Commercial trucks and other vehicles are required to have a working electronic
logging device (ELD) on board. These devices record a number of data points
about a vehicle, including how long it’s been driven for, the hours
in which it was turned on and off, speed while traveling, and more. There
are numerous reasons for this, including enforcing regulations and submitting
logs when asked by inspection stations. However, this data could also
have a significant effect on your case should you ever be involved in
an accident with a commercial vehicle carrying one of these recorders.
Trucking Regulations & Liability
There is a very good reason for all of the rules and operating procedures
that commercial vehicles must follow, particularly when it comes to trucks.
These gigantic behemoths require an immense amount of training and care
to operate safely, and drivers must be rested and alert in order to maintain
this duty of care to other drivers on the road.
However, with drivers under pressure to get their payloads to their destination
as quickly as possible, many will often push these rules as far as they
can. This leads to tired drivers behind the wheel who can lose focus,
and potentially cause a serious accident. Therefore, drivers who violate
these regulations are not only subject to penalties under law, but could
also be held liable in the event they cause a serious accident. For this
reason, you and your lawyer will likely want to get ahold of this log
data as soon as possible to start looking for any violations that may
have potentially contributed to the accident that caused your injuries.
Obtaining Restraining Orders to Protect Evidence
In the past, paper logs were used to keep track of operation information,
but they were not always accurate and in some cases drivers were not as
diligent as necessary with keeping them. When inspection time came, truck
drivers would often fill in missing information with false info that appeared
legal just to pass inspection. As a result, drivers would be on the road
while tired and cause accidents, and few violators were ever caught. Likewise,
when accidents occurred, it wasn’t uncommon for the logbooks with
these records to just mysteriously “disappear” or “become
damaged” as a result of the accident, removing potentially major
evidence in support of your claim.
Thus, later this year, all vehicles will be required to have an ELD installed
and operational (with the exception of a few who have older but similar
technology). In theory, these records will be harder to erase or modify
and drivers will be required to adhere to standards more stringently since
the device begins recording as soon as the truck turns on. However, the
risk still stands that the information could rather easily “disappear”
after a truck accident, particularly if it contains evidence that greatly
helps your case.
Trucking companies will often send accident investigation teams to scenes
quickly, sometimes within hours of the accident occurring, and these teams
will often recover the onboard recorder data right away. Once this happens,
it’s not uncommon for data to magically “disappear”
or “become corrupted,” rendering it useless as evidence in
your favor. How can you prevent this? You should speak with a Fort Worth
truck accident attorney as soon as possible, who can petition the court
for a restraining order to prevent the loss of evidence. If done quickly,
this can prevent the accident team from removing or destroying accident
wreckage and stop them from destroying the log files, which could show
the other driver was at fault because of speeding, fatigue, or one of
a number of other factors.
Law Office of James M. Stanley may be able to help! Since 1976, our team of skilled Fort Worth truck
accident attorneys have fought tirelessly to protect the rights of truck
accident victims in order to get them the results they deserve. We firmly
believe each of our clients deserves a powerful ally on their side when
they have been injured through someone else’s negligence, and our
team can provide you with exceptional knowledge and proven ability so
you can rest and recover while knowing your best interests are in capable hands.
Call us today and schedule your
free case evaluation! Dial 817-591-4222.