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I Rear Ended a Disabled Truck Without Its Flashers On: What are my Rights?

New Mexico Big Rig Wrecks With a Disabled Truck May be the Fault of the Truck Driver Under FMCSA Violations

If we rear end a parked or disabled vehicle, we know that most of the time it will be our fault.  It can even be embarrassing, especially if we rear end the vehicle and we are the ones that get hurt.  However, if that disabled vehicle is a large commercial truck, we may actually not be at fault and we may be entitled to compensation for our personal injuries.  This is because large commercial trucks like big rigs, 18 wheelers, tankers, semi tractor trailers, and other large box trucks must use hazards, markers, and other warning devices to protect other vehicles on the roadway from rear ending them.  If they fail to do so and there is a collision, the victims could be entitled to compensation.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced New Mexico big rig wreck lawyers know how to prove these types of claims to obtain compensation for those injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company.  If you or loved one were seriously injured or wrongfully killed, please call for a FREE evaluation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can protect your rights to compensation today.

Proving Liability When YOU Rear End a Disabled Truck Because it Did Not Have Flashers On or Warning Devices Out

If you rear end a box truck that is disabled on the side of the road, it looks bad.  But there are actually regulations which require the commercial truck to make itself more visible to you.  These regulations are promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, which sets the minimum requirements applicable for all commercial trucks throughout the United States, including in New Mexico.

These regulations govern emergency signals by stopped commercial motor vehicles under 49 CFR section 392.22.  This section provides that a commercial motor vehicle stopped upon the traveled portion of the road (which includes disabled) “shall immediately active the vehicular hazard warning signal flashes and continue the flashing until he driver places the warning devices” also required by this section.  The warning devices must be placed within 10 minutes of stopping or becoming disabled, and must be in the following locations:

  • One warning device on the traffic side and 4 paces (about 10 feet) from the stopped commercial vehicle in the direction of approaching traffic;
  • One warning device at 40 paces (about 100 feet) from the commercial motor vehicle in the center of the traffic lane or shoulder occupied by the truck and in the direction of approaching traffic; and
  • One warning device at 40 paces (about 100 feet) from the commercial truck like above, but in the direction away from approaching traffic (the other side).

Failing to place the flashing lights on “immediately” and the warning signals within 10 minutes may give raise to a claim that the truck driver and trucking company were negligence per se.  This means that a person injured due to the truck driver’s violation of this FMCSA regulation may be able to establish such violation is evidence of negligence on the part of the truck driver.

Were You Injured in a New Mexico Big Rig Crash Because the Disabled Truck Did Not Have Its Flashers On or Warning Devices Out? You May be Entitled to Compensation!

Even if you rear ended a disabled truck, you may not be liable for the crash.  Call you our experienced New Mexico trucking accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn what rights you may have.  You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

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