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How truck accident attorneys can use log book lies to prove a case

January 20, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

Video tip 11 for truck accident attorneys

Here’s the eleventh video in my series of 13 videos for truck accident attorneys from a past American Association for Justice seminar for truck accident attorneys from around the nation. In this latest video clip, I discuss how any truck accident attorney must help a jury understand how serious it is when bad truckers falsify log books after they’ve caused an injury from a truck crash. Jurors and insurance companies have to understand that falsifying log books is just as serious as lying under oath.

Like I said in the video, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rule 395.8, any error or discrepancy in a log book is breaking the law. The rule says, “A driver shall certify to the correctness of all log book entries by singing the form containing the driver’s duty status record with his legal name or name of record. The driver’s signature certifies that all entries required by this section are true and correct.”

In other words, a truck driver’s signature on a log book is treated as an oath. And falsifying a log book is the same thing as lying under oath.

Finding these errors (they really are downright lies) is a great opportunity for a truck accident attorney to put the credibility of the trucker – but more importantly, the truck company – into question. A proper audit will quickly uncover manipulated log book entries. And often what this leads to is a conspiracy by the trucking company to put profits over safety and illegally push the trucker, often against his or her will, into driving way beyond hours.

Truckers most frequently fib about the pre-trip inspection time and the number of hours on the road. Many derisively refer to log books as “lie books.”

But the good news is, it’s easy for truck accident attorneys to spot lying. You usually can simply match up where a trucker says he was with his fuel and meal receipts to show that the stories do not add up.

Again, truck accident attorneys must be vigilant in using this rule to show juries that lying in a log book is the same thing as lying under oath. Juries do not like to be lied to. And frankly, lying on log books leads to ruined lives and endangering us all.

For more information on this rule, take a look at a past blog I wrote: log book forgeries by truckers.

Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law and one of the top truck accident attorneys in the country. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group, and has received the top-reported jury verdict in Michigan for a truck accident case. Steve was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his work to promote national truck safety.

Related information to protect yourself:

Michigan truck accident resource center

Law prohibits discrimination against truckers who blow the whistle

Find a truck accident attorney

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit. Call (248) 353-7575 to speak with one of our truck accident attorneys today.

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