March 01, 2022
Truck drivers have a huge responsibility when they’re operating their fully loaded, 80,000-pound vehicles. When you or a loved one is involved in a collision with a truck, you can face severe or even fatal injuries. If the truck accident can be linked to negligence by the truck driver, they or the trucking company may be liable for your injuries. You may be owed compensation from the liable party.
When you pursue compensation for your truck accident injuries, you’ll need evidence of the truck driver’s negligence. The truck driver’s travel log may be strong evidence of the truck driver’s negligent actions.
What Is a Travel Log?
A truck driver’s travel log is a record that a truck driver is required to maintain about their driving and work. The travel log contains details about the driver’s travel for every 24 hour period. The truck driver records the distance they traveled, the locations they stopped in, and the number of hours they drove, rested, and took a break. The travel log also contains identifying information such as the truck or license plate number of any truck they drove, shipping information and details about the truck’s cargo (if applicable), and the carrier(s) the truck driver was working for. Truck drivers should also detail any abnormal events that happened, such as poor road conditions or inclement weather.
Why Is a Truck Driver’s Travel Log Important?
The truck driver’s travel log is primarily important because it documents the truck driver’s adherence or violation of the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the government agency that regulates and oversees the trucking industry. Their purpose is to reduce the incidence of truck accidents to help ensure the safety of truck drivers and the public.
One of their most important regulations is the hours of service regulation. The regulation states the hours of service (HOS) that truck drivers can work in any 24-hour period. The following are some of the limits to which truck drivers must adhere:
- No more than 11 hours of driving without spending ten consecutive hours off-duty
- After every eight hours of driving, the truck driver has to take a 30-minute, non-driving break
- After ten consecutive off-duty hours, the truck driver can’t drive after the 14th hour of being on duty
The hours of service regulation is in place because of the risk that truck drivers working excessive hours can place on the public. An overworked truck driver will likely be fatigued. It’s well-researched that fatigue can cause the same effects as alcohol or drug intoxication. So, just as a drunk or otherwise intoxicated driver can cause a serious accident, so, too, can a fatigued truck driver.
The truck driver’s travel log should contain a by-the-hour detail of the trucker’s duties, including time driving, resting, and off-duty. If the travel log shows that the truck driver violated the FMCSA’s hours of service rule, it could prove the truck driver was fatigued and, therefore, likely to be liable for the crash.
Who Is Liable for My Truck Accident Injuries?
If a negligent truck driver caused the accident and your injuries, they may be liable for the accident. The negligent driver may not be the party that has to compensate you, however. The truck driver’s employer would be liable for compensating you. Employers are required by the government to carry insurance policies on their truck drivers. The amount of coverage varies with the type and weight of the cargo.
This means that you would file a personal injury claim with the insurance company for the truck driver’s employer. Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers will neg
otiate with the insurance company on your behalf for you to be fully compensated for your injuries. If the insurance company doesn’t offer you full compensation, then we can pursue a lawsuit against the truck driver’s employer. The culmination of the lawsuit will likely be a trial. A judge or jury will decide whether to award you compensation for your injuries and the amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
In some cases, it may be determined that the truck accident was due to a truck malfunction or dangerous road conditions. Again, the truck driver’s employer could be liable if they were responsible for maintaining the truck. The truck manufacturer could also be liable for a defective truck part.
Contact Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers for a Dedicated Truck Accident Lawyer
The Valparaiso truck accident lawyers of Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you pursue compensation if a truck driver’s actions caused you severe injury in a truck accident. Call us today at (219) 286-7361 to schedule a free consultation.