We have successfully represented the transportation industry for over 30 years. Regulations and state & federal oversight of commercial vehicles and public transportation has become more specialized. We defend transportation companies.

Transportation & Commercial Vehicles

TRANSPORTATION & COMMERCIAL VEHICLES


PRACTICE AREA / UTAH TRANSPORTATION ATTORNEYS

We represent and defend trucking companies, commercial vehicle operators and organizations that offer public transportation in all stages of the legal process including compliance, mediation, trials, depositions and appeals.

Attorneys from Richards Brandt are members of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, the Utah Trucking Association and the Defense Research Institute. They have the experience to assist you or your company with issues arising out of the operation of commercial vehicles, public transportation or related areas.

  • Commercial Vehicle Personal Injury Accidents
  • Commercial Vehicle Property Damage Claims & Insurance Coverage
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), CFR 49
  • Commercial Vehicle Hiring and Employment Issues
  • Public Transportation Defense Issues


COMMERCIAL VEHICLE PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENTS



Defending companies against personal injury claims is a significant focus in our practice. Commercial vehicle drivers and their companies are targets for personal injury claims, sometimes before an accident occurs. Our attorneys are committed to defending you and your company.

RECENT TRANSPORTATION & COMMERCIAL VEHICLES LAW UPDATES





TRANSPORTATION ATTORNEYS AT RICHARDS BRANDT IN SALT LAKE CITY



COMMERCIAL VEHICLE PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS & INSURANCE COVERAGE

Property damage comes in many forms. We can help you recover as much of your property as possible, as well as evaluate your insurance policies to determine if you have enough coverage moving forward to protect your assets.

Transportation companies face significant risks every time one of their vehicles hits the road. Insurance companies provide as much coverage as required or desired by the insured. Working with an attorney to evaluate your coverage is a critical step in a good risk management plan.

Preparing for the inevitable claim before it happens provides every organization the piece of mind and confidence that they have protected their business and livelihood.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT AND UDOT)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

Activities of the Administration contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety regulations; targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle technologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increasing safety awareness.

FMCSA CFR 49, REGULATIONS & COMPLIANCE

Commercial vehicles are regulated by state and federal laws including The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (www.fmcsa.dot.gov) under the Department of Transportation; the Transportation Commission under the Utah Department of Transportation; the Idaho Transportation Department; the Wyoming Department of Transportation; and other intermountain west governmental agencies. These laws change regularly and often times conflict with each other, our attorneys can help your organization be prepared to face these regulations with confidence. We will review your policies and practices, make recommendations and work with you to implement best practices.

Our risk management audits cover several critical points trucking companies are exposed to risk. We review licensure requirements, loads and hours of service, medical and drug & alcohol testing records, driver compliance and documentation, and hazardous materials handling to name a few.

Interstate, intrastate and international transportation is complex. Our attorneys have worked throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to resolve claims involving multiple parties.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE HIRING AND EMPLOYMENT ISSUES

Your attorney not only has years of experience dedicated to the trucking and commercial vehicle industry but has worked with clients to address their labor and employment needs.

Employees are a significant investment for any company and sometimes present risks for a company both internally and externally. We work with companies to implement best practices and train your employees on complying with applicable transportation laws. Ongoing training and reinforcing specific guidelines is necessary for your employees’ success and makes up a significant portion of regulatory compliance under the law. Our attorneys work with you to identify what your supervisors and employees need to know to be successful, and practices they must adopt in order to protect the organization as a whole.

Training and proactive risk management efforts create a strong defensible position and go a long way with the courts should you have to face a lawsuit.

Several other laws impact trucking, commercial vehicles and public transportation companies including Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and those discrimination claims that fall under the EEOC. Our Labor & Employment attorneys work with our Transportation group to deliver the most comprehensive legal counsel available to transportation businesses.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION DEFENSE ISSUES

Defending city, state and interstate public transportation organizations is an area of the law that we are passionate about. The exposure our public transportation providers face far exceeds the millions of commuters they service on a daily basis across the U.S.

Private, state and municipal organizations that provide these critical services keep people moving as well as the economy but have a higher level of risk. Understanding the protection the law affords these organizations, balanced with the rights individuals have to brings claims and file lawsuits is complex.

