The transportation industry is incredibly complicated. Whether an airline transporting people or a shipping company hauling cargo, businesses that manage shipments must adhere to strict state and international laws.
Whether it’s a routine accident, freight claim, pesky regulatory issue, or a complex contractual agreement, our transportation and logistics team provides comprehensive and strategic counsel to your business.
The transportation industry is heavily regulated, and non-compliance with rules and regulations can lead to fines, license suspensions, or legal action. A transportation and logistics attorney can help your business develop and implement compliance programs to avoid these problems.
In addition to safety-related laws like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service rules, there are also laws concerning equipment inspections, driver fatigue, and real-time tracking of vehicles. Maintaining compliance with these rules helps ensure your fleet’s and drivers’ safety and protects your company from accidents, fatalities, and poor reputation.
As an added benefit, improving compliance may save your transportation business money. Consider that trucking-related expenses, such as new equipment or detailed driver training, can be expensive. A business financing expert at National Business Capital can review your financial needs and recommend a loan plan that will allow you to invest in necessary improvements without affecting cash flow.
Disagreements are a normal part of business and can often be resolved informally. However, if the disagreement becomes more serious, a formal dispute resolution process can be required. This is where a logistics attorney can be helpful.
A dispute resolution process aims to find a solution that all parties can agree on. There are a variety of ways that this can be accomplished, including mediation and arbitration. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party assists the parties in a dispute to help them devise a voluntary negotiated settlement to the issue. In a more formal process called arbitration, both parties of the disagreement present facts and arguments before a judgment is reached.
Transportation and logistics attorneys can also handle disputes related to intellectual property, such as patent infringement claims. They can also assist in enforcing contract terms and negotiating severance agreements. They can also advise clients on international transportation and logistics issues, such as tariff compliance and governmental regulations.
As the world becomes, more interconnected, logistics and transportation companies face ever-changing legal challenges. Government regulations are rising, and logistics companies must comply with all applicable laws. A team of experienced transportation attorneys can help.
In addition to compliance issues, a transportation attorney can also address complex tax matters. For example, a trucking company with contracts with owner-operators may need to file Form 1099s. Documenting drivers as independent contractors and complying with IRS tax rules is important.
Experienced transportation lawyers represent motor carriers, private fleet operators, third-party logistics providers, freight forwarders, and warehouse workers in various litigation matters. This includes defending against cargo damage claims, lawsuits alleging breach of contract, negligence, and gross misrepresentation, and defense of claims for conversion, breach of warranty, and breach of the Carmack Amendment.
A logistics attorney also helps clients protect their intellectual property, innovations, and data by assisting with patent prosecution, trademarks, and copyrights.
Whether you are providing services for transporting goods or passengers, obtaining adequate insurance is a crucial step in starting your business. It helps protect your clients from costly damages, including passenger injuries or property damage to vehicles.
For example, a passenger transportation service may need a commercial general liability policy and personal injury coverage for its drivers. On the other hand, a freight company might need to add commercial auto insurance, which covers physical damage to their trucks and liability for bodily injury caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
A logistics attorney can help you determine the specific types of insurance needed for your transportation business. These can range from cargo to terminal operation insurance, specialty liability coverage, transport plate liability, and more. In addition, a logistics attorney can assist you in navigating federal laws like FMCSA and DOT compliance, transportation claims, and labor law matters. This ensures you can keep your business moving forward even when faced with unexpected legal challenges.
International trade is buying and selling goods and services across national borders. A transportation business that focuses on international trade needs to understand the laws and regulations governing this logistics area.
Global trading allows consumers and businesses access to goods that may not be available locally or are less expensive abroad. In addition, international trade can boost economies and increase companies’ growth opportunities.
However, international trade has its challenges. For example, some nations may place tariffs (a tax) on certain goods, while others may have strict quotas for how much they can export or import. Furthermore, some countries have special trade agreements that list what kinds of goods they can buy or sell freely.