Proving Truck Driver Fatigue can be Complicated

Truck drivers travel our nation’s highways for hours after hours of long shifts, day after day.  Drivers often do not stop as much as they should for rest, so it should be no surprise that driver fatigue is a main reason for truck accidents.  Suspecting driver fatigue is one thing, but proving it in a court of law is quite another.  Experienced Clayton County trucking accident attorneys know the step-by-process for showing a judge or jury that a driver was fatigued, which increases your ability to recover and increases the amount of money you should receive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations on the trucking industry, especially how many consecutive hours a driver is allowed behind the wheel with no rest and how many breaks the driving should take each day.  There are tools to prove that a driver was fatigued at the time of the accident.  These include:

  • Requesting the driver’s log books for the previous six months from the date of the accident. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, the trucking company and driver can destroy the records after this time period. This is very important as once the logbooks are destroyed, proving fatigued driving or other violations can be very difficult to show.
  • Second, your attorney may need to hire a qualified consultant who has the expertise and technology to analyze the log books in detail. These qualified consultants, using specialized software, can determine if there were violations and if so, if those violations were intentional.
  • In addition to the log, you need to obtain and review all of the truck driver’s trip information like fuel receipts, toll receipts, loading and unloading receipts and even dispatch records. These important records can help show that the log books were falsified as they may reveal an entirely different time frame of driving hours than documented in the log books.

Securing the appropriate and necessary documentation can be complicated, and that is one reason why you should always contact an experienced trucking lawyer to handle your case in the proper manner.  If you have been in a trucking accident, call Shane Smith Law today at (980) 246-2656.

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