Truck accident litigation can be challenging. The challenge comes in several different forms, but one significant challenge lies with the investigation of the trucking accident itself. When conducting an investigation of the crash, a lawyer will want to examine all of the records pertaining to the driver and the truck in question. This leads to the question of how this information will be obtained, and what, if any, records the trucking company may have in their possession.
Federal and state regulations provide that every trucking company is required to have at least minimal record keeping on the drivers they employ. Within that personnel file, a company is required to keep all records related to the driver’s qualifications that are screened prior to employment, as well as records as they pertain to the driver’s continuing employment.
In addition, companies have an obligation to maintain a duty record for all of their drivers and the maintenance records for their trucks. The duty record should contain records pertaining to records of hours, safety inspections, miles driven, and other related log sheets. The majority of records are required to be retained for as long as long as the driver is employed and for three years after the last date of employment with the company.
The obligation to maintain maintenance records apply to both the tractor and trailer and must be kept where the vehicle is being maintained. The maintenance records can be very detailed and should include records of all items purchased for the repair and maintenance of the truck in question.
So, yes, trucking companies do have a responsibility to maintain records. This responsibility is not only for their drivers but their trucks as well. This responsibility will usually provide a beginning point for the investigation of a trucking accident case. If you, or a loved one, has suffered a personal injury in a truck crash, call Givens Givens Sparks for a free consultation.