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How Long Does A Truck Company Have To Retain Records?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Truck Accidents


In the aftermath of a devastating commercial truck accident, it can be difficult to find out exactly what happened. A trucking company might hide behind lawyers or insurance companies to conceal the truth or withhold data, especially when their driver may have been at fault.

But, at its core, data can fill in the blanks and assist in getting to the root of a devastating accident. That assumes, of course, that Chicago commercial truck drivers and trucking companies retain the records for a certain period of time that’s in accordance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.

If questions about record retention arise following an accident, a commercial truck accident attorney can investigate. We will seek all relevant records and comb through these documents to piece together what caused an accident—and what could have been done to prevent it.

What kind of records must be kept?

Trucking companies large and small are required to maintain records on a variety of topics relating to drivers and any trucks they maintain or operate for 30 consecutive days. Some of those records include:

  • Driver logbooks
  • Routine maintenance and repair
  • Annual truck safety inspections
  • Alcohol and controlled substance tests

How long must records be maintained?

The FMCSA has different requirements for retention, depending on the record in question. Some of the common records (and their retention periods) include the following:

 

  • Inspection and maintenance operations:

 

 

    • A company must keep reports on maintenance operations, repairs, and inspections for 12 months from the date of the report or six months after they lose control or give up a vehicle (such as in a sale).

 

  • Daily reports:

 

 

    • A driver must prepare a broad maintenance and safety report at the end of each daily shift, reporting on brakes, lighting devices, emergency equipment, and more. These reports must be kept for three months from when they were filed.

 

  • Annual inspections:

 

 

    • A truck must receive a full, thorough inspection at least once every 12 months, and those records must be kept for 14 months.

 

  • Periodical reports:

 

 

    Data pertaining to accidents, inspections, test, hours of service, and repairs must be kept for at least six months.

How An Illinois Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You

If you have been involved in an Illinois commercial truck accident, it is imperative to seek counsel as soon as possible. A failure to take immediate action may result in the trucking company suppressing or destroying valuable documents that could impact the case.

We at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will take the necessary steps to unearth those key documents and review all pertinent records as soon as possible. Doing so may ensure a fairer claims process or trial, resolve any unanswered questions, and lead to a fair settlement on behalf of our client. That settlement may help cover medical bills, auto repair costs, potential lost earnings, and more.

Contact us today to discuss your accident and to see how Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help. Our staff of qualified Illinois truck accident attorneys offer a free consultation at (312) 236-2900 in which they will review your case, discuss your options, and advise on the best course of action from there.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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