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Truck Accidents

Semi Trucks, Big Rigs, 18-Wheelers

We see semi trucks any time we approach I-25, I-10, or I-40, they speckle the New Mexico landscape and all too often cause New Mexico semi truck accidents involving serious and fatal injuries. Too many New Mexico accident lawyers make the mistake of assuming that semi truck accident cases are like car accident cases only usually with more injuries. This misconception is dangerous and may result in less than maximum recovery.

New Mexico semi truck, big rig, and 18 wheeler accidents may all have different names but often times share both the serious or catastrophic injury and the method by which they must be handled. Although New Mexico semi trucks come nowhere near outnumbering passenger vehicles, they leave their mark in the form of accident statistics. A review of New Mexico accident statistics shows that Big rigs and semi trucks can account for over 70 anual fatalities in New Mexico. Annually there are more than 2,000 semi truck accidents in New Mexico. The most common specific reason noted that is behind these accidents is the driver simply not paying attention.

What are New Mexico Semi Truck Regulations and Laws

Truck drivers that pass through New Mexico must follow both state traffic laws as well as federal trucking laws.  The majority of New Mexico's state traffic laws are written as statutes within the motor vehicle code.  The laws are typically more general and include requirements to keep a proper lookout, exercise reasonable case, not speed, and not to drink and drive as examples.

By contrast, the federal trucking regulations that must also be followed are far more specific and unique to the trucking industry.  The federal regulations are also published with other laws, but are the backbone of commercial drivers license education and licensing. The federal trucking regulations cover topics ranging from how many hours a driver can be driving, resting, or asleep, to daily inspections and record keeping. 

Between the state and federal laws that apply to any New Mexico truck drivers, there a literally hundreds of trucking rules that could apply to any given case.  Familiarity with these rules, as well as the tool to carefully research them are crucial for a truck accident lawyer.

What is different about Handling a Truck Injury Case

There are various devices that assist in the process of determining if New Mexico trucking law has been violated. All semi trucks passing through New Mexico may carry “black boxes” or recording devises that contain detailed information on what happened during an accident immediately before and after impact. In addition to black boxes, semi truck drivers passing through New Mexico are often required to maintain logs documenting their trip. These logs provide insight into whether Federal and New Mexico trucking laws have been followed.

While these pieces of information can substantially help a New Mexico truck accident case, the first step is to preserve them. It is easy for black boxes to loose their data depending on the condition of the semi truck, and the logs may only have to be kept for a matter of weeks. Despite a New Mexico statute of limitations that may allow for lengthy time to file a New Mexico semi truck accident case, it is important to contact a Truck Accident Attorney without delay to preserve evidence that may help win a case.

How long to I have to take action in a New Mexico truck accident case?

Generally auto accident and truck accident cases in New Mexico have a 3 year statute of limitations that begins running from the date of the accident. However, there may be situations in which depending on the driver or the cause of the accident it may be necessary to take immediate action to protect your rights. Although a statute of limitations determines the available time to file a lawsuit, there may be pieces of evidence that can disappear each passing day after a truck accident. For this reason it is wise to contact a New Mexico Truck accident attorney without delay.

Can I seek to recover damages from the driver’s insurance company as well as transportation company?

New Mexico law says that when an employee, working within the scope and course of their employment is negligent and causes an injury that their employer may be responsible for their actions. In truck accident cases this means that both the driver’s insurance company as well as the company’s assets may be recoverable in serious injury cases.

What rules must a New Mexico semi truck follow when driving?

There are numerous regulations that New Mexico truck drivers must follow. These law and regulations cover areas such as inspecting the truck, truck maintenance, and number of hours a truck can be driven each day. Depending on the type of cargo being transported the driver may have to be at least 18 or 21 years old.

If the semi truck company is from out of town, can I still sue in New Mexico?

New Mexico law states that if an injury occurred within the state’s boundaries you may be able to sue within New Mexico.

What is the benefit of filing a lawsuit in New Mexico semi truck accident cases?

While the decision of whether or not to file a lawsuit depends on each case, there are often time many benefits to filing a lawsuit in a New Mexico truck accident case. By filing a lawsuit that other side is not able to destroy any records or logs that they may otherwise be able to. In addition, through filing a lawsuit a truck accident attorney can speak with the driver in detail to determine whether all aspects of the trucking regulations were followed.

What is the common amount of insurance in New Mexico semi truck accident cases?

While insurance policies all vary, generally New Mexico transport companies and commercial carriers carry at least $1,000,000 in insurance coverage.

New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog - Truck Accidents
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