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Articles Tagged with tractor-trailers

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truck-on-highway-KY-300x225Generally, when someone is hurt due to another party’s negligence, the injured person has a right to seek fair compensation in a court of law. When the alleged breach of duty was by a governmental entity or government employee, however, different rules apply.

At common law, the government could not be held liable for injuries caused by negligence. This was because of the “sovereign immunity” doctrine, which held that “the king can do no wrong.”

While it is now possible to file suit against the government and be awarded money damages under some circumstances, such cases tend to be much more difficult than if the defendant had been a business or individual without government ties.

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truck accidentBecause of the disproportionate size and weight between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, people in the smaller vehicles tend to suffer more serious injuries in a tractor-trailer accident.

However, as a recent case illustrates, truckers also can be injured – especially when both of the involved vehicles are 18-wheelers.

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By Kyle Roby, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

One of the most commonly ignored truck rules is the requirement to keep records of how long truckers have been behind the wheel on a given day. Federal law requires truckers to rest for a certain amount of time, for safety reasons, and to keep a log of where they traveled and how long they were gone. Those truck rules have been in effect since 1938 – nearly 80 years.

Those rules are pretty easy for truckers and the companies they work for to bend, though. They can easily write down whatever they want, if they’re not honest, or keep two sets of log books, one that’s accurate and one that’s only to show if asked by authorities. We’ve written about this issue before on our blog. See our July 23, 2015 post on this same topic.

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file2811244091888 morguefile username wallyirBy Kyle Roby, Attorney

English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP

Tractor trailer drivers are required to keep log books. Log books record the time a truck driver has been driving or on-duty. It’s one of the first things we examine when we’re called on to help someone who has been injured in an accident that involves a truck. Few drivers, however, are as dutiful with keeping those truck log books as they should be. Log books are hand-written, and simple to read, and easy to keep up with if a driver wants to do so.

The truck log books require the following of a driver and the company he or she works for:

  • Log books must be kept as the driver goes. Every time a driver begins the day, he or she is required to note the city, state, and time.
  • The driver is to keep track of the amount of time driving – time left, time arrived, and time spent on breaks throughout the day.
  • The name of the company that owns the truck and its headquarter’s location are required at the top of each log book page.
  • The driver must sign the log book to indicate that the information in it is accurate and truthful.

If the driver is following the law, the truck log books should show that he or she abided by the time limits specified by law. Police officers, state troopers and officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are allowed to examine the log books at any time to check to see if the driver is following the law. Many times, though, drivers do not keep up with log books, or falsify the books to indicate he or she has abided by the law.

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