The Role of Logbooks in Portland Truck Accident Cases

Collecting evidence after a crash is a significant part of proving fault. Federal rules and regulations require truckers to keep a logbook of their service hours.

While truckers maintain the logs themselves, leaving them subject to manipulation, they remain the best record of their time on the road. Even if the logbook contains errors, it provides a jumping-off point for comparison against other evidence.

While log books are most closely associated with hours of service, they can also contain other information that can be helpful in a truck wreck case. Contact our team to learn more about the role of logbooks in Portland truck accident cases. Our seasoned truck collision attorneys at Gideon Asen, LLC could help with your claim for compensation.

The Purpose of Truck Log Books

Regulations require truckers to maintain a log of their driving activities. They are supposed to enter information about drive times and breaks to prove they have complied with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) hours of service (HOS) regulations.

HOS regulations dictate how many hours a trucker can drive in a day or week and the required number of consecutive hours of break time between long driving shifts. These guidelines aim to prevent trucker fatigue, which is much more significant in truck crashes than many realize.

In addition to information about on-duty and off-duty driving hours, breaks, and time spent in a sleeper berth, logbooks may contain information that can help a lawyer locate witnesses or other forms of evidence.

Logbooks should contain information about the following:

  • Co-drivers
  • The carrier’s name
  • Truck number information
  • Dates
  • Miles driven
  • Start times
  • Origins
  • Destination points
  • Shipping information

A plaintiff could use a trucker’s log book to prove that violations of FMCSA regulations contributed to a collision that caused them injuries.

Log Books and Fraud

Truckers keep their log books, which could allow them to enter fraudulent information that would not show any HOS violations. Some drivers may routinely do that, while others try to alter the book afterward. However, logbooks can still be crucial in Portland truck accident cases.

Other records, like gas station receipts and toll booth photos, could reveal that truckers were in a specific location at a particular time. To confirm whether the information in a logbook is accurate, an attorney could have an investigator compare its entries against the other information recorded.

While discrepancies may not prove that a driver was negligent in a particular incident, they can show a pattern of dishonesty and misbehavior. The fact that they have evidence of violating HOS rules in other circumstances may help bolster claims of negligent driving. Even when a logbook does not directly prove allegations, it can still play a helpful role in building a truck wreck case in Portland.

A logbook could reveal violations regarding the following:

  • Miles covered
  • Inaccurate off-duty team
  • Incomplete inspection reports
  • Violations of HOS rules

Speed limits and required breaks mean that truckers should only be able to cover a certain number of miles within a set period. If they manage to cover more, they are either speeding or violating HOS rules, making collisions more likely. A lawyer with Gideon Asen, LLC could further investigate a case and identify potential negligence by a trucker.

Learn More From a Portland Attorney About The Role of Logbooks in Truck Accident Cases

Logbooks are just one piece of evidence that a lawyer may use to prove fault in a truck collision. Sometimes, they are sufficient to show negligence; other times, they are a starting point for further investigation.

Schedule a consultation with a compassionate personal injury attorney today. Our team could provide more information on the role of logbooks in Portland truck accident cases.