A jury in Santa Fe recently awarded the family of a man who was killed in 2010 by a semi near Carlsbad $58.5 million. The verdict, which included $47 million in punitive damages, is reportedly the largest in state history. The accident purportedly occurred when an eastbound tractor-trailer used to haul “produced water from oils wells,” turned left in front of the victim’s westbound pick-up truck. The victim allegedly died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the preventable crash.
Despite that the accident happened three miles east of Carlsbad, the Santa Fe-based trust company that represented the victim’s estate filed the wrongful death lawsuit locally. According to the jury, punitive damages were awarded because the big rig driver was provided with inadequate training and the transport company that operated the truck had a history of safety violations. A statement released by the jury said the award was crafted to send a message to the trucking industry that a higher standard of trucker training and safety is expected by New Mexico residents.
Unfortunately, tragic big rig accidents like this one are common in New Mexico. In fact, more than 2,000 traffic collisions throughout the state every year involve a semi. In general, 18-wheeler crashes are different than simple car wrecks because they normally involve unique pieces of evidence that do not exist in other collisions. For example, computers installed onboard a semi-truck can provide accident investigators with important details regarding the events that led up to a big rig crash.
18-wheeler collisions may be caused by many factors including inadequate driver training, fatigue, impairment, excessive load weights, and poor vehicle maintenance. Individuals who were hurt in a wreck with a tractor-trailer may be eligible to receive damages for lost wages and benefits, pain, medical costs, any temporary or permanent disability that resulted from the accident, and suffering. Certain relatives of someone who lost his or her life in an accident with a semi-truck may also be entitled to recover funeral expenses and receive additional financial compensation. Anyone who was harmed by a negligent tractor-trailer driver should contact a quality attorney as soon as possible following a collision.
At the Fine Law Firm, our hardworking Carlsbad personal injury lawyers are available to assist you following an accident with a tractor-trailer. We represent people who were hurt in a traffic wreck that was caused by a negligent semi driver throughout the State of New Mexico. Our knowledgeable attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience assisting clients who were hurt on New Mexico roadways through no fault of their own. To schedule a free initial consultation with a caring advocate, please call the Fine Law Firm today at (505) 889-3463 or contact us through the law firm’s website.
More Blog Posts:
Driver Sentenced to Six Months in Jail for Negligent Homicide Following Death of Bicyclist in Laguna, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 16, 2013
Homeless Man Dies After Being Struck by Two Vehicles in Bizarre Santa Fe Pedestrian Accident, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 27, 2013
$58M verdict in death suit could be New Mexico record, by Tom Sharpe, Santa Fe New Mexican