A driver logbook keeps track of the amount of time spent on duty, off duty and driving. It may help establish negligence when pursuing compensation for injuries caused by a truck accident.
How a Truck Driver Logbook Can Help an Accident Claim
Federal regulations determine how much time a driver can spend behind the wheel of a large truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces these regulations, known as the hours-of-service rules. To keep track of location and time spent both off and on duty, drivers use a logbook.
If the driver violates the hours of service rules, the logbook may help prove this. For instance, a trucker carrying property cannot drive more than 11 hours after spending 10 hours off duty, and may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty. If the logbook confirms the driver violated this or other rules, this could help establish that the driver was fatigued and liable for the accident.
One of the problems with record keeping is that the driver or the trucking company may fabricate or alter the information. This is true whether it's a paper logbook or an electronic onboard recording device. But other types of evidence could help show the length of time a driver was on the road.
For instance, if the driver had to check in at a particular destination such as a warehouse for unloading, this could help establish a time. Receipts from gas stations and records from a weigh station are other examples that could help prove a violation.
If you believe that fatigue or other factors indicating truck driver negligence led to a crash, it's important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. The trucking company must keep logbooks for a certain period of time. An attorney can help preserve that evidence by sending a letter of spoliation, which prevents them from altering, hiding or destroying relevant records.
Call the Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg for help filing a claim against a trucking company: 304-931-4088.