Trucking negligence cases are much different than automobile collisions because truck drivers, who operate vehicles that weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, are held to much higher standards that the average driver. Since commercial drivers are required to meet stricter standards than private drivers, what might not be a mistake for a private motorist often is a serious breach of standards for a commercial driver.
Truck drivers and their employers are subject to rigorous regulations and reporting requirements under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Time records often must be kept. Maintenance inspections must be done regularly, and “pre-trip inspections” before most runs. Commercial drivers are required to meet stricter standards of driving safety. What might be excusable for private driver often is negligence for a commercial driver.
Again, fast action is often the key to a good result for a client. Trucking companies are required to keep critical records such as time records for drivers, for only 180 days. Act fast, or lose that evidence. Some examples from our practice of documents obtained by acting fast:
+ A truck driver was found to have two sets of books for time records: one for being paid and the other for “meeting” federal rest requirements.
+ In a case with no independent witnesses, the truck driver’s story was severely undercut by records showing that he was on probation for discipline issues and would be fired if he got into any more trouble.