Trucking companies must keep truck drivers’ hours of service records for at least six months, as per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. It’s a federal law. At the six-month mark, carriers can destroy and dispose of the records.
What This Law Can Mean for Truck Accident Victims
When a truck driver causes an accident, some unscrupulous trucking companies might “misplace” records like hours of service records.
If they lose or destroy hours of service records, they are in violation of §395.8(k)(1). The regulations state, “Each motor carrier shall maintain records of duty status and all supporting documents for each driver it employs for a period of six months from the date of receipt.” But after six months, these records may be gone forever.
An attorney can send a spoliation letter to the company. The letter essentially tells the company that a claim is in the works and that they must retain certain records until the conclusion of the case. Without this letter, it’s quite likely the company will destroy records after six months, and the victim will have insufficient evidence to win their claim.
Hours of Service Records Can Help a Truck Accident Claim
Information in a truck driver’s hours of service could make or break the case. It can be vital to winning an accident claim. Let’s say, for example, that the driver’s hours of service log shows the driver violated FMCSA rules by driving too many hours consecutively without taking a break. The courts may then determine that the driver’s potential tiredness and fatigue caused or contributed to the accident, and, therefore, the company will be liable for the accident.
Free Consult with a Truck Accident Attorney in Clarksburg
If you or your loved one were in a truck accident, call an injury attorney in Clarksburg. Contact the Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 today to set up a free consultation.