Deadly Semi-Truck Accidents Caused by Truckers Falsifying Logs
Semi-truck driving is no simple matter. Prospective truckers do not simply get behind the wheel of a commercial tractor-trailer and start driving. Semi-truck driving required extensive training and certification due to the surprising difficulty that comes with maneuvering such a large vehicle that weighs several tons. The process of driving a semi-truck is often exhausting because of this which leads to a risk of semi-truck accidents caused by fatigue. In order to combat the risk of semi-truck driver fatigue causing accidents, federal regulations are in place to make sure semi-truck drivers can only drive for certain lengths of time before they must take mandatory breaks. Semi-truck drivers are expected to log their times so that their time driving is monitored but some drivers will falsify their times to drive longer than they should which puts drivers at risk.
Florida Commercial Tractor Trailer Accident Claims
Many people every year are severely hurt by semi-truck drivers that drive drowsy and cause severe accidents. The negligence of these drivers and other parties that contribute to a semi-truck accident occurring can make them liable in a semi-truck accident claim. These kinds of claims consist of an injured claimant attempting to restitution for damages accumulated because of accident injuries from the party responsible for the accident occurring through civil tort law. The claims process requires that a claimant name a party liable for their injuries and be able to prove that party’s negligence as well as the level of damage that the accident caused. The goal of a semi-truck accident claim is to reach a settlement with the defendant party so that both sides can avoid taking the matter to a long and costly trial. Negotiations can result in both party’s reaching an agreement of fair compensation or lack of settlement where the matter may go to trial where a jury will decide the matter of fair compensation.
Semi-truck accident claims are often high stakes cases where insurance companies will do everything in their power to reduce the value of a claim and payout as little as possible if they do not deny the claim altogether. They will call all hands on deck to deal with your claim and so should you. Consider enlisting the professional assistance of an expert firm such as Dolman Law Group. Our attorneys specialize in handling cases involving semi-truck accidents and have a long track record of successful cases that have recovered settlements our clients have been more than satisfied with. To schedule a free consultation with Dolman Law Group call our Clearwater office at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online.
Semi-Truck Driving Logs and Drive Length Regulation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations specify that truckers are required to take mandatory breaks after driving for 11 hours within a 14 hour period. This break must last no less than a full ten hours. In addition to this, truck drivers employed by carriers in “daily operation” may not work more than 70 hours within any period of 8 consecutive days. The hours of truck driver operation need to be recorded in a logbook by the driver in order for these regulations to be enforced by the FMCSA.
Some drivers will falsify their logs in order to drive much longer than regulations would typically allow. Semi-truck drivers are in high demand and the need for deadlines to be met by these truckers can lead to them taking these reckless actions. Some may simply falsify their logs for personal gain since more time on the road means more money. A trucking company may even request that a driver falsify their logs in order to advance their goals of moving more cargo faster by working drivers harder than they should.
The Consequences of Falsifying a Semi-Truck Driving Logbook.
When semi-truck drivers falsify their logbooks they put everyone on the road at risk because they are ignoring safety regulations put in place to reduce the risk of drowsy driving. When people drive drowsy or fatigued their driving abilities are significantly impaired. Many often compare driving drowsy to driving under the influence of alcohol. Both result in the deaths and severe injury of many people in car accidents and have very similar symptoms.
Driving drowsy or fatigued commonly results in the following impairments to a person’s driving abilities:
- Lowered perception
- Slower reflexes
- Reduced coordination
- Poor judgment skills
On top of all of these common effects of drowsy driving, there is also the threat of falling asleep at the wheel which is one of the most dangerous consequences of failing to take mandated rests while trucking. A semi-truck can easily veer into other lanes and crush vehicles, jackknife, rollover, and generally crash catastrophically even without first colliding with another vehicle on the road.
Seek an Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
If you believe that you may be entitled to damages, you should always seek the help of a truck accident lawyer. Because so many entities may be involved in a truck accident, the case is often quite complicated. In addition to the driver that may be responsible, the company the driver works for, the truck owner, the dispatcher and even the manufacturer of the cargo may be liable for some or all of the damages that you may be entitled to.
Each entity will most likely have his or her own attorney. As an example, a driver who works as an independent contractor and is driving for Company A will have his own attorney. The driver’s insurance company will also have an attorney. Since the driver leases the truck, the owner of the truck will have an attorney, as well as the owner’s insurance company. And, the company the driver is hauling for will have an attorney, as well as the company’s insurance company.
If you are in a truck accident or you lost a loved one in a truck accident, contact an experienced attorney can answer any additional questions you might have.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765