Motor Carrier

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The motor carrier industry is vital to the U.S. economy with over 70% of all freight tonnage being transported on trucks. Given the volatile nature of the industry, commercial transportation companies rely on experienced counsel that understands the legal challenges they face as well as the day-to-day practical implications to their businesses.


Dickinson Wright’s transportation attorneys provide comprehensive services to motor carriers, taking a proactive approach to ensure our clients’ interests are protected. Our team responds quickly to client calls, day or night in the event of an accident, visiting the scene in the critical hours immediately following an accident to gather and preserve evidence, guide investigators, and interact with authorities.


Our Services


Members of our motor carrier team have a thorough knowledge of the initiatives and rulemakings of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act  (COGSA), and the Carmack Amendment, and we can provide experienced counsel on related regulatory issues. We can also advise you on issues arising from IRS inquiries into employee vs. independent contractor status of owner-operators. We represent clients in a number of matters related to motor carrier transportation, including:



  • Accident litigation

  • Class action defense

  • Contract drafting and negotiation            

  • Cargo loss and damage

  • Regulatory compliance

  • Warehousing claims

  • Equipment acquisition

  • Warranty claims

  • Workers’ compensation


Representative Matters


Representation of shippers, carriers, transportation brokers, and warehousemen in a variety of cargo claims including claims brought under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (“COGSA”) and the Carmack Amendment.


–Defense of issues unique to the transportation industry including compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, such as driver log qualifications, hours of service regulations, drug testing, etc.


–Defense of catastrophic (multiple deaths) and severe personal injury claims, including use of expert witnesses such as accident reconstructionists, economists, vocational disability authorities, psychologists, and medical professionals, performing independent medical examinations and records reviews.


–Representation in cargo claims involving the Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act.


–Representation of major trucking companies in defense of wage and hour claims, including collective class action claims.


–Negotiation of sidetrack agreements between manufacturing companies and transportation companies.


–Defense of major interstate trucking and logistics companies in addition to intrastate carriers and owner-operators.


–Sale of a major logistics subsidiary involving the assignment of part leases, broker agreements, and carrier combined with outsourcing arrangement in the United States and Mexico between buyer and seller.

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