ATAA Applauds OIG Investigation Into Truck Driver Medical Fraud
WASHINGTON, D.C. (TruckingNewsNow.com) — The federal investigation into medically unsafe truck drivers just launched by the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General is strongly supported by the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys — a more than 500 member non-profit organization of legal professionals dedicated to trucking safety.
“I applaud the OIG decision to look into this critical safety issue,” said Atlanta truck crash Attorney Joe Fried, co-founder of the ATAA. “Driving a commercial truck is demanding and it is important for everyone on the highways and all of their loved ones that commercial drivers meet minimum medical qualifications. Unfortunately, we have seen too many cases where people were killed and maimed by drivers who circumvented the medical qualification rules.”
“I hope that this investigation results in helping insure only medically qualified truck drivers are on the road, which will save lives,” adds Ohio-based truck crash Attorney Michael Leizerman, also co-founder of the ATAA.
The Office of the Inspector General’s investigation is focusing on doctors who fraudulently certify truck drivers as being medically safe, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s oversight of its medical certificate program, and how the FMCSA validates information in its “National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.”
According to the FMCSA’s own data, fatal truck crashes involving large trucks or buses grew from 4,397 in 2012 to 4,879 in 2017. That represents an 11 percent increase.
“One key area of addressing motor carrier safety,” wrote Barry DeWeese, Assistant Inspector General for Surface Transportation Audits, “is to ensure that commercial drivers maintain a valid medical certificate which confirms they are healthy enough to safely operate the commercial vehicle.”
Questionable certifications have long been an issue.
“Unscrupulous companies and drivers can essentially ‘buy’ their certificate from unscrupulous or uninformed medical examiners,” adds Attorney Fried. “You don’t even have to be a medical doctor to perform the examination. Even a Chiropractor can do it.”
The ATAA supports the federal audit which is now under way.
ABOUT THE ACADEMY OF TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS (ATAA)
The Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys is a more than 500 member non-profit organization of truck safety attorneys and legal professionals dedicated to truck and highway safety. Founded by nationally renowned trial attorneys Michael Leizerman and Joe Fried, the ATAA’s members represent clients injured or killed in crashes involving tractor trailers. On the web: AcademyOfTruckAccidentAttorneys.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: For interviews with ATAA medical safety experts, contact Colton Legal Media at 877-484-461.