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.
The 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.