Albuquerque, NM Trucking Accident Lawyer Explains How to Prove Fault
Any motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic experience, even at a low speed. But a trucking accident is almost always a catastrophic and traumatic experience. Victims often suffer life-changing injuries such as brain injuries, paralysis, amputations, broken bones, and other damages. In order to collect compensation for these damages, a victim needs to establish liability. This is done by proving fault in a trucking accident in New Mexico.
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers have a proven track record of success against some of the largest insurance carriers and trucking companies in the United States. We have handled cases against J.B. Hunt, FEDEx, UPS, Schneider National, and many others. Learn how we can help you during a FREE consultation. We offer a no win, no fee guarantee to ensure that clients only pay our lawyer fees and reimburse our costs after we get them compensation.
Trucking Accidents in New Mexico are a Serious Issue
Although most people believe trucking accidents are not something they have to worry about in New Mexico, statistics show a different story. According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, a semi tractor trailer or large truck crash occurs every 3 hours in New Mexico. This totals almost 3,000 trucking accidents each year in the Land of Enchantment.
While heavy truck accidents accounted for just 6.2% of all crashes in New Mexico, they were disproportionally responsible for 17.6% of all fatalities. This means that victims of a trucking wreck are more likely to be wrongfully killed then other types of motor vehicle collisions.
Damages in a Trucking Accident
Victims who are hurt in a trucking accident are able to recover damages, the relief a court can award a party in a lawsuit. Damages in personal injury cases are typically monetary compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Lost future earnings
- Loss of consortium or relationships with a spouse
- Loss of guidance, support, or protection for a child
- Funeral costs or expenses in wrongful death cases
- Punitive damages
- Property damage, and
- Other types of compensation related to the accident.
In order to recover these damages you will need to establish liability, or fault, against the defendant or defendants that caused the damages.
Proving Fault in a Trucking Accident in New Mexico
There are many different ways that you can prove liability in a trucking accident. All of these methods can be done at the same time as alternative pleading is allowed. This means that a plaintiff can assert as many viable causes of action as possible and allow the evidence to prove each claim while applying the law.
Common Law Negligence
The most common way to prove liability in any personal injury case is through the common law standard of negligence. This is judge-made law that has evolved over decades of decision writing which reflect public sentiment. Negligence is one of the most well-recognized forms of common law.
A party is negligent when he or she fails to use reasonable care under the circumstances. In operating a motor vehicle, all motorists most use reasonable care under the use or operation of a motor vehicle. Driving recklessly or carelessly, violating traffic laws, or otherwise acting as an aggressive driver could result in a finding of negligence if the defendant causes an accident harming an innocent person.
Negligence Per Se
Like negligence which imposes a duty, the doctrine of negligence per se allows a victim to establish liability (negligence) when a defendant violates the vehicle and traffic law and causes an injury-causing crash. Under New Mexico law, a statutory violation which causes an accident to a person the statute was meant to protect from that specific harm may be able to automatically establish liability and use prove damages.
Any traffic law that is meant to protect the plaintiff from the type of harm that occurred (i.e., a motorist from being hit by a speeding driver) will automatically establish liability against the defendant.
FMCSA Regulatory Violations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency responsible for overseeing commercial vehicles such as trucks, buses, tankers, and other commercial vehicles. There is an extensive body of regulations and rules promulgated by the FMCSA. The rules are mostly for safety, but also govern how trucks should operate. The rules are largely meant to make is safer for motorists on the roads.
The violation of a FMCSA regulation is very serious. However, it is not automatically a finding of liability against a defendant like a statutory violation is. Rather, it is evidence of negligence that can be used to help prove a case.
Ask the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for Help Proving Fault in a Trucking Accident
If you or a loved one were injured in a New Mexico trucking accident, allow our experienced and reputable law firm to help you with proving fault in a trucking accident. We can help establish liability, prove damages, and ensure you get the compensation that you desire in a lawsuit. Schedule your FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn what your rights may be under New Mexico law.
We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico. Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.