FMCSA Audit Could Create New Challenges for PI Attorneys
NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may soon be facing an audit of its programs and oversight capabilities that could uncover some serious flaws in the agency's regulation of the trucking industry. Since many personal injury lawyers rely on the FMCSA's regulations and ratings to establish when trucking companies may have been negligent, any problems that are uncovered in this audit could have significant repercussions on how truck accident lawyers build and litigate their cases in the future.
The audit, which has yet to be approved by the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, has been recommended by officials at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). This recommendation was specifically made in the wake of four fatal truck accidents that collectively killed 25 people and injured 83 others within the past year.
The NTSB Investigation
According to officials at the NTSB, "safety deficiencies and noted red flags had been present [at the responsible trucking companies] prior to the crashes." While the red flags went unnoticed by FMCSA officials in some cases, in others, the FMCSA had noted the red flags but failed to take action to rectify them. In fact, in their preliminary investigations, NTSB officials had found that, in some cases, trucking companies that had been operating poorly and had been violating numerous federal regulations were given "Satisfactory" ratings and allowed to keep operating – and to ultimately be responsible for causing fatal truck accidents.
Some of the specific red flags that were uncovered by the NTSB's investigations into the four trucking companies responsible for the above-mentioned fatal accidents included:
- Hours-of-service violations (including falsifying trucking logs and keeping two logs)
- Use of tires not rated for highway operation
- Defective brakes
- Failing numerous roadside vehicle inspections.
These findings have led NTSB officials to question the "thoroughness and quality" of the FMCSA's compliance reviews and to question the agency's methods of only focusing on a discrete sector of trucking carriers' operations.
Is the FMCSA Living Up to Its Mission?
In one of our recent blogs1, we raised similar questions regarding the FMCSA's performance and whether it's living up to its stated purpose of "saving lives and reducing injuries by preventing and minimizing the severity of truck and bus crashes." While that discussion had found that the FMCSA's efforts had led to a reduction in the number of fatal truck accidents that have occurred over the past decade, those numbers were generated by the FMCSA – not a third party – and, as a result, could be suspect.
As a possible FMCSA audit threatens to take a tough look at the agency's policies and practices, Case Funding will continue reporting on how this audit could affect federal trucking regulations and oversight, as well as personal injury lawyers and their clients.
Case Funding Provides Financial Support to Uninsured Motor Vehicle Accident Victims
We offer medical and surgical funding programs to assist car and truck wreck victims who don't have adequate health insurance to pay for medical procedures relating to injuries sustained in their automobile accident. Leveraging its existing medical funding programs and its sponsorship of Association of Plaintiffs Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA), Case Funding Inc. has been able to provide financial support to a growing population of motor vehicle accident victims and their families in desperate need of medical care.
"Case Funding is providing a very important service to the clients of our membership – one that is not available to them now and is desperately needed," according to Dan Ramsdell, founder and president of APITLA. "We are thrilled to have Case Funding Inc. as one of our premier sponsors".
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were 5,338,000 police-reported traffic accidents and 2,217,000 traffic related injuries in the US and 32,367 traffic-related fatalities, which is a 2 percent decrease from 2010. 89 people died each day in motor vehicle accidents each day on average.
Case Funding Inc. can provide financing to uninsured or underinsured accident victims that can be to pay for medical care relating to injuries sustained in their motor vehicle, car and truck accident.
"We are proud of the fact that we help individuals get the medical care they need," proclaims Richard Silverstein President and CEO of Case Funding Inc. "We have been able to help out hundreds of individuals since we began this program and the list is growing every day."
Through Case Funding's work with APITLA and it lawyer membership base, more victims have become aware of it services and more sufferers have been assisted.
For more information, visit www.casefunding.com or call Leon Branam at 888 796-7594.
SOURCE Case Funding Inc.