negligence per se

Two Passengers from Roswell Killed in US 70 New Mexico Truck Crash: NM Attorney Explains

- Mark Caruso

New Mexico Rear End Truck Accident Kills Two from Roswell on US 70 near Elida, New Mexico: New Mexico Trucking Accident Attorney Explains the Rights and Liabilities

According to multiple news outlets, a horrible motor vehicle crash occurred on March 25, 2017 at about 2:15 PM on US 70 just south of Elida, New Mexico.  Alexander Horton and Leonard Padilla, both from Roswell, New Mexico were killed when the semi truck driven by Jack Pulliam of Amarillo, Texas rear ended the vehicle they were passengers in.

Alexander Horton and Leonard Padilla were passengers in the vehicle driven by Stephanie Yamteh who also is from Roswell.  She sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas.  Jack Pulliam, the young truck driver, was taken to Roosevelt General Hospital in Portales, and treated for minor injuries.

US 70 is a major highway cutting across southern New Mexico.  It crosses with some of the largest trucking highways and interstates in the county, including I-25 in Las Cruces, New Mexico and I-10 in Lordsburg, New Mexico.  Major trucking companies such as Estes, FedEx, US Parcel, Schneider International, and other companies frequently use these highways to ship cargo throughout the United States.

Our experienced New Mexico trucking accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. have seen many fatal trucking accidents in this corridor.  If you or a loved one have been serious injured or killed in this area, call us today for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000.

Wrongful Death Actions in New Mexico

There is nothing that can be said or done to bring back a life lost due to the negligence of a truck driver.  No amount of compensation and no amount of punishment for the negligent truck driver or trucking company.  Human life is just not replaceable.

New Mexico law attempts to help compensate a family such as the Hortons and the Padillas by allowing a family to commence a wrongful death lawsuit.  NM Stat. 41-2-1 defines a wrongful death as a death that was caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.  A rear end truck accident easily fits that classification.

The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is for two main reasons.  The first is to compensate the victim’s family for the loss of their loved one’s love and affection, services, consortium, and financial support.  A victim’s family can also seek compensation for their loved one’s pain and suffering which ultimately caused his or her death.  The second purpose is to punish the negligent party to help serve as a deterrent to stop causing accidents and injuries such as these.

Rear End Trucking Accidents on the Interstate are Almost Always Negligent

When one driver rear ends another vehicle, it is almost always negligent unless there is a non-negligent excuse.  There almost never is a non-negligent excuse in a rear end crash on the interstate.  This is because following too closely is a violation of the vehicle and traffic law.  Under NM Stat 66-7-318, “[t]he driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”  When a truck rear ends another vehicle on an interstate, such truck is likely violating this statute and negligent as a matter of law.

This is very serious.  Large commercial vehicles such as big rigs, semi truck, tandem trailers, and other large trucks which rear end a smaller passenger vehicle almost always kill if not seriously injury passengers in the other vehicle.  Which is what occurred here on US 70 to Alexander Horton, Leonard Padilla, and Stephanie Yamteh.

From the limited facts of this case, and based on the Caruso Law Offices, P.C.’s experience handling similar cases, there could be many causes of this accident including the following:

  • Excessive speed or speeding of the truck driver;
  • Fatigued driving by the truck driver, such as violating the hours of service regulations;
  • Drunk driving of the truck driver;
  • Drugged driving by the truck driver, particularly drugs to help stay awake or stimulants;
  • Truck driver inexperience, particularly given that the truck driver was only 22 years old;
  • Inadequate training for the truck driver by the truck company;
  • Dust storms or weather requiring the truck driver to slow down;
  • Distracted driving such as on a cell phone of playing with the radio;
  • Mechanical failure of the truck such as brakes or steering wheel failure; and
  • Many other causes.

Roswell Trucking Accident Victims Should Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for Legal Representation

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico truck accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Albuquerque Trucking Crashes Caused by Blinding Rain: Liability Explained

- Mark Caruso

When Heavy Rain Causes an Albuquerque Trucking Crash, Liability is Still on the Driver Not on the Weather

A motor vehicle accident caused by heavy rain may appear obvious that it was the rain’s fault, right?  Wrong.  New Mexico law and federal regulations require motorists, particularly truck drivers of big rigs, 18 wheelers, tanker, flatbeds, double trailers, and other large commercial vehicles, to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances when operating a motor vehicle.

