Truck accident lawsuits in New York are often more complicated than cases involving only passenger vehicles. Part of the reason for this added complexity is the amount of evidence available when a commercial truck is involved in a wreck. Any vehicle accident lawsuit will involve witness statements, photographs, police reports, and data stored in the vehicles’ computers. Another crucial piece of evidence in a truck accident is the truck driver’s logbook. Obtaining the logbook can provide your truck accident lawyer with information essential to understanding your crash.
Truck Drivers and Log Requirements
Truckers must keep an electronic or paper log recording their service hours. A driver may keep a paper log as opposed to an electronic log if:
- The driver only travels within a 150-mile radius of their primary work location
- The truck’s model year is pre-2000
- The driver is hauling away the truck in question or driving it away as part of a hauling or towing operation
- The driver keeps changes in their record of duty status for eight or fewer days out of 30 days
Otherwise, the driver will keep an electronic logbook. When investigating your accident lawsuit, your truck accident lawyer will subpoena the data from this logbook.
Information Contained in a Truck Driver’s Logbook
A logbook must contain information about the truck driver’s activities behind the wheel. This information includes the following details:
Changes in Duty Status
The logbook will first record changes in the driver’s duty status, from on-duty to off-duty. Federal law mandates that drivers not drive more than 14 consecutive hours without being off-duty for at least ten consecutive hours. Drivers are supposed to stop driving after the eleventh consecutive hour.
In addition, drivers must take at least a 30-minute break after driving for eight consecutive hours. Truck drivers do not need to change their duty status to take this break, but they may do so.
Evidence from the logbook will show whether the truck driver abided by these federal requirements. If they did not, it could suggest that the driver was exhausted and in no shape to continue driving at the time of the crash.
Times, Dates, and Locations
When recording changes in duty status, the logbook will also record where the change occurred and at what time. The locations reflected in the logbook can be important as well. A driver who covers a large amount of roadway in a short period is either falsifying their log or exceeding the speed limit. It could be evidence of negligence that your truck accident lawyer could use to support your case.
Contact the Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC, for Assistance
When you need legal help filing a lawsuit and obtaining compensation following a trucking accident, look no further than the Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC. We know which types of evidence you need to prevail, and we know how to build a strong case.
Contact us after a truck accident, and ask for a free, no-obligation case consultation with the team of seasoned attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC.