Practice/Industry Group Overview
Trucking companies and businesses whose operations involve automotive transportation operate in a highly competitive business world and a complex and ever-changing legal environment. Each delivery or trip may be subject to dozens of local, state, and federal regulations, all of which affect the vehicles, the personnel operating them, the manner of operation, and the consequences of non-compliance. Meanwhile, motor vehicle and commercial fleet litigation matters range in complexity from a collision with uncontested liability to multimillion-dollar exposure including catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Our goal is to enable our clients to obtain all of the counsel and advice they need to keep their business moving with just one telephone call to our full-service team of transportation lawyers.
Goldberg Segalla’s 24/7 Emergency Response Team
When there is an accident, time is of the essence in getting investigators to the scene in order to start building the best possible defense. That is why we provide our clients with contact information to reach partners in each of our offices — day or night, any day of the year. This team is ready to take action immediately and manage the first response to an accident, including:
- Developing contacts with the police agencies involved
- Getting photographers and accident reconstruction experts to the scene
- Obtaining witness statements before they can be corrupted by the passage of time or the influence of other investigators
- Securing the client’s vehicle as soon as it is released from police impound
- Beginning the process of building a defense to a potential claim right away, before skid marks fade, evidence is moved, or witnesses cannot be located
When there is a personal injury lawsuit, we offer our clients trial-tested litigators in each of our offices, ready to defend against the liability and damages claims that can result from accidents. We have strong relationships with leading national experts in accident reconstruction, trauma medicine, vocational rehabilitation, and other disciplines, which helps us build a successful defense. Our strategic courtroom use of on-board electronic data recording systems, global positioning, and other technologies employed by our clients can make the difference in helping a jury understand how an accident developed and occurred.
Perhaps most importantly, we consider our role as attorneys and advisers to be like being a critical member of our clients’ team. We provide our trucking and automotive clients with advice on how to reduce exposure, address liability, and plan for indemnification (if warranted) from the beginning. We believe that the most effective way to achieve success is to partner with the client to attain realistic goals, including everything from an early settlement to a successful defense at trial.
Because of this philosophy, we regularly provide in-house educational presentations for our clients on risk and litigation avoidance techniques, current trends in litigation, innovative methods to address complex defense issues, and suggestions to increase the success of our defense while reducing the overall expense to defend claims.
Regional and National Reach
We know the very business of trucking and transportation means crossing great distances, so we have built our practice to assist clients wherever their needs take them. Through our wide geographic reach, experience litigating cases across the country, and memberships in expansive networks of qualified defense counsel, our clients have only one call to make in order to get the representation they need.
As just one example of the far-reaching trust clients put in Goldberg Segalla, one of our partners is Regional Coordinating Counsel for a major, national trucking company. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing and trying the company’s catastrophic personal injury cases throughout all of the eastern United States.
Comprehensive Advice and Services for Trucking and Automotive Companies
In Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group, we have some of the leading insurance coverage attorneys in the country. As a result, our clients have the benefit of our experience and knowledge when there is a question of whether an insurer of a company must provide coverage for a particular vehicle, use, or load. Few areas of insurance law are as challenging as the interplay of insuring documents on tractors, the trailers they tow, and the loads they carry. Our trucking clients rely on us for informed, up-to-date analysis in this ever-changing area of the law. Additionally, we have extensive experience with the complex issues that may arise in cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists.
When there is an employment issue, attorneys from our Labor and Employment Practice Group are available to counsel our trucking and automotive clients on termination, background checks, employee benefits law, and the defense of wrongful termination claims. To help prevent claims from happening, we offer counsel to employers before adverse action is taken, to structure the action in accordance with all applicable employment laws so claims are less likely to result (or are more likely to be successfully defended when they are asserted).
Our Workers’ Compensation Practice Group attorneys have successfully represented our trucking clients in defending meritless medical and injury claims, and know the intricacies involved in navigating the Workers’ Compensation Board claims and hearing system.
When our clients own or lease land or equipment for the operation of their fleet, we offer them the services of our Business and Commercial Practice Group attorneys, who are well-versed in sophisticated commercial and realty transactional law.
No-Fault litigation presents unique challenges to carriers doing business within New York State. Individually, the amounts at stake with these claims make the cost-effective defense of these cases problematic. However, with a minimum of $50,000 in coverage available for each individual in a covered auto, medical expenses can quickly exceed the liability exposures on actions against the carrier.
Goldberg Segalla has experienced no-fault attorneys in each of our offices. These attorneys are well-versed in the defense of these actions, and are familiar with the venues where these actions are frequently commenced (including the New York City Civil Courts, the local district courts, the American Arbitration Association, and arbitration forums). We can also assist in the development of fraud defenses by conducting pre-litigation examinations under oath, and providing other programs that are tailored to meet the specific needs of our clients.