What does this mean exactly?  When the weather conditions make driving dangerous, truck drivers need to reduce speed or stop driving to ensure they can safely proceed.  If a truck driver fails to do so, it can result in a serious Albuquerque trucking accident which can seriously injure or kill a victim.  If you or a loved one were killed by a truck driver in heavy rain, call the experienced Albuquerque trucking accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000 for a FREE consultation to learn how we can protect your rights to compensation.

New Mexico Law Requires Trucks to Slow Down or Stop in Heavy, Blinding Rain

New Mexico statutory law, or laws made by the legislature, contain several prohibitions on operating a motor vehicle during heavy, blinding rain where it could result in danger to others on the roadway.  For instant, NM Stat. 66-7-301 provides that a driver shall control the speed of his or her vehicle as necessary to avoid colliding with a person, vehicle or other on the highway.  Cases have interpreted this as meaning if the conditions of the roadway are dangerous due to the weather, a driver must slow down or stop otherwise he or she would be violating this statute and liable for any trucking accident.

Under NM Stat. 66-7-318 (A), a motorist shall not follow another vehicle “more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon the condition of the highway.”  If the condition of the highway is limited due to heavy rain, then a motorist must slow down to avoid colliding with the vehicle in front of him or her.  If the motorist fails to do that, he or she may be negligent for violating the statute and causing serious injuries.

Under the common law, or judge made law, a driver is negligent if he or she fails to see what there is to be seen or hear what there is to be heard.  This means that if a driver knows that he or she cannot see due to the heavy rain, then the driver but slow down or stop to avoid a collision.  Therefore, even if one of the statutes above does not fit, a driver can STILL be found negligent just on the common law claim for negligence.

Federal Regulations Require Trucks to Stop or Slow in Heavy Rain

Laws differ from state to state.  Sine trucking is largely an interstate business wherein large commercial trucks go across the county and use some of New Mexico’s busy interstates such as I-40, I-25, and I-10, federal regulations have been enacted to set general standards throughout all the states.  These regulations are agency made, or enacted by the third and final branch of government—executive branch of government.

Under 49 CFR 392.14, a driver of a large commercial truck must use “extreme caution” in the operation of such truck in hazardous conditions such as rain which “adversely affect[s] visibility or traction.”  Further, the regulation continues that “[s]peed shall be reduced when such conditions exist . . . [i]f conditions become sufficiently dangerous, the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued and shall not be resumed until . . . [the truck] can be safely operated.”

If a truck driver causes a serious Albuquerque trucking accident because he or she failed to operate their vehicle safely given the circumstances, it can result in a violation of this federal regulation.  While it is not automatically a finding of negligence, it is evidence of negligence that a judge or jury may use against the defendant truck driver or trucking company.

Injuries in Albuquerque Trucking Accidents Caused by Heavy Rain Can Result in Liability and Compensation for a Victim

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Cervical Injuries Caused in New Mexico Motor Vehicle Accidents

- Mark Caruso

Cervical Neck Injuries are Painful and Debilitating, and Can be Caused by Any New Mexico Motor Vehicle Accidents

The neck is one of the most important parts of the human body.  It holds your heads and spinal cord which essentially gives power to your entire body.  It is the pathway for air, which is essential to stay alive.  It is also where your food and water comes in, which is also essential for life.  You also move your neck constantly and it is involved in almost every movement you can possible make and any activity from sitting down to driving a car.

If your neck is damaged, not only can it easily kill you, but it can completely incapacitate you.  Even non-permanent injuries can result in prolonged pain and suffering, as well as debilitating conditions.  Unfortunately, neck injuries are more likely to be permanent and debilitating than to be not.  This is particularly true in any New Mexico motor vehicle accident, particularly New Mexico trucking accidents.

Here are the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced New Mexico motor vehicle accident attorneys have handled many accidents involving cervical neck injuries caused by the negligence of another.  We know how it can cause permanent and prolonged pain, suffering, and therapy.  If you or a loved one have sustained a cervical neck injury due to a New Mexico motor vehicle accident, call us today for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can protect your rights to compensation.

