Albuquerque Truck Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations defines a commercial vehicle as a vehicle that has a gross combination weight of 26,000 pounds or more. Thus, it is no wonder that the consequences of a truck accident may be incredibly severe. In fact, one out of every 35 semi-truck and 18-wheeler accidents results in a fatality in New Mexico. However, even when an accident is mild, there still may be injuries that warrant filing a claim. No matter the circumstance, the victim(s) of a truck accident should not have to go up against the trucking companies without an experienced lawyer on their side.
NEW MEXICO TRUCK ACCIDENT STATISTICS
In 2018, there were 542 fatal motor vehicle crashes on New Mexico roadways. 56 of these crashes involved large semi-trucks. That is 8.7% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes. Moreover, semi-truck accidents resulting in injury made up about 2.8% of all motor vehicle crashes resulting in injury. This means that over 800 crashes in New Mexico in 2018 that involved death or injury also involved a semi-truck.
Truck accidents are an issue in New Mexico, and especially on Albuquerque roadways. However, the more you know about 18-wheeler collisions and what to do after being involved in one, the more likely you are to either avoid an accident or be able to seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to if you are involved in one.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
There are a lot of factors at play that may ultimately lead to a commercial trucking accident. Some of these factors include driver error, driver training, vehicle design, manufacturing, federal regulations, traffic conditions, or even the weather. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has identified three major types of events that usually play a critical role in large truck accidents. These events include:
- Running out of the lane in which the truck is traveling
- Losing control of the vehicle due to speeding, cargo shift, or poor road conditions
- Rear-ending another vehicle in the truck’s travel lane
Although these three specific events have been highlighted as playing a critical role in truck accidents, there are many common causes of a commercial trucking accident that may lead to injury. The following list includes some of the common causes of a semi-truck accident:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driver
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to yield
- Failure to follow roadway rules
- FMCSA and CSA violations
Read More: Top Causes of Truck Accidents
COMMON TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURIES
With any type of accident, injuries may vary. Wrecks can yield both mild and/or severe consequences. Some of the common injuries that may occur after a truck accident include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Internal injuries
- Emotional trauma
SHOWING NEGLIGENCE IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT CLAIM
The person at fault for a truck accident is the individual or entity that was negligent. To establish negligence, the injured person would need to show that a truck driver or trucking company owed a duty of care to other motorists breached that duty and caused harm to another driver. The good news is that establishing a duty is the easy part. All truck drivers and their employers owe a duty to you to operate their vehicles safely and supervise their employees in accordance with state, local, and national regulations. For example, an injured individual may be able to show a breach of duty by the truck driver where the truck driver was speeding, driving while distracted, driving while under the influence, or by not exercising proper discretion when driving in difficult weather conditions.
A trucking company may be said to have breached their duty when they do things like order a truck driver to haul too much weight, fail to do proper safety inspections on their trucks, fail to do proper background checks on their drivers, or even fail to make sure that their employees are getting enough rest before driving.
However, sometimes even when an injured party can show that there has been negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company, the blame can be partly attributed to the injured party themselves. If you are found to be partially at fault for your truck accident, this may affect your ability to seek compensation.
HOW TO FILE A CLAIM
1. Call a Lawyer
In any personal injury accident, especially a truck accident, you may want to consider consulting an attorney. Trucking companies have a team of very experienced attorneys working in their favor and they will likely act quickly and aggressively to try and avoid liability. Having an experienced attorney on your side is the best way to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of and are in the best position to seek the maximum amount of compensation that you may be entitled after a truck accident.
Initiating a prompt and thorough investigation into the truck accident is a crucial step to gather valuable evidence to fight your claim. You want to gather the physical evidence while it is still fresh. An attorney can play a special role by aiding you in conducting this investigation and letting you know what information is needed from you to file a successful claim. They can also advise you when speaking to the trucking insurance companies, who will be conducting their own investigation. They may know how to interview witnesses, review and analyze documents, and whether to hire any experts. One of the best ways you can help yourself after an accident is to take photographs of your property damage and injuries. This is an easy way to aid your attorney when an investigation ensues.
3. Case Settlement
The insurance provider for the trucking company will often offer the victim of an accident a monetary amount if the victim agrees to cease pursuit of further legal action. This is known as a settlement offer. These settlement offers can often be minimal and inadequate. The last thing you want to do as a recovering victim is get swindled into accepting a low-ball offer that is insufficient to compensate you for your injuries. An experienced attorney may provide advice about whether you should accept a settlement offer or negotiate further.
COMPENSATION AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT
After a collision or any personal injury, different types of compensation may be awarded to help you get your life back on track. If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover expenses that can be objectively quantified. These expenses may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Other incidentals
Non-economic damages are based on emotional injures and may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Victims often have questions about pain and suffering. You may be wondering how much you may be able to recover for pain and suffering after a truck accident or other personal injury. Unfortunately, without knowing the circumstances surrounding your claim it is impossible to estimate how much a victim will be awarded for pain and suffering. Ultimately. it will depend on how severe your injuries are and how severely those injuries will affect your life moving forward.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Time is always an important consideration if you are thinking about filing a claim for compensation after an accident. Each state’s statute of limitations places a time limit on your ability to file a legal claim. New Mexico places a three-year statute of limitations on personal injury actions, like motor vehicle accidents. There is also a three-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. Talking with an experienced Albuquerque truck accident lawyer is the best way to make sure you meet the applicable statute of limitations.
Failing to bring a claim within your state’s legally permissible time limit may result in being barred from pursuing a claim.
CALL OUR ALBUQUERQUE TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERS TODAY
The New Mexico truck injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group have extensive knowledge of federal and state trucking regulations. Our team of lawyers may use the facts of your case and gather evidence to establish liability. We also may advocate for you when dealing with insurance companies. Our team of 18-wheeler accident lawyers may help you seek the compensation you deserve. Don’t get stuck paying the price for a truck driver’s negligence. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today to receive a free consultation with our New Mexico semi-truck accident attorneys. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
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