One of the easiest things you can do to improve freight claim recovery is to take a couple minutes to ensure that the bill of lading is accurate.
After loading, when the driver hands you the bill of lading to sign, check for a note that says “Shipper’s Load and Count”, “SL&C” or “SLAC”. This note means that the shipper counted the packages and loaded the shipment, and the carrier was not present during loading to verify the count and condition of the shipment. This notation protects the carrier from liability for shortages or damages when they were not able to check the initial condition or amount of cargo.
However, if your driver was present during loading, make sure that he doesn’t sign the bill of lading with any of these notations. This will release the carrier from any liability for shortages or damages by stating that the driver wasn’t present (even if he was).
More importantly, if the driver adds anything to the freight bill that isn’t true or you don’t agree with, don’t sign it. It could save you a lot of trouble later.