Other means of public transportation and the intersection where they can become your company’s problem include:

  • Bicycle right of way
  • Public access areas
  • Rear-end collisions with busses
  • Multiple personal injury claims
  • Wrongful death claims

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)



BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS & CORPORATE GOVERNANCE / FEATURED FAQS



Answered by:

Barry G. Scholl

Barry Scholl

Shareholder, Cybersecurity Section Chair and Business Practice Chair

A: To decide which entity is right for you, we look at: liability, taxation, and maintenance. Both corporations and LLC’s have limited personal liability—this means that owners are usually not responsible for business debts. However, corporations and LLC’s are taxed very differently—corporations are classified as a separate taxable entity, whereas LLC’s are typically taxed as a pass-through entity (unless you choose otherwise). And corporations and LLC’s have different levels of maintenance—LLC’s have fewer reporting requirements and can operate solely with members acting as the managers. Conversely, corporations are required to hold certain annual meetings, keep certain records, and appoint boards and officers to manage the company for the stockholders. Every situation is unique so we recommend that you consult with an attorney in making your decision. Contact our firm, Richards Brandt, if we can help you decide which entity is right for you.

Answered by:

Barry G. Scholl

Barry Scholl

Shareholder, Cybersecurity Section Chair and Business Practice Chair

A: To decide which entity is right for you, we look at: liability, taxation, and maintenance. Both corporations and LLC’s have limited personal liability—this means that owners are usually not responsible for business debts. However, corporations and LLC’s are taxed very differently—corporations are classified as a separate taxable entity, whereas LLC’s are typically taxed as a pass-through entity (unless you choose otherwise). And corporations and LLC’s have different levels of maintenance—LLC’s have fewer reporting requirements and can operate solely with members acting as the managers. Conversely, corporations are required to hold certain annual meetings, keep certain records, and appoint boards and officers to manage the company for the stockholders. Every situation is unique so we recommend that you consult with an attorney in making your decision. Contact our firm, Richards Brandt, if we can help you decide which entity is right for you.

Answered by:

Barry G. Scholl

Barry Scholl

Shareholder, Cybersecurity Section Chair and Business Practice Chair

A: To decide which entity is right for you, we look at: liability, taxation, and maintenance. Both corporations and LLC’s have limited personal liability—this means that owners are usually not responsible for business debts. However, corporations and LLC’s are taxed very differently—corporations are classified as a separate taxable entity, whereas LLC’s are typically taxed as a pass-through entity (unless you choose otherwise). And corporations and LLC’s have different levels of maintenance—LLC’s have fewer reporting requirements and can operate solely with members acting as the managers. Conversely, corporations are required to hold certain annual meetings, keep certain records, and appoint boards and officers to manage the company for the stockholders. Every situation is unique so we recommend that you consult with an attorney in making your decision. Contact our firm, Richards Brandt, if we can help you decide which entity is right for you.



BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS & CORPORATE GOVERNANCE – CASE STUDIES





Utah Manufacturing Company Needed Employment Contracts For Key Staffers




Utah Construction Company Needed Planning For Business Growth & Protection




Utah Family Enterprise Needed Guidance and Representation to Sell Business

REVIEWS




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NHTSA Grants Petition for Inconsequential Determination

inconsequential determination

January 2015

Richards Brandt clients China Manufacturers Alliance, LLC (“CMA”) and Double Coin Holdings Ltd Obtain Favorable Outcome on Petition for Inconsequential Determination Before the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (“NHTSA”).

Double Coin is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of truck, industrial, and off-the-road tires. CMA is the North American subsidiary of Double Coin. In late May of 2014, NHTSA’s Office of Defects and Investigations notified CMA that two of the Double Coin model tires it was selling did not includeTruck Tire Code
a load range symbol. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (“FMVSS”) No. 119 establishes strength, performance, endurance standards for truck tires, as well as marking requirements. Among the ten marking requirements is inclusion of a load range symbol.

CMA and Double Coin submitted a noncompliance report. We then helped CMA and Double Coin prepare a petition for inconsequential determination seeking exemption from the remedy provisions of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. CMA and Double Coin also commenced an internal review of all tires being sold. From this review, CMA and Double Coin determined that additional tire models were missing the load range symbol, and CMA and Double Coin took the necessary steps to ensure that going forward all Double Coin tires had the load range symbol.

CMA and Double Coin then submitted a revised noncompliance report and we worked with CMA and Double Coin on a revised petition for inconsequential determination to cover all tire models at issue. NHTSA published CMA and Double Coin’s Petition on September 14, 2014. See 79 Fed. Reg. 55068. In the Petition, we argued that the missing load range symbol was inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because Double Coin tires meet or exceed the strength, endurance and performance standards of FMVSS No. 119 and because the information conveyed by the load range symbol was included on all Double Coin tires by Double Coin’s optional inclusion of a load index symbol and ply rating on each tire. Additionally, all Double Coin tires, consistent with the marking requirements of FMVSS No. 119 contained appropriate maximum load/maximum pressure information. After considering CMA and Double Coin’s Petition, NHTSA agreed, granted the Petition, and exempted CMA and Double Coin from the remedy provisions of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. See 79 Fed. Reg. 78562.

Contact me for more information or questions on this or other regulatory or product liability matters at 801.531.2000 or steven-bergman@rbmn.com.

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