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Texas Logbook Violation Truck Accident Lawyer

Texas Logbook Violation Truck Accident Lawyer

texas truck accident lawyers merritt and merritt attorneys

Texas Logbook Violation Truck Accident Attorney

Have You Been in a Texas Truck Accident Due to Logbook Violations?

Truck drivers are required by federal law to maintain accurate logbooks that record how long they spend behind the wheel. Failing to keep an accurate logbook or other related issues can be powerful evidence of negligence if you are injured in a truck accident. Unfortunately, this evidence may only be obtainable with a lawyer. If you have been injured in a truck accident, a logbook violation truck accident lawyer from our firm can obtain the driver’s logbook and help you get any other evidence you may need. Call the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm today at 1-800-738-93946.

Hours of Service Limitations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) adopts and implements various laws designed to regulate the trucking industry in order to guard the safety of other motorists. These regulations cover a wide variety of matters, but one of the most important areas concerns the number of hours that drivers may spend behind the wheel of their trucks. Federal regulations limit drivers’ hours of service as follows:

  • Drivers may spend only 11 hours driving during any 14-hour time period, and only if they were off duty for 10 hours prior to the 14-hour time period. The 14-hour time period begins when the driver does any work, even if they aren’t driving.
  • Drivers are limited to spending only 60 hours on duty every 7 days, or 70 hours on duty for every 8 days.

The driver’s logbook should contain a detailed breakdown of the time they spent on and off duty, the total time they spent driving, the time they spent on breaks, and the time they spent sleeping. Failing to keep a log book is a strong indication that negligence may have played a role in your accident, and you should contact a logbook violation truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

No Logbook is a Violation of Federal Law

Federal regulations require that drivers keep a logbook, and failure to do so is a violation. A missing logbook could suggest that the driver in your accident had been on the road far longer than they should have.

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

Traditionally, logbooks were paper books in which drivers entered their time by hand. In December of 2017, however, the FMCSA implemented a new regulation requiring trucking companies to use ELDs. As a result, failing to use an ELD can itself be a violation, even if the driver continues to use a paper logbook. There are exceptions to this requirement:

  • Drivers who operate under the “short haul” exceptions
  • Drivers who use paper logbooks for no more than 8 days out of every 30-day period
  • Drivers of trucks manufactured prior to 2000

An experienced logbook violation truck accident lawyer will be able to determine whether any of these exceptions apply to your case.

Falsifying Logbook Entries

Another common violation is falsifying logbook or ELD entries. While drivers can make innocent mistakes, intentionally entering inaccurate information into the logbook is usually done to hide the fact that the driver has spent longer on the road than they should have.

Inaccurate or Incomplete Logbooks

Drivers are required to ensure that the entries in their logbooks are accurate and complete. Failing to ensure that the logbook is up to date and accurate is a violation of federal law.

Logbook Violations Are a Serious Matter

Drivers and trucking companies who have violated logbook regulations can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. If they have two prior convictions for logbook violations, a subsequent logbook violation is a felony offense.

While your injury claim is independent of any criminal charges, a conviction for logbook violations could be powerful evidence to support your case.

Can the Trucking Company Be Held Liable for Logbook Violations?

The short answer to this question is yes, trucking companies may be held liable for logbook violations. Generally speaking, trucking companies can be held liable for the actions of their employees, including keeping an inaccurate logbook.

The reality is, however, that many drivers complain that they are encouraged or even required to falsify their logbooks by their employers. This is so that they can meet unrealistic delivery schedules or allow trucking companies to hire fewer drivers than they truly need.

How a Logbook Violation Can Affect Your Truck Accident Claim

The fact that there is a logbook violation is not sufficient to prove your case. In order to prevail, you have to prove two things:

  1. That the truck driver or trucking company was negligent in some way; and
  2. That their negligence caused the accident that resulted in your injuries.

Logbook violations do not cause accidents. However, a logbook violation can serve as evidence that the driver was on the road longer than they should have been. Driving while fatigued is one of the most common causes of truck accidents as it impairs the driver’s reflexes and cognitive abilities. If you suspect the truck driver involved in your accident was driving while fatigued, a logbook violation can help you prove your case.

How Do I Know the Driver Committed a Logbook Violation?

You should anticipate that the trucking company will withhold the logbook from your review. As a result, it may be virtually impossible for you to know whether there was a logbook violation at the time your accident occurred.

This is one of the reasons why you should contact a truck accident attorney if you have been injured in a truck accident. They can take steps to ensure that the logbook is not altered or destroyed so that they can obtain a copy and review it.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Talk to a Logbook Texas Truck Accident Lawyer at Merritt & Merritt Law Firm

We’ve been helping truck accident victims get the compensation they deserve since 1973. We know the federal trucking regulations and how they will apply to your case, allowing us to build strong claims that get results. Let us help you hold the driver and the trucking company accountable for their negligence – contact us today by calling 1-800-738-93946. We will schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.

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