Legal Options if Injured by Truck Driver Who Falsified Logbooks
The need to keep accurate records of truck maintenance and usage is very important for truck drivers’ safety and the safety of other drivers. Sometimes the need to cut corners creates unnecessary risk and other people on the road usually pay the price. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you should reach out to an Ohio truck accident lawyer right away.
Trucking accidents are often far more complicated than collisions involving personal vehicles. When you are in an accident with another individual in their own vehicle, you know who to hold responsible and whose insurer you need to contact. However, neither the questions nor the answers following a truck accident are so simple. As the individual injured in a truck accident, you have the difficult task of determining what led to the crash, who is responsible, and how to best hold them accountable and recover compensation. This requires an in-depth investigation into the trucker’s background and actions leading up to the crash, the truck itself, and the truck driver and carrier’s records regarding hours of service and vehicle maintenance. Instead of taking on this difficult task yourself, a skilled Ohio trucking accident attorney with experience in these matters can take up the charge for you.
The logbooks and other trucking company data that your attorney obtains during the investigation process are particularly important, which is why your lawyer will thoroughly analyze them for accuracy. It is not uncommon to find truck drivers have falsified logbooks, which can throw off your investigation. If your lawyer finds logbooks containing inaccuracies, your lawyer may be able to use them as evidence of the driver’s negligence.
For more information on how to recover after a truck accident, contact the Ohio truck accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick and schedule a consultation. Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
The Importance of Logbooks
When you and your attorney are trying to figure out what caused the accident that led to your injuries and who is at fault, your lawyer will seek the driver’s logbooks. This is a legally required daily record of when the trucker was off duty, on duty, driving, and sleeping. While logbooks used to be kept with paper and pen, many carriers now use electronic logbooks now.
Logbooks are very important and may be crucial to your claim for compensation. They show when truckers are behind the wheel, which matters because the federal government strictly regulates the amount of time truckers are allowed to drive. Truck drivers can only drive a certain number of hours within a certain time period. For instance, passenger-carrying drivers are limited to driving up to 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off. Property-carrying drivers can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 hours consecutively off duty. Additionally, drivers must take rest breaks at certain intervals.
A trucker who does not follow these regulations is likely to drive when they are tired and increase the risk of an accident. The fact that a truck driver was behind the wheel when they should not have been and then falsified a logbook may be evidence that the driver was negligent on the road and caused your injuries.
Truckers and Carriers May Falsify Logbooks
If a truck driver uses paper logs, it can be easy to simply mark down inaccurate times and figures. Often truckers will mark down times that make it look like they slept more than they actually did. When a carrier uses electronic logs, inaccuracies may be created differently. A trucker may still be able to enter inaccurate data, but a carrier can also change information in the record on the backend.
Identifying Falsified Logbooks
Your attorney will attempt to verify the logbook data by comparing it to:
The truck’s black box data
Your attorney can compare the driver’s logbooks to the truck’s black box data, which can tell you when the truck was on and moving or off.
Your attorney can also seek the truck’s GPS data, which can tell you where the truck actually was and when.
The trucker may have traveled more miles than is physically possible during the time they logged.
Previous runs of the same trip
Many truckers make the same trips over and over. If one trip is significantly different than the others, your attorney can investigate why.
Truck driver, dispatcher, or carrier testimony
Your attorney may depose the truck driver and other relevant employees of the carrier to determine if the logs reflect their experiences.
Team drivers’ relevant logs
Some truckers move in teams. Your lawyer will ask for these logs to compare each record of the trip.
There may be witnesses that can indicate a trucker was driving when the driver says they were not.
Like witness testimony, video footage can prove a trucker was traveling when they noted in the log that they were off duty or sleeping.
Contact an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer Today
After you are hurt in an accident with a truck, you should contact a truck accident lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick as soon as possible. Investigating the cause of a truck accident takes experience in these matters and the know-how to obtain information a trucking company may not want to quietly hand over. Additionally, an experienced truck accident attorney understands the importance of verifying the accuracy of the data the carrier provides. At KNR, we will do all of this for you and more. Our priority is always to obtain you the most compensation possible for your injuries.