Though truck accident claims can be a challenge to litigate, there are a number of unique opportunities available to those who are plaintiffs in such litigation.
For example, if you’ve been injured in an accident involving a commercial trucker, then you could be entitled to bring an action for damages against their employer pursuant to vicarious liability principles.
Among these various opportunities is the electronic logging device (ELD) that has been federally mandated for commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service records for their work.
Let’s take a closer look.
What is an Electronic Logging Device?
Recently, federal legislation (that has been in the works since 2012) has come into effect. The legislation mandates that an ELD be installed for commercial drivers — including truckers — to keep track of various data points that are intended to help manage driver “cheating” and minimize the safety risks typical of the industry, such as over-scheduling. An ELD keeps track of a driver’s hours logged (and speed), among other data.
How does an ELD help?
Drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours a day, nor can they work more than 14 hours a day total. Previously, drivers could “fudge the numbers” on their paper sheets by logging less than they actually worked, thus enabling them to travel a farther distance (so that they can be eligible for compensation bonuses) while remaining within the hourly maximum. Now, with the ELD system in place, commercial drivers cannot log more than the maximum amount. If they do, then the system will record the violation.
Multiple Avenues for Liability
As the plaintiff, you can utilize the ELD data in a multitude of ways to establish liability.
Suppose that you are attempting to show that the driver was negligent, and therefore liable for your injuries. After evaluating the ELD data, you are able to demonstrate that the driver was operating their truck at an excessive speed at the time of the accident. Alternatively, you might be able to show that the driver had violated their maximum hourly quota for the day and were therefore “fatigued,” contributing to the accident.
There may also be avenues for liability against the employer. Following the implementation of ELD systems, many commercial truckers are being incentivized to drive even faster in order to achieve their mileage bonuses. If the employer is aware that truckers are driving recklessly to satisfy a company bonus, then that employer may be held liable for not changing the incentive structure or retraining truckers appropriately.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer
Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have decades of experience advocating on behalf of those who have suffered serious injuries in various motor vehicle accidents, including truck accidents.
Given the impact forces associated with truck collisions, such accidents can quite easily lead to catastrophic injuries. We are well aware of how much victims rely on successful litigation to recover damages that could help them pay off expenses and establish a sense of “normalcy” in their life once again. As such, we invest a great deal of time into understanding every dispute and are relentless in representing the interests of our clients at every stage of the litigation process. This client-centered approach has helped us recover over $100 million in damages since our founding.
Call 602-535-1900 or send us an online message to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon today. We look forward to assisting you.