Written by Bill Hurst
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a truck driver who you believe was fatigued, you may need to prove that fatigue in court as part of any lawsuit. How do you prove that the truck driver who struck you was fatigued? While establishing fatigue can be complex and difficult, there are several steps that you can take to increase your odds of success. Below we discuss ways to determine how many hours a truck driver slept prior to any accident, which is an important element of proving fatigue.
Step One: Check the Logbook
One of the most effective ways to determine how many hours a driver has been on the road is to check the driver’s logbook: the book that all truck drivers carry with them indicating the number of hours they’ve been on the road. The logbook determines the driver’s pay for many companies, making it a critical document for truck drivers. Important questions to ask include: How many hours did a driver log prior to an accident? When did the driver start driving for the day? Drivers have a set number of hours per day that they are permitted to drive, depending on company policies and state laws. However, in many cases, drivers will push beyond those limits in an attempt to log extra miles.
Step Two: Check Delivery Information
Did a truck driver involved in an accident make several deliveries throughout the day, leading up to the accident? Scheduled deliveries are often stamped with times and dates. Checking delivery information is one of the most effective ways to understand where a driver has been, and whether they’ve been on the road for a significant amount of time. Gas receipts, toll receipts, and other key receipts can also provide important information regarding where a driver has been, and how that correlates to the number of hours he or she may have been on the road.
Step Three: Work With Your Lawyer
Remember that establishing driver fatigue in court can prove difficult. Generally, your lawyer will be able to explain the process of proving fatigue, and assess the potential for success in your case. While every truck driver keeps a logbook, a driver involved in an accident may attempt to hide, destroy, or alter the logbook in an effort to disprove fatigue. For this reason, it is critical that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the complex legal framework surrounding truck accidents, and to protect your rights.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, whether you know that the driver was fatigued or you’re just concerned that fatigue may have played a role in the accident, it’s important that you have the right legal representation. Contact the Law Office of William W. Hurst today at (317) 636-0808, or online, to learn more about how driver fatigue can impact your accident case, and what damages you may be able to claim as a result of your accident. We’re here to help you recover the full cost of your injuries.