My name is Arlene, and two years ago, I was involved in a car accident that wasn't my fault. I had some injuries that required a hospital stay, and I was unable to return to work for several weeks. I didn't know how I was going to pay my bills, and it was very stressful for me. My friend told me that I needed to hire an accident and personal injury attorney so I could recover my lost wages and medical costs. I was so glad that I hired the attorney, and my stress level immediately went down. Through the attorney, I was able to get a settlement, and I was no longer in financial trouble. I am writing this blog to let everyone know the importance of hiring an attorney after an accident. It's my wish that this blog will help others who are in similar situations.
If you are working on building a personal injury case against a commercial truck driver due to an accident, make sure that your attorney requests access to their driving log book. All commercial truck drivers who have a commercial driving license or CDL are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to follow their strict service requirements. By requesting access to their log books, you can strengthen your case against the driver.
Truck Drivers Must Abide By Hours Of Service Set By FMCSA
Any commercial truck driver that is hauling non-passenger cargo has to follow the specific hours of service or HOS set by the FMCSA. The HOS set by the FMCSA were adapted to help ensure that tired drivers hauling large loads are not on the road compromising by their safety and the safety of fellow motorist.
Truck Drivers Must Keep Activity Logs
In order to ensure that drivers follow FMCSA regulations, all commercial truck drivers are required to keep up-to-date activity logs. Each day, they must write how many hours they have been actively on the road and how many hours they were off-duty. They need to make sure that the hours that they are actively working and rest meet FMCSA requirements.
HOS Rules For Commercial Truck Drivers
Truck drivers can only be on-duty, regardless of what actions they are performing for their job, for a total of fourteen hours a day before they have to take at least ten hours off in a row.
What they do during those fourteen hours is also regulated. Of the fourteen hours that they can work in a row, only ten of those hours can be spent behind the wheel of their vehicle. The other time is made up of getting gas, loading and unloading cargo, performing necessary minor maintenance on their truck, as well as taking bathroom and meal breaks. Taking a longer period of time off-duty does not allow the driver to then work for a longer period of time.
When off-duty between shifts, drivers must sleep at least 8 of the 10 hours they are required to have off. The other two required hours off can be spent however the driver would like.
How These Rules Impact Your Case
Make sure that you and your lawyer carefully reviews the driver's activity logs and make sure that they follow all FMCSA HOS requirements.
If you find any violation of the HOS requirements, that could strengthen your case. For example, if you see that the driver worked longer than they should have or didn't get enough rest, you could argue that fatigue contributed to the accident. You can also see if the driver has a history of not following HOS regulations and go after their employer for not discipline them. Requesting the commercial driver's log can strengthen your case, so be sure that your attorney requests access to this information. Go to site for more information.