WHY IS EXPERIENCE IMPORTANT?
There are many pitfalls for lawyers who are inexperienced with accidents involving TRUCKS, TRACTOR-TRAILERS, and COMMERCIAL VEHICLES. These “pitfalls” do not exist in the “typical, everyday” motor vehicle accident case. By way of example, accidents involving TRUCKS, TRACTOR-TRAILERS, and COMMERCIAL VEHICLES are almost always governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which are complex federal laws governing every aspect of the commercial driver’s use of his vehicle.
One of these laws restricts the total number of hours a driver can be on the road during a seven-day period. Studies have shown that the vast majority of accidents involving TRUCKS, TRACTOR-TRAILERS, and COMMERCIAL VEHICLES are caused by “driver fatigue.” Therefore, all commercial over-the-road drivers are required to keep a Driver’s Record of Duty Status, which is a logbook recording all of the driver’s movements each day down to the minute. These records can be the most critical piece of evidence in a case involving a TRUCK, TRACTOR-TRAILER, or COMMERCIAL VEHICLE and it is not uncommon for a commercial truck driver to “FALSIFY” his logbook so he can drive beyond the maximum number of hours allowed by law. More information @ Truck Accident Attorneys San Antonio
PITFALLS FOR THE INEXPERIENCED
A pitfall an inexperienced attorney may fall into when attempting to obtain these log books occurs if the lawyer waits “too long” to file your lawsuit. Typically, in a “normal” personal injury car-wreck case, the injured party has one 2 years from the date of the accident within which to file their lawsuit. The same time limit will usually apply to accidents involving TRUCKS, TRACTOR-TRAILERS, and COMMERCIAL VEHICLES, however, rarely should an attorney wait that long to file your lawsuit. The reason comes from a review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which specifically allow trucking companies to DESTROY all of their records after six (6) months, including all of their driver’s logbooks. Therefore, if an inexperienced attorney waits more than six months after the date of your accident to file your lawsuit, it is almost guaranteed that the trucking company will have destroyed the logbooks relevant to your case by the time your attorney requests copies of them. When trucking companies destroy these logbooks, there is very little a court can or will do to the trucking company since the trucking company will always claim they are simply following federal law to the letter. If the driver’s logbooks have been falsified, you can bet the trucking company will destroy them on the very day the six month time period runs out, thereby preventing you from ever knowing the truth about the real cause of the accident.
The “logbook loophole” is only one example of the many possible pitfalls and loopholes that exist in these cases for the inexperienced lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a TRUCK, TRACTOR-TRAILER, or COMMERCIAL VEHICLE, do not hesitate to contact our office. We will be happy to answer your questions and meet with you at NO CHARGE to discuss your case.