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A person who is injured in a New Mexico trucking accident caused by the mechanical error of a tractor trailer, box truck, 18 wheeler, or other commercial truck may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. This is because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has promulgated regulations which require truck drivers and trucking companies to inspect their commercial vehicles prior to its use and operation on the roadway. When victims are injured due to a semi tractor trailer defect, they may be entitled to compensation by establishing a violation of the FMCSA regulations.
Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers know how to apply the FMCSA regulations to the facts and circumstances of your crash. We have experience litigating 18 wheeler wrecks against some of the largest trucking companies in the United States, including Schneider National, FedEx, Swift Transportation, J.B. Hunt, and UPS. If you have been injured in a truck crash, call us to schedule a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000.
A victim of a New Mexico trucking accident may recover compensation for personal injuries, lost wages, lost earnings, property damage, medical expenses, and other damages. In order to do so, a victim will need to establish that the defendant truck driver or trucking company was liable for his or her injuries. In addition, a victim will need to establish that the liable defendant also proximately caused the sought damages.
Where there is an FMCSA violation, a victim will be entitled to use the FMCSA violation as evidence that the truck driver and trucking company was negligent in causing the subject injuries or damages. This is an important tool for personal injury victims because it creates almost creates a presumption which requires the defendants to rebut that they were not negligent or that they did not violate the FMCSA regulations.
The pertinent regulations are governed by Part 396 in Title 49 of the CFR. The specific provisions include the following:
Section 396.3 – this requires a trucking company to perform systematic inspections of all components, including “frame and frame assemblies, suspension systems, axis and attaching parts, wheels and rims, and steering systems.” If the inspections were not performed and one of these functions or systems fails, there could be evidence of negligence in that the regulation requires inspections to identify and repair damages which, if the regulation was complied, may not have occurred.
Section 396.11 – this requires drivers to inspect and draft reports at the completion of every day’s work on the vehicle, which includes all of the important parts mentioned above. The goal is to identify wearing parts, damaged parts, or dangerous or defective equipment. The report must also be kept for a period of time after the inspection which would allow the victim to check whether the device that failed was property maintained. This section also requires corrective action for defective or damaged parts.
Section 396.13 – this section requires drivers to inspect their commercial vehicle prior driving it. This includes ensuring that the truck is in safe operating condition and to review the last driver inspection report (pursuant to above). A driver then must review and determine that any defects or deficiencies were repaired, and then sign the report affirming same.
If a FMCSA violation resulted in a mechanical failure which caused a New Mexico trucking accident, a victim may have a cause of action against the negligent truck driver and trucking company. Call our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident attorneys at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys to learn what we can do for you 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.