Common Cervical and Neck Problems Caused by New Mexico Motor Vehicle Accidents

Any neck injuries can result in permanent disabilities and a lifetime of pain.  Even slow speed and low impact motor vehicle accidents can result in these type of catastrophic injuries.  Some common types of neck injuries include the following:

  • Whiplash injuries;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Bulging discs;
  • Cervical fusion;
  • Torn tendons or ligaments in the neck;
  • Brachial plexus injuries;
  • Nerve injuries;
  • Fracture vertebra;
  • Windpipe injuries;
  • Muscle strains;
  • Neck sprains;
  • Herniated discs;
  • Lacerations;
  • Cervical dislocation;
  • Decapitation;
  • Cervical radiculopathy;
  • Severe headaches;
  • Numbness, weakness, and slower reflexes;
  • Muscle spasms in your neck;
  • Wrongful death; and
  • Many other injuries.

Common Causes of New Mexico Cervical/Neck Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are many potential causes of cervical or neck injuries in New Mexico motor vehicle accidents.  The most common is a rear-end car accident, which results in a violent back and forth motion of the neck and head.  Similarly, head on collisions result in the same forces and motion.  Side impact collisions are also very dangerous because the neck is not supported by a headrest.

Trucking accidents are also more likely to result in cervical and neck injuries.  Even a small bumper tap from a large commercial truck such as a big rig or 18-wheeler can send shockwaves through a smaller passenger vehicle which causes catastrophic neck injuries.

Severe Cervical Neck Injuries Caused by New Mexico Car Accidents

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Driving Under Influence of Drugs More Common Than Alcohol: New Mexico Car Accident Attorney Shares New Report

- Mark Caruso

Drugged Driving is More Likely the Cause of a New Mexico Motor Vehicle Accident Than Drunk Driving, According to New Study

We all know that drunk driving is a very serious danger to people on or new the roads.  But according to a new study and report, “drugged driving,” or driving while under the influence of drugs, is more common than drunk driving.  The report studied the deaths of motorists in motor vehicle accidents throughout the country, and found that 43% of deceased motorists had drugs in their system.  Whereas 38% of deceased motorists had alcohol in their system.  This is the first time that drugged driving was found to be more prevalent than drunk driving.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we know that driving under the influence of anything is incredibly dangerous for all on or near the roadway.  Our experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys have represented victims of serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents caused by intoxicated drivers on both drugs or alcohol.  Call us today for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can protect your rights to compensation.

Drugged Driving or Drunk Driving is Against the Law in New Mexico

Under New Mexico law, NM Stat. 66-8-102 makes it “unlawful for a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to drive a vehicle within this state.”  It is further “illegal for a person who is under the influence of any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safety driving a vehicle to drive a vehicle in this state.”  Violating this statute and causing a motor vehicle accident will render a defendant negligent per se, or automatically negligent for the violation of the statute.

Additionally, under the common law, or judge-made law, driving while ability impaired by drugs or alcohol and causing a motor vehicle accident is also negligent.  This is because drivers owe a duty of care to others on or near the roadway to drive sober.  When a driver breaches that duty and drives while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes a motor vehicle accident, he or she will be found negligent.

Truck Drivers are Likely to Use Drugs While Driving and Cause New Mexico Trucking Accidents

With trucking, time is money.  The faster a shipment can be made, the faster a trucking company and truck driver can make money.  This almost coerces truck drivers into cheating sleep to drive more and deliver more to make more money.  Many truck drivers, unfortunately, turn to controlled substances and drugs to help them stay awake.  Infamously would be speed or cocaine, which are stimulants.

However, the FCMSA has regulations which apply throughout the United States and prohibit this conduct.  Under section 392.4, no driver is permitted to operate a commercial vehicle while in possession of or under the influence of certain drugs, kindling speed and cocaine, as well as any other drug which may render a driver incapable of safely operating a commercial vehicle.
Additionally, section 392.5 prohibits the use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle or being under the influence of alcohol.

As noted above, violations here are against the common law.  A violation of the regulation which causes a New Mexico trucking accident is not automatically negligence like the violation of a statute, but it is evidence of negligence which can help prove your case.

