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New Mexico Truck Accident Claims and Violation of State and Federal Laws

By Mark Caruso, NM Truck Accident Attorneys  505-369-1361


Nationwide, an average of 5,000 motorists a year are killed in accidents with large commercial trucks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These large commercial trucks are called by many names including semi trucks, tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, big rigs.

According to the Department of Transportation, in 2012 New Mexico had 297 vehicle occupant fatalities with 472 total vehicles involved in fatal vehicle crashes. Of those numbers, 39 of the 472 total vehicles involved in fatal vehicle crashes were large trucks.

Have you ever taken a family trip in your car on a highway and all of a sudden you have a huge semi-truck sped right passed you?

Your car may shake, or you may feel some fear when the semi-truck passes you at a speed faster than normal. If you are a driver on New Mexico highways such as I-25 or I-40 or I-10 then you likely have had this experience.

This kind of experience can leave any driver shaky, especially if you take many family trips on New Mexico highways. You are likely dreading the possibility of being on the highway where you can have such an encounter with a semi-truck.

Semi-trucks are likely to carry loads around the 80,000 pound range. When these trucks are travelling at 65 miles per hour, not even having 18 wheels on the tractor-trailer make it easier for the truck to stop in case of an emergency.

When this semi-truck passes you, some questions may pop up in your head. Such as, who is responsible if the semi-truck causes my family to get into an accident? What laws govern the safety of truck drivers on New Mexico highways?

This blog will answer these questions and provide you with a summary of the responsibility owed by the truck driver to your family.

Because many semi-trucks are in the business of driving from state to state, the federal government has established Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. This Act creates uniform rules for safe travel on interstate highways. These strict rules were created in order to protect individuals and their families driving on the roads.

In addition to the federal rules, New Mexico has adopted its own rules for truck drivers using our state's highways and roadways. The New Mexico Motor Carrier Act has its own rules for truck drivers.

If an interstate truck driver or his employer violates a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act regulation or New Mexico Motor Carrier Act regulation it can constitute negligence per se and can also be evidence of negligence.

Why are tractor-trailer accident claims more complicated?

Tractor-trailer accident claims are more complicated because of the many potential people that can be held responsible for the accident. These people include the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck's owner, an independent contractor employer and even the truck's manufacturer (if the truck is found to have a defective part that caused the accident).


What factors can help a victim of a trucking accident and their attorney build a solid case against the truck drivers and the others mentioned above?

*The driver's log indicates whether the tractor trailer driver may have exceeded legal driving hours and was fatigued.

*The service logs show whether the truck may have been operating below safety standards, such as not having been serviced.

*The driver's medical records may show any possible medical conditions the driver may have.

*Post-accident drug testing may show the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

*The driver's employee records with his employer may show the employee was not adequately trained, supervised or educated by his employer.

*The inspection of the vehicle may show tractor or trailer problems contributed to the collision.

Many of the NM biggest truck accident cases in our firm involve the failure to train, supervise and educate the driver.

Remember, it is the duty of both the truck driver, the truck owner and the truck driver's employer to follow all the federal and state laws regarding operating a truck on interstate highways.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed as a result of a negligent truck driver, you may have claims against the truck driver, the truck's owner, the truck driver's employer, an independent contractor and the truck's manufacturer.

Call Mark Caruso at New Mexico Truck Accident Attorneys at 505-369-1361 or for a free consultation with an attorney. Our practice is limited to personal injury and wrongful death claims caused by vehicular accidents and truck accidents on New Mexico highways.

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Caruso Law Offices, P.C.
2929 Coors NW
Suite 310E
Albuquerque, NM 87120

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