Trucking accidents are known to be one of the most dangerous types of collisions. The weight of a commercial truck, combined with the momentum of driving at high speeds, creates an immense impact in the event of an accident. Because of this, trucking accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or death, as well as substantial property damage. Knowing the risks of a trucking accident, it is vital that proper precautions are taken to minimize the chance of a collision taking place. To ensure that trucking companies take these precautions seriously, federal and state laws regulate many aspects of the industry, including trucking maintenance records. Attorney Roger “Rocky” Walton has a great deal of experience representing victims of trucking accidents. He understands the requirements for trucking maintenance records, and how his Arlington, TX, clients can benefit from the use of these documents to prove liability in a trucking accident lawsuit.
Maintenance Record Requirements
Per the policies of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, commercial trucking companies are required to document and maintain evidence that they are in compliance with safety regulations. One of the regulations that must be documented is vehicle maintenance. Trucking carriers must record identifying information about each of their trucks, such as the company number, make of the truck, size of the tire, and the serial number of the vehicle, as well as maintain an inspection schedule detailing the date that evaluations took place, and what type of inspection was performed. Any performed maintenance work also needs to be included in these records. Aside from requiring that these records be updated, the FMCSA also sets standards for how long records need to be retained. Below are some of the retention requirements for trucking maintenance records:
- Standard inspection schedules need to be kept for one year, or for six months after a truck leaves the carrier’s control
- Post-trip inspection reports should be kept for three months past the report date
- A copy of a periodic inspection report must be kept for 14 months after the inspection date
Maintenance Records as Evidence
When representing the victim of a trucking accident, Roger “Rocky” Walton will collect all the records that may prove helpful in proving liability and providing an overview of the general safety practices of the company. Trucking maintenance records may be a very important aspect of your case. Maintenance records will be collected along with those concerning hiring, training, and any history of driver discipline.
There are multiple ways in which trucking maintenance records can play a role in an accident case. First, we may find evidence that maintenance records were neglected, or that required mechanical work was put off. If mechanical failure played a role in the accident, this would be a clear indicator that the trucking company was responsible for that failure. Even if mechanical failure did not contribute to an accident, poor maintenance records could be used as a supporting piece of evidence to prove that the trucking company was generally neglectful of safety practices. Finally, if a mechanical failure contributes to a trucking accident and maintenance records are up-to-date, records can be used to place liability on an auto part manufacturer. Your attorney will closely examine maintenance records to determine how they can be used as evidence to prove liability in a case.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you may be due compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. To learn more about your legal right to financial compensation, contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your accident.