff claimed severe injuries and total disability. The plaintiff contended the tractor-trailer entered her lane; the tractor-trailer driver contended the plaintiff entered his lane. The defense presented expert testimony that allowed the jury to break the "he said/she said" dilemma and return a unanimous defense verdict.

Related Articles:
The Carmack Amendment: Implications for Liability for Claims Against Interstate Carriers
Still the Trucking Company’s Best Friend? The Status of McHaffie v. Bunch
The Increasing Role of Transportation Indemnity Agreements
An Examination of the "Rules of the Road"
Don't Look Back: Something Might Be Gaining On You
Social Media Research and the Jury
Deposing Corporate Witnesses: A Primer in the Era of 'The Reptile' 
Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer, An Update on the Plaintiff Bar's Attack On the Trucking Industry

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