Due to the sheer size of commercial trucks, truck accidents in Georgia tend to result in serious injuries. For that reason, and others, a different set of regulations apply to trucks and truck drivers. These regulations are put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and apply to truckers and their employers. One such rule involves the use of a log book to document a truck driver’s activity.
Log books provide valuable information that can be used by victims to prove negligence after an accident. Sometimes, truckers or their employers falsify these records to cover up their actions. When this happens, you need the dedicated and experienced Smyrna, Georgia truck accident attorneys of Schneider Hammers.
Truck drivers put many hours and miles on the road while transporting goods. Their vehicles are large and heavy, meaning an accident significantly increases the risk of serious injury or death. The FMCSA recognizes that these drivers pose a different risk to the safety of others when compared to passenger vehicles. A driver could be susceptible to these and other common causes of truck accidents:
- Driver exhaustion and fatigue from long hours
- Use of alcohol, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs
- Speeding or other forms of unsafe driving
- Lack of focus and distracted driving
That’s one reason the log book exists. It documents the driver’s activities such as time driving and time spent in a sleeper berth. It also records how much break time the driver takes. The FMCSA stipulates the hours that a trucker can spend on the road, and the amount of rest they need. Using the log book, the driver documents whether he or she is in compliance with these regulations. Log book violations are serious. If uncovered, they could result in fines, license revocation, and other penalties.
Drivers can be tempted to falsify log books in order to appear in compliance with trucking regulations. It’s not unusual for them to pressured to do so by their employers, under threat of losing their jobs. But drivers know that log books can provide critical evidence concerning events leading up to truck accidents. That includes their own negligent behaviors. One of the first thing a Smyrna, Georgia trucking accident attorney will do is review this record.
An unscrupulous driver or employer may create “clean” logs to cover up driving hours violations. This can be done to make more money, since drivers are typically paid by the mile. In the event of an accident, it can be used to destroy critical evidence. Having the log book is absolutely essential to any claim involving a truck driving accident. A Smyrna, Georgia truck accident lawyer can assist in getting this record.
Proving that log book fraud has occurred is not easy. But using the process of discovery, your Smyrna, Georgia truck accident attorney can obtain the evidence needed. Forensics experts and others can be called upon in certain cases to review these and other records. If the log book turns out to be forged, it will go a long way in demonstrating negligence. However, the log book itself cannot be solely relied upon, even if fraud undoubtedly occurred. Other evidence will need to be examined in concert with it to determine what really happened.
Having the Right Truck Accident Attorney in Georgia Makes all the Difference
Truck accidents in Georgia can be catastrophic and result in significant medical bills and painful recovery. You need a truck accident law firm in Georgia who knows how to fight for the compensation you need. Schneider Hammers can help. We represent truck and accident victims throughout Georgia, and we will demand the justice you deserve. Give us a call today to speak with our team about your case.