One of the most common types of automobile accidents involves rear end collisions, where one vehicle crashes into the back bumper of another. When these vehicles are both traveling at a low rate of speed, a collision will generally result in minor personal injuries or minimal damage to their vehicles. However, the degree of danger involved increases as does the speed. If you are rear ended by a vehicle driving at a high speed, the crash can render your vehicle unsalvageable and cause serious personal injuries or even wrongful death to you or a passenger.
The consequences of being rear ended also increase with the weight of the vehicle. Because of this, trcking accidents involving 18 wheelers, commercial trucks, tractor trailers, and other large vehicles are among the most dangerous types of accidents. When these large vehicles travel at a high rate they continue to gain dangerous momentum and it becomes harder to safely stop or avoid a collision. In the event of a crash, this momentum will directly transfer onto the other car on impact, causing severe and potentially permanent life changing personal injuries to the driver and passengers inside. Although this may happen on any roadway, the chances of such a monumental collision are increased on New Mexico’s highways and interstates like I-10, I-25, and I-40, where truck drivers will travel at much higher rates of speed and commonly above the legal speed limit.
Liability in an 18 wheeler rear end crash can usually be determined quickly. The driver who rear ends another on the road is generally liable for the accident under two different negligence theories. The first is the common law theory of negligence, which refers to laws which have been established through prior trucking accident cases, evolving throughout the years.
The second negligence theory is negligence per se which relies on the existence of a statute. A claim brought under the negligence per se theory may succeed where: (1) there is a written statute setting out the requirements of the law which protect a class of persons, (2) the truck driver failed to comply with the statute, and (3) the failure to comply with the statute caused the accident and injuries to the protect class of persons.
Fortunately, New Mexico has a statute in place for truck drivers to follow, and if not, for plaintiffs to seek recovery under a theory of negligence per se. NM Stat. Section 66-7-318 reads:
“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”
Accordingly, those who have been injured in a New Mexico rear end trucking accident may recover damages for their injuries if the truck driver failed to follow the standard of care set out above. These injuries can range from broken bones, paralysis, wrongful death and everything in between.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, call the experienced New Mexico trucking accident attorneys at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here. Together we can get through this so you can focus on your recovery.