Know Your Rights When You Are Injured When a Trucking Accident in NM is Caused When a Truck Driver Fell Asleep at the Wheel
There are many possible causes of trucking accidents, most are preventable. One of the most common causes is truck driver fatigue. Trucking is a time-is-money business. This means that truck drivers need to work hard to earn their money by working longer and longer hours to meet their delivery schedules. While some of us at desk jobs could do that, truck drivers are hauling several thousand pounds of cargo at high speeds. A mistake by a truck driver could be catastrophic and fatal. Whenever a trucking accident in NM is caused when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, victims need to receive the compensation they deserve to protect their rights to compensation.
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced trucking accident lawyers in Albuquerque, NM know that we can help protect your rights to compensation under New Mexico law and federal regulations when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and caused your accident. We have helped families recover compensation for over 30 years. Learn how we can help you during a FREE consultation with one of our experienced lawyers or compassionate team members.
Federal Regulations Govern How Long a Truck Driver Can Drive
Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem. Local, state, and federal authorities know that. This is why the federal agency known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted regulations known as “hours of service” or HOS regulations. These regulations govern how long a person can operate a commercial vehicle in a given day, week, and 8-day period. These regulations are aimed to help make truck driver safer by keeping drivers as well rested as possible. The FMCSA regulations also apply in every state, no matter what other requirements a state may have, these regulations are the minimum requirements that most be followed or it could be a violation.
The FMCSA regulations for HOS for property-carrying drivers (tractor trailers hauling cargo or fuel) are the following:
- Truck drivers have a 24 hour clock, with 14 hours being “on shift” and 10 hours being “off shift”
- A maximum of 11 hours drivers for every 14 hours on shift
- After a 14 hour shift, a truck driver must take a minimum of 10 hours off shift
- A maximum of 8 hours driving in a row before needing to take a 30-minute rest
- A minimum of 3 hours of rest in each 14 hour shift
- A maximum of 60 hours on shift in any 7 consecutive days
- A maximum of 70 hours on shift in any 8 consecutive days, and
- Other rules that may or may not apply in certain situations.
Violated HOS Rules Could Result in Liability
A truck driver who violates the HOS rules could be liable to any individual that he or she hurts in an accident, including an innocent family. This includes through New Mexico law, where a motorist who is negligent could be liable for personal injuries including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other damages.
But a truck driver could also be liable for violating the FMCSA regulations like the HOS regulations. This means that a motorist could be liable for violating the FMCSA regulations and causing a serious motor vehicle accident in New Mexico the a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel.
If You Are Injured When a Truck Driver Fell Asleep at the Wheel in New Mexico, We Can Help
The Caruso Law Offices, P.C. is built on protecting the rights of innocent people hurt by the negligence of others, especially truck drivers and trucking companies. They often put their own greed and profit above the safety of all of us. Trucking accidents caused when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel could result in serious personal injuries that are avoidable. If this may have happened to you, call our experienced trucking accident lawyers in Albuquerque, NM for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 for your consultation.
We handle cases 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.