Due to the size of an 18-wheeler compared with a typical passenger vehicle, truck accidents can be catastrophic. Semi-trailer trucks cause far more than their fair share of devastating highway accidents.
In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 10.4% of deadly accidents in New Mexico involved semi-trucks, and 71% of all people killed in semi-truck crashes were occupants of other vehicles.
On top of dealing with injuries, you could face the time-consuming and often daunting task of pursuing recovery from your injury.
At the law offices of Flores, Tawney, & Acosta, P.C., our New Mexico truck accident attorneys are committed to representing seriously injured victims. Put our team to work for you.
Common Causes of an 18-Wheeler Wreck
Driver error causes the majority of tractor-trailer accidents. Some of the most common causes of 18-wheeler wreck accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving,
- Driver inexperience,
- Traffic offenses,
- Driver fatigue,
- Driving under the influence,
- Lack of maintenance and safety inspections,
- Defective parts,
- Not seeing a vehicle in a blind spot, and
- Speeding or traveling too fast for the roadway conditions.
When you are hit by a truck and sustain injuries, you have the right to sue liable parties for your damages.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Who is liable in a truck accident? The truck driver owes a duty to the other drivers on the road to drive safely, avoid accidents, and obey traffic rules. If the driver violates these duties, the driver may be responsible for the accident.
Other parties can be liable as well, including the following:
- The driver’s employer,
- The trucking company,
- The truck maintenance company,
- The cargo loading company,
- A vehicle or part manufacturer,
- Other drivers on the road, or
- The government entity that was responsible for roadway conditions.
If liability is uncertain, you will need strong evidence to establish fault. You will need a team of New Mexico attorneys to help secure compensation and hold all negligent parties accountable.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
What does a truck accident lawyer do? You may assume that allowing the insurance company to handle your claim may be the most straightforward approach to obtaining a settlement from the trucking company.
After all, the insurance company for the truck driver typically contacts an injured person quickly after the crash. But there is a big difference between the trucking company agreeing to accept responsibility and agreeing to pay you fairly.
Insurance companies are trying to pay as little as possible on each claim to maximize their profitability. The insurance company adjuster may imply that you do not need an attorney. Consider your options.
When hiring a truck accident lawyer, the attorney’s job is simple: representing your best interests. A skilled New Mexico truck accident attorney is essential for these cases.
A truck accident attorney is well-versed in the applicable law and has the resources necessary to investigate claims thoroughly.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
How can a truck accident lawyer help? An attorney with experience handling truck accident claims can bring you peace of mind, save time, and ultimately position you to obtain greater compensation when you’re entitled to recover. A truck lawyer can also help with the following.
We investigate the accident scene, take photos of physical evidence, and conduct a thorough investigation to determine or confirm the cause of the accident in cases where the parties contest liability.
We have been working on behalf of clients for several decades. We have built an extensive network of subject matter experts during this time.
These are experts that can help us with issues of causation and liability so we can develop a winning strategy after reviewing your case’s facts. We also work with economists, caregivers, and engineers, as needed. We do everything we can to build your strongest case.
There are two main types of compensation available to you after a truck accident: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses such as:
- Current and past medical bills,
- Physical therapy,
- At-home nursing care,
- Lost wages,
- Property damage, and
- Modifications to your home due to the accident.
Noneconomic damages involve intangible items. These damages can be more challenging to prove than economic damages. You have the best chance at proving noneconomic damages if you work with a truck wreck lawyer with extensive experience.
Noneconomic damages may include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Lost enjoyment of life, and
- Grief and emotional counseling.
In addition to the economic and noneconomic compensation, you may receive punitive damages in very limited circumstances. The courts award punitive damages as a punishment for a negligent driver or the trucking company.
When parties disagree about fault for the accident, documenting evidence of negligence is central to building a successful accident case against the driver or trucking company.
It would be best if you got an attorney involved in your case as soon as possible. We can help ensure that evidence is not lost or destroyed.
We also seek to obtain records that may provide evidence of what caused the crash. Obtaining access to the truck’s electronic data recorder is also very important.
This device provides various data about the truck’s operations before a collision. The truck’s electronic data recorder provides a record of the following:
- Date and time of the trash,
- Vehicle speed,
- Engine speed,
- Brake status,
- Clutch status,
- Gas pedal position,
- Cruise control status, and
- Steering angle.
Depending on the age and model of the semi-trailer truck, investigators can gather additional information such as onboard video recordings and data from GPS-based fleet monitoring systems.
We will also interview people involved with the crash and may seek evidence such as cellphone records and weather and traffic reports. Only a full investigation of the accident’s circumstances will produce the evidence required to prove fault.
Characteristics of the Best Truck Crash Law Firms
How do you select the right truck accident lawyer to represent you? When researching the best truck crash law firms, it’s important to consider key factors to make an informed decision.
Truck Accident Experience
You will need a firm with extensive experience handling truck accident injury claims in New Mexico. Our legal team at Flores, Tawney, & Acosta, P.C. knows what to expect from the big truck companies and their insurers.
We are ready to take your claim from the start through resolution.
History of Success
You need a law firm that will help you obtain the most compensation possible through a settlement or jury trial. Hiring a firm with experience and a track record of success is your best bet.
You also want a firm that will see your case through to the end and won’t settle your claim for less than you deserve. Look for an attorney that has both a history of successful settlements and strong trial experience.
Although relying on testimonials alone is not enough to ensure that you have found the best truck crash law firms, it can provide helpful information about the firm.
If you identify patterns in the testimonials that complain about the firm, this is not a good sign. It would be best if you avoided such firms.
Truck Accident Litigation
Under New Mexico law, plaintiffs must prove that the trucking company’s negligence contributed to an accident. Commercial trucking companies must comply with many state and federal regulations.
If they fail to do so and a crash results, they should be liable for any damages.
To obtain compensation, it is sometimes necessary to initiate truck accident litigation. New Mexico law requires filing a truck accident lawsuit within three years of the truck accident.
The Flores Tawney, & Acosta, P.C. legal team can help you initiate your claim before time expires.
How Can We Help? Call Our New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Our New Mexico lawyers have handled truck accident injury and wrongful death cases for over three decades. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a truck accident, contact our truck accident lawyers today.
We take great pride in the fact that we focus on serious injury and wrongful death only. Our knowledgeable team of truck accident lawyers at Flores, Tawney, & Acosta, P.C. will provide you with the representation, guidance, and support you need.
Please contact us today for your free consultation.