Drugged Driving and Drunk Driving Cause New Mexico Trucking Accidents, and Are Dangerous!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Valuing Injuries to Children in New Mexico Trucking Accidents

- Mark Caruso

Children Harmed in New Mexico Trucking Accidents Can Suffer Serious and Permanent Injuries Which Affect his or her Whole Life

Children are precious.  They are also some of the most vulnerable members of our society.  This is particularly true of infants and the younger the child is.  This is not just because of their ability to care for themselves, but also because their bodies are growing.  Injuries to a growing person, such as an injury to an organ, growth plate, or to the brain, can result in very serious and permanent injuries.  These can affect a child’s entire development.

When these injuries are caused due to the negligence of a defendant, such as a truck driver, it can cause strong emotions such as frustration or even anger.  Injuries to children can also create emotional, physical, and financial burdens on the child and the entire family.  These can completely flip over an entire family’s way of life.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced New Mexico trucking accident attorneys know how devastating a trucking accident can be to a young child.  We have handled many trucking accident cases and know how to fight for the rights of young victims harmed by large commercial trucking companies such as FedEx, McLane, and J.B. Hunt.  Call us today for a FREE case evaluation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help lift those burdens off of your family’s shoulders and place them on ours.  We will help you focus on recovering while we fight for your rights.

Valuing a Child’s Injury in a New Mexico Trucking Accident

Valuing the injuries to an infant or child after a New Mexico trucking accident is a very difficult process that not every lawyer is equipped to do.  Generally, several different types of experts are needed to help evaluate the injury child and the injuries.  Some of the most common experts and the types of cases they are needed on is the following:

 

Neurologist – required for any brain injury case, but also any nerve injury case, spinal cord injury case, or other spine or head injury case.  Psychological or emotional injuries will also require a neurological report, which is also required to help prove them.

 

Orthopedic expert – in the case of broken bones, especially to major bones like those in the arm, leg, spine, or head, an orthopedist is required to help prove your damages.  When the broken bones are among growth plates, an expert is required to opine as to the effect of the fracture on the development of the bone.

 

Life care planner – in the event that an infant or child is so severely injured he or she will no longer be able to care for himself or herself, a life care planner is needed to evaluate and explain what the treatment plans are, what the costs of these plans are, and how they will evolve as the child gets older.  This includes calculating the costs of care and the potential for raising costs.  It includes all future doctor’s visits, treatment, surgeries, medications, home health equipment, and related expenses.

 

Economist – if it is possible for the child to not be able to work, or not be able to do a certain type of work, an economist can be used to help calculate the lost future earnings.  With a young child not yet in the work force, this is very difficult to calculate and usually involves a formula of the parent’s income and the other siblings.  There is no exact science, but a persuasive argument.  The life expectancy of the child is also needed to help calculate this.

Reasons Why New Mexico Trucking Accidents Cause Serious Damages to Infants and Children

Large commercial trucks are just that—large.  They are heavy and on interstates such as I-10, I-25, and I-40 they move very fast.  The potential for a very serious and catastrophic collision is real.  An infant or child’s small body is easily crushed or damaged in these types of high speed collisions.  This is particularly true of organ injuries, where a young child does not have the benefit of a fully-hardened and protective rib cage.  Even though a child’s bones are more flexible, that does not always mean it is a benefit in these types of traumatic collisions.

Further, infant and young children may be unable to assist themselves out of a trucking accident wreck.  This means they may get stuck in a wreck and sustain addition damages, such as fire or chemical burns.  Large commercial trucks are indiscriminate, and will cause serious damage to whatever human body it collides with.

Representing Children Injured in New Mexico Trucking Accidents is What We Do at Caruso Law Offices, P.C.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Easter Holiday Weekends Bring Joy, But Also Increased Risk of Alcohol-related Car Accidents

- Mark Caruso

New Mexico Car Accidents Increased During Holiday Weekends Because of Alcohol

Easter weekend is a very religious time and not normally associated with alcohol consumption, but it is still a weekend where people get together and celebrate, catch up, and enjoy food and drink.  It is inevitable that alcohol will be consumed, and even during the day at Easter brunches with family.  This means people may be operating their motor vehicle intoxicated during the peak hours of the day.  With the increased holiday travel due to people commuting, thus putting more people on the roadway, this is a recipe for a serious New Mexico car accident caused by alcohol.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we understand that victims of a New Mexico car accident caused by alcohol are going to be frustrated with the other driver’s extreme negligence.  We know many drunk driving accidents result in serious personal injuries and even the wrongful death of victims, while most drunk drivers seem to always walk away without a scratch.  If you or a loved one have been serious injured due to a drunk driver, call our experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can protect your rights to compensation and ensure you get the maximum amount you deserve.

