To ensure all rules and regulations are being followed, and safety precautions are being met, truck drivers are required to retain daily driver logbooks. Without these records, drivers and their employers can lose track of how many hours they have been driving, or how many breaks they have taken, and for how long. When a driver loses track, he or she may drive while being too tired to maneuver safely, or forget to make important maintenance inspections, leading to serious collisions. The Miami truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can examine these logs, help figure out the cause of a crash, and pursue proper legal action against those responsible. Our firm is dedicated to making sure victims of motor vehicle collisions pursue the compensation to which they may be entitled for their injuries.Pursuing Damages from a Negligent Commercial Driver
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets federal regulations for people and entities operating trucks in interstate commerce. Under these rules, drivers are required to keep daily logs to keep track of their hours of service. Logbooks may be checked by inspectors authorized by the government to ensure requirements are being met. If a driver is found to have violated book regulations or hour requirements, punishment might include a fine or even the revocation of a commercial license.
The FMCSA requires drivers to complete logbook pages for each day in which they drive a commercial vehicle, as well as for the seven days before that, subject to some exceptions. These logs must detail a driver’s activities and the locations visited during a day. Drivers and their companies may have incentives to falsify logbooks, which is not only illegal but also dangerous because it encourages fatigued drivers to stay on the road. These violations may involve a driver who fails to take rest breaks after 11 or more hours, or operates a vehicle for over 60 or 70 hours in a workweek. Logbooks are meant to ensure truck drivers operate their vehicles safely, protecting their own health as well as the safety of others on the road. When these violations cause injuries, those responsible should be held accountable.
When drivers, either independently or with encouragement by their employer, willfully violate logbook rules, and accidents occur, they may be held liable for the injuries that result. Logbook violations can be used to show drivers fell below a standard of care when operating their vehicles. This duty of care is owed to everyone on the road, and it requires using the same degree of precaution that a reasonable person would use in the same situation when operating a motor vehicle. A reasonable person would be expected to comply with federal regulations such as logbook requirements, recognizing their importance to protecting public safety.
If a truck accident victim can show that a driver or company breached this duty, such as by driving while exhausted after incorrectly filling out a logbook, he or she next would need to establish that the breach directly caused the collision. It must have been a reasonably foreseeable result of the driver getting behind the wheel while overly fatigued. Damages that may be available to victims often include medical expenses, the costs of future treatment, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. In many situations, even if the trucking company did not act negligently, it may be held liable for the negligence of its employee through the theory of vicarious liability.Discuss Your Truck Accident Case with a Miami Lawyer
Collisions involving large commercial vehicles can cause serious, life-altering injuries, and they may sometimes even be fatal. The Miami truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are dedicated to ensuring that victims and their families assert their legal rights while they focus on healing. Our motor vehicle collision lawyers are experienced in examining evidence, finding out what caused an accident, and pursing the at-fault parties accordingly. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck crash, call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. We also represent people in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and other cities in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as throughout South Florida.