The main reason a truck driver falsifies the log books is to make more money. Many drivers are paid by the mile or by the load. Therefore, the faster they cover those miles and deliver those loads, the more money they earn. 

Furthermore, truck drivers may need to wait several hours for loading and unloading cargo. That time counts toward the maximum hours they can work without breaks or rest. For many truck drivers, unloading and loading time is not paid time. 

Truck drivers may also want to get home faster. The sooner they finish their haul, the sooner they can spend time with their family. Unfortunately, the desire to be home can push some truck drivers to exceed driving limits.

Unrealistic Delivery Schedules for Truck Drivers 

In addition to personal reasons, job insecurity can cause truck drivers to falsify driving records. 

Trucking companies set unrealistic delivery schedules for their drivers. Again, the faster a load is delivered, the more money the trucking company, shipper, and receiver earn. 

Therefore, truck drivers feel immense pressure to make deliveries because their job depends upon it. Instead of being fired, they drive longer hours to meet delivery deadlines.

Federal Regulations for Hours of Service for Commercial Truck Drivers

Commercial truck drivers who operate across state lines are subject to the FMCSA hours of service regulations. These regulations set maximum driving limits for a truck driver. Examples of these regulations include, but are not limited to:

  • 11-hour driving limit after ten continuous hours off duty
  • 14-hour driving limit after the 14th consecutive hour coming on duty
  • 30- minute break after driving for eight continuous hours
  • Maximum of 60 hours of driving in a seven-day period and 70 hours of driving in an 8-day period
  • Driving periods restart after taking 34 or more continuous hours off duty

The purpose of the driving limits is to reduce the number of drowsy and fatigued truck accidents. Driving long hours can be exhausting. A fatigued or drowsy truck driver is more likely to make driving errors or engage in risky driving behaviors. 

Injuries Caused by Fatigued Truck Drivers 

When a truck driver falsifies the log book to drive extra hours, the truck driver could cause a semi-truck accident. Because of the size and weight of a tractor-trailer, the potential for life-threatening conditions and catastrophic injuries increase. Roughly 70% of the people killed or injured in large truck accidents are people in other vehicles. 

Common injuries sustained in fatigued truck accidents include:

  • Spinal cord and back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Severe burns and disfigurement
  • Loss of limbs and amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Internal organ damage or failure
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Neck injuries

People who survive large truck accidents sustain permanent impairments and disabilities. If they return to work, they may not earn as much money as before the accident. Some victims sustain lifelong cognitive impairments and emotional disorders because of a commercial truck crash.

Who is Liable for a Truck Accident When a Truck Driver Falsified Log Books?

Truck drivers and trucking companies may face federal criminal charges for falsifying log books. However, they may also be sued in civil court for damages caused by a fatigued truck accident. 

The types of damages that may be paid in a truck accident case include:

  • Your past and future medical bills, including surgeries, physicians, diagnostic tests, therapies, and medication
  • The cost of personal care and in-home nursing care
  • Your loss of income, including benefits, diminished earning capacity, and future lost wages
  • Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries
  • Disabilities, impairments, and disfigurement 
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of and enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death damages

Semi-truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries, including TBIs, spinal cord injuries, and amputations. The value of damages generally increases as the severity of the injuries increase. 

Using Log Books and Other Evidence to Prove Fault for a Truck Accident in Fort Worth

Before receiving any money from the trucking company and other liable parties, you must prove that the truck driver caused the truck crash. Proving causation, fault, and liability require evidence. 

Evidence that our legal team gathers to prove you did not cause the crash include:

  • Copies of the driver’s log books and records
  • Data from the truck’s black box recorder
  • Maintenance and repair records for the truck and trailer
  • Videos of the truck accident captured by surveillance cameras, dash cams, and traffic cameras
  • Photographs and physical evidence from the accident scene
  • Statements from the drivers, passengers, and eyewitnesses
  • Expert opinions from accident reconstructionists and accident investigators
  • Accident reports and reports from the FMCSA and other investigatory agencies

Our legal team works to build the case against the truck driver and other liable parties. Parties that could be named as defendants in a truck accident lawsuit include the trucking company, shippers, loaders, truck manufacturers, repair shops, and other parties who contributed in any way to the cause of the crash.Your first step after a truck accident is to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Then, talk with a truck accident lawyer in Fort Worth to protect your right to fair compensation for truck accident injuries.

Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420-7000