Truck drivers are often required to spend long, arduous hours behind the wheel in order to increase profits for the truck companies that employ or contract them. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established hours of service regulations by which truck drivers are legally obligated to abide, many drivers exceed these limits because they are concerned about making deliveries on time. Sometimes, truck companies pressure their drivers to exceed the hours they are legally allowed to work in order to make more deliveries and improve their bottom lines.
When truck drivers exceed hours of service regulations, they can become fatigued, which can in turn lead to devastating collisions. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be left with medical bills, lost wages, and damaged property, and likely experienced pain and suffering. You could also receive compensation for these and other damages, if you can prove that the driver and/or their employer was legally liable for the collision.
Trucking logs are an important piece of evidence that can be used to demonstrate liability for a truck accident, as they may reveal whether a truck driver exceeded the legal hours of service limits. However, gathering this evidence may require the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
At Breit Law PC, our truck accident attorney has the knowledge and resources to investigate the accident, gather vital evidence to prove liability, document the damages you have suffered, and aggressively pursue compensation from the at-fault party or parties. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.
How A Trucking Log Can Be Used As Evidence
Trucking logs can provide valuable insight into why an accident occurred, since they detail the hours that the truck driver in question worked each day and each week, as well as the amount of time they took off work between workdays.
Commercial carriers are legally obligated to maintain written logs for both long- and short-haul trips. If the trucking logs show that a truck driver exceeded their hours of service limits, they could be used to demonstrate that driver fatigue was to blame for the crash.
A trucking log contains a range of information that may help your truck accident attorney prove liability, such as:
- Driving hours per day – Commercial truck drivers are permitted to drive no more than 11 hours at a time after 10 consecutive hours off. Drivers are also required to take a 30-minute break once they have been behind the wheel for 8 consecutive hours.
- Driving hours per week – Truck drivers may not drive more than 60 hours within seven consecutive days, or 70 hours within eight consecutive days.
- Time off work – Drivers must take at least 34 hours off between these driving periods of seven or eight consecutive days.
- Miles driven within the past 24 hours – While the FMCSA does not place limits on the number of miles a truck operator may drive in a 24-hour window, the administration’s hour caps combined with local speed limits effectively do. A discrepancy between the driver’s logs and the truck’s odometer could prove that the driver or their employer was violating FMCSA’s hours of service regulations and covering their tracks.
- Driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) – In most instances, a driver must conduct a daily inspection of their can and trailer and submit those reports with their carrier upon return. These DVIRs can provide valuable information about the state of the vehicle prior to a collision.
It is imperative that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible after a truck accident, as truck companies will sometimes attempt to alter or falsify these logs in order to avoid liability for an accident.
In addition to the written trucking logs, your attorney will seek records from the truck’s ELD, or electronic logging device, which automatically documents how much time a truck driver spends behind the wheel. The ELD may also provide other evidence of truck driver negligence, such as speeding.
Contact A Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Virginia, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact the seasoned truck accident lawyer at Breit Law PC as soon as possible to discuss your case. If the accident was the result of negligence, it is crucial that we collect trucking logs and other valuable evidence of fault as quickly as possible.
Our attorney has what it takes to help you pursue the compensation you need. Reach out to us today for your free consultation.