One of the most frustrating parts of filing an Illinois truck accident lawsuit is that most trucking companies make it extremely difficult to obtain the necessary evidence against their drivers. In many cases of an Illinois truck accident, you aren’t necessarily filing a claim against the individual driver, but more often against the company with which they are contracted.
A Chicago truck accident lawyer can give you an advantage with your case in that they will know the kinds of evidence that will help your claim and also how to obtain that evidence.
Driver’s Record of Duty Status
Commercial truck drivers are required to keep a logbook detailing their working hours, breaks, and days off. This logbook can be a critical piece of evidence in your Illinois truck accident claim as it may show that the driver was susceptible to fatigue because of neglecting to take the adequate rest time.Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of Illinois truck accidents as it leads to distracted drivers and slow reaction times. The logbook will show if driver fatigue may have played a part in your Illinois truck accident, but only if you can obtain copies of these records. Generally, an individual will find it difficult to request copies of driver logbooks from a trucking company, especially if they are involved in an insurance claim against them.
An experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer will know the best way to approach the trucking company about obtaining their record of duty status from the involved driver.
In many cases, your attorney can file for release of these records by court order, as they are evidence in the discovery phase of your claim and critical to building your case.
Automatic On-board Recording Devices
Similar to a logbook, the automatic on-board recording device is the “black box” of the trucking rig. This device is required by many motor carriers and can sometimes replace a physical logbook for recording hours of service. Some devices record truck speed as part of their data logging which can sometimes be a major factor in determining the nature of the Illinois truck accident.
The data logs from these recording devices are similar to the logbook – many trucking companies are reluctant to release this information if it is potentially damaging to their defense against a claim involving their driver. Your Chicago truck accident lawyer can help you obtain this evidence and analyze it to see how it figures into your claim.
The logbook of a commercial truck driver is designed for the driver to record when they are actively driving, on break, at a rest stop or check point, or off-duty. While the main function of these records is for trucking companies to keep tabs on driver statistics related to pay and hour reporting, these records may also be used to show evidence of driver fatigue.
There are federal regulations that set guidelines for how many consecutive hours a commercial truck driver may drive before having to take a mandatory break. Unfortunately, many drivers neglect to follow these rules and push on, resulting in a higher chance of driver fatigue.
The danger of driver fatigue is that it can cause slowed reaction time and may cause truck accidents.Driver logbooks are unfortunately easily altered or miscalculated, and the use of electronic on-board recording devices has recently helped combat these inconsistencies.
The data from these two components of a truck driver’s reporting requirements is often used to determine the factors leading to a truck accident. If it is noted that the driver was traveling for inappropriate amounts of time and likely to be more fatigued, that can become evidence for your claim.If you are seeking to file an insurance claim for a trucking accident, you should know what kind of evidence you need for your claim.
Trucking companies are often reluctant to part with potential evidence, and our article can help you become familiar with obtaining evidence against a truck driver or company. Not all truck accident claims are filed against the driver alone; in many cases your claim will involve their employing company as well. An experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. will be able to help you obtain the proper evidence for your claim. Contact us today for a free case evaluation: 312-263-1080.