Santa Fe Truck Accident Lawyers
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A truck crash occurs every three hours in New Mexico, on average. A semi-truck often weighs 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars, which can cause serious, high-impact crashes and injuries for the occupants of smaller vehicles. After a truck accident, victims may be left with significant injuries, medical bills, car repairs, and pain and suffering.
The truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing accident victims who have been involved in crashes with truck drivers; we have helped many successfully pursue the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800)-863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with skilled Santa Fe truck accident lawyers, and we may be able to help you too.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN NEW MEXICO
In 2018, there were 2,658 truck crashes in New Mexico, reaching their highest level in the past five years. While a number of factors can contribute to a crash, some of the most common causes of car accidents in New Mexico include the following:
Drunk drivers are dangerous for other vehicles on the road, and intoxicated truck drivers are especially dangerous because of how large their vehicles are compared to the automobiles driven by other drivers around them. Intoxicated driving may result in weaving across lanes, quickly accelerating or decelerating, swerving, tailgating, or driving without headlights at night. On average, in 2018, a person was injured or killed in an alcohol-involved crash every 6 hours in New Mexico.
When drivers speed, they have less time to react. This means that a speeding truck will hit crash victims with a higher impact and can cause more severe injuries. In 2018, speeding was a contributing factor in over 817 crash injuries.
It only takes a few seconds for drivers to respond to a text on their phone, but those few seconds can be fatal for crash victims. If a driver’s eyes are on a phone, then they’re not focused on the road or the cars around them. In 2018, distracted driving was the leading cause of car crashes in New Mexico, injuring 2,926 people.
Semi-truck transport weight limits are intended to prevent tire blowouts and many other accidents that can occur from an overloaded truck. When companies try to save money on transportation costs, they may overload their trucks, increasing the chances of a truck accident.
Before every trip, semi-truck drivers are required to inspect their vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also requires that semi-trucks be inspected regularly and that records be kept documenting the inspection. When trucks are poorly inspected or not inspected at all, an error or damaged part that could have been fixed is not corrected; ignored errors can lead to accidents.
Semi-truck drivers are allowed to drive for 14 consecutive hours after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. When drivers violate this regulation and do not take the required rest time between shifts, they may become exhausted and drift across lane lines or fall asleep at the wheel.
In some cases, a defective product may be responsible for a semi-truck accident. When tires, brakes, or steering systems are designed or produced with defects, victims can be seriously injured in an accident.
Truck accidents can leave victims with serious and life-altering injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries from truck accidents include:
- Head Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Cuts and Bruises
What to do after a truck accident
After leaving the scene of the accident, you may still feel shaken and overwhelmed about what to do next. In 2018, around 1,000 people had injuries ranging from serious to minor injuries after a truck accident in New Mexico. The below steps outline what you should do in the days and weeks following your accident with a commercial truck or 18-wheeler.
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you do not receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident, visit your doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you need medical treatment. After you leave the hospital or doctor’s office, be sure to watch for any additional signs or symptoms that occur in the days following the accident. Don’t ignore these, because you can experience the effects of an accident several days after it happens.
2. Report the Accident
After an accident, you should report it to the police. The officer that responds to the scene of your accident will fill out an accident report. Be sure to obtain a copy of this report or ask how to access this report once it becomes available.
3. Document Your Damage
You may have been too injured or shaken in the aftermath of the accident to take photos of the damage at the scene of the crash. As soon as possible, be sure to take photos of the damage. This could include injuries you sustained in the accident and damage to your car. If any witnesses saw the accident occur, you should collect their information and contact details as well.
4. Notify Your Insurance Company
After you’ve been in a truck accident, your insurance company needs to be notified. In minor cases without any injuries, you can call your insurance company and notify them yourself. However, if any party is injured, it is best to call an experienced truck accident lawyer first.
Although it may be tempting to settle the accident with an insurance company right away, insurance companies operate to pay as little as possible. They may not offer an amount that is insufficient to cover your expenses; oftentimes their settlement offer does not reflect the true the value of your case.
When you talk to an insurance agent a day or two after an accident, you may not know the full extent of your injuries. Insurance agents may also record your phone call when speaking with you, hoping to find evidence that an accident was your fault. Insurance agents are trained to use leading questions, which may result in your giving an answer that doesn’t tell the full story. These recordings can be used in court to hurt your chances of recovering money from the other party.
5. Document Your Expenses
It’s important that you keep track of all receipts and paperwork related to your accident. This could include hospital and doctor bills, physical therapy and rehabilitation costs, documented time taken off from work due to injuries, receipts for the repair or replacement of your car, and receipts for a rental car while yours is being repaired.
6. Speak with an Attorney
Our Santa Fe personal injury lawyers are here to help walk you through every step of the process. If retained, they will ensure you receive proper medical treatment, investigate the accident, interview witnesses, collect crash reports, negotiate with the insurance company, file a lawsuit, and go to trial if necessary.
At Zinda Law, we have lawyers near you who can help you determine the damages you are entitled to; if hired, they can help you pursue them. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will depend on the extent of your injuries and pain and suffering, the amount of your medical bills and lost wages, and the extent of the damage to your vehicle, among other things.
What If I am Partially Responsible for Causing the Accident?
Even if you believe you may be partially at fault for causing the accident, you may still be entitled to recover money. In New Mexico, fault can be divided between the parties. For example, if you were found to be 30% and the other driver was 70% responsible for the accident, you could still recover some money, it would just be reduced proportionately. Determining fault and recovery can be complicated, but an experienced accident attorney may help navigate the process for you.
What Compensation Can I Seek After a Truck Accident?
After a semi-truck accident, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering. You may also be able to recover the costs for car repairs and a rental car expenses while your car is being repaired. If you had to take time off from work due to your injuries, then you may be able to recover the wages you would have earned during that time. It is important that you save receipts and bills related to your car accident to help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a truck accident and want to file a lawsuit against the other party, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. In New Mexico, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a claim for your injuries. While three years may seem like plenty of time, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you receive the money you deserve.
CONtact a lawyer who handles truck accident cases
At our Zinda Law Santa Fe injury law firm, our Santa Fe truck accident attorneys have helped many crash victims get the compensation they deserved after they were hurt in a truck accident. We have the knowledge and resources to help our clients receive the compensation they may be entitled to for hospital bills, car damage, pain and suffering, and much more.
We believe an accident victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800)-863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced Santa Fe truck accident lawyers.