Drunk Driving is Not Only Dangerous, but it is Illegal

Under NM Stat. 66-8-102, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol under these conditions:

  • if you are driving a commercial vehicle like a tractor trailer, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or more;
  • if you are under 21 years old, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 or more; and
  • if you are over 21 years old, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08.

It is also illegal under the common law, or judge-made law, which finds that a driver who operates a motor vehicle with an impaired ability due to intoxication may be liable for the damages he or she proximately causes.  This is because each driver must operate his or her vehicle as a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances as another driver, which includes not causing personal injuries due to collisions.

Where a motorist violates the New Mexico statute, he or she is likely to be negligent per se which means he will be found to be automatically negligent.  This helps an injured victim prove liability and win the case.

Truck Drivers Can Also Not Have Any Alcohol, but May be Impaired

New Mexico trucking accidents can be caused by alcohol too.  This is because truck drivers may be away from family and friends, causing some depression, and decide to drink before or even during their shift.  Since Easter is on a Sunday, some other truck drivers may even drink excessive on Sunday and not be legally allowed to drive on Monday when they return back to work.  They may not only be still intoxicated, but also too close to their service hours.

This is governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations as provided for in this link.  While a violation of one of these federal regulations is not automatically negligence, it is evidence of negligence which you can use to help prove your case.  Coupled with the New Mexico statutes, a truck driver who causes a New Mexico trucking accident will very likely be liable for the accident.

Alcohol related Easter Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries and Wrongful Death

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Worst Intersections in Albuquerque, NM: Albuquerque Car Accident Attorney Explains

- Mark Caruso

All Intersections are Deadly, but These are the Worst Intersections in Albuquerque, NM which Result in Many Serious and Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

Intersections are the most dangerous portions of a roadway.  This is because motor vehicle traveling from one direction directly cross over the path of roadway crossing in another direction.    Uncontrolled intersections are the most dangerous, followed by intersections with more than four routes or paths.  When lights malfunction or weather conditions obscure or make visibility difficult, intersections just become more dangerous and likely to result in very serious or fatal Albuquerque trucking accidents.

New Mexico Statutory Law Warns of Dangerous Intersections

In fact, New Mexico statutory law even imposes special requirements on vehicles approaching or in intersections.  Vehicles approaching an intersection is governed by NM Stat. 66-7-328, which establishes the right of way for vehicles in intersections requiring all vehicles approaching the intersection to yield to other vehicles already in the intersection.

NM Stat. 66-7-329 governs vehicles turning left at intersections, and requires all vehicle turning left to yield to all other vehicles to not constitute an immediate hazard when turning.  Similarly under.  NM Stat. 66-7-330, vehicles governs vehicles entering an intersection from a stop or yield sign, such driver must slow down to a speed reasonable and yield to the right of way of all vehicles in the intersection or approaching which constitute an immediate hazard.

Violating these statutes can result in very serious and deadly car accidents.  This can result in liability for the victims, as these statutes are intended to prevent against those harms at intersections.  When they occur, the defendant violating the statute will likely be liable under the theory of negligence per se.  This means that the violator could be found automatically negligent for violating the statute and causing your harm.

Top Five Most Dangerous Intersections in Albuquerque, New Mexico

While all intersections are deadly and dangerous, here at the top five most dangerous and deadly intersections in New Mexico:

  1. Coors Blvd NW and Paseo del Norte Blvd NW – in a three year period approximately 380 motor vehicle accidents were reported with 29% being fatal or causing serious personal injuries.
  2. Jefferson St NE & Paseo del Norte Blvd NE – in a three year period approximately 365 crashes occurred, with 27% resulting in fatal or serious personal injuries.
  3. Montgomery Blvd NE and San Mateo Blvd NE – in a three year period approximately 260 accidents were reported with 25% being fatal or causing serious personal injury.
  4