Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.


Practice Areas

Personal Injury, Property Damage, and Cargo Claims

Despite the best planned and well-intentioned safety program, vehicle accidents are an inevitable, albeit unfortunate, reality of being part of the motor carrier industry. Scopelitis attorneys represent both insurance carriers and self-insureds in protecting the motor carrier's interest when personal injury and/or property damage claims arise. We also represent our clients in cargo claims matters whether arising out of a vehicle accident or other event.

The need for the motor carrier to have a zealous advocate on its side during the accident claim litigation process has never been more critical. Too many attorneys treat claims brought against motor carriers as "just another accident claim." The Scopelitis firm is aware that motor carrier accident claims create very different and often complex issues that are not present in the typical auto accident claim. For example, plaintiff attorneys often rely on DOT regulations, particularly with regard to hours of service and driver qualification files, as a means to imply that the carrier and its driver have committed negligence. Yet, because of our in-depth understanding of the regulations, we recognize the limitations of such allegations and know the proper defenses.

Throughout the accident litigation process, we keep our clients thoroughly advised of possible resolutions to the claim. Sometimes an alternative dispute resolution setting, such as mediation or arbitration, is the answer. Structured settlements are appropriate in some cases. Other times, the best possible action is trial. Regardless of the setting, our clients know we will use our strong advocacy skills and creative thinking to pursue the best possible result.

We also represent clients in advancing their subrogation interests and have developed a substantial practice representing motor carriers on excess, punitive damage, or otherwise uninsured claims. Such claims require zealous protection of the carrier's interests to eliminate or minimize uninsured exposure, and we are well prepared to serve that function.

When a major cargo claim occurs, it is important to have attorneys who understand the multitude of issues, including Carmack Amendment standards of liability, claims handling regulations, cargo insurance issues, and released rate applicability, that often arise in a cargo claim. We represent motor carriers, shippers, property brokers, and cargo insurers in handling loss and damage claims both expediently and economically.

To ensure that we stay abreast of changes and new developments in the cargo claim area, we actively participate in a number of transportation-related associations, including the Transportation Loss Prevention and Security Association, Transportation Lawyers Association, American Trucking Associations, National Tank Truck Carriers Conference, and Transportation Consumer Protection Council. Our participation in these various organizations provides our attorneys with invaluable resources and the ability to recommend or obtain "transportation-experienced" local counsel in every state as well as Canada and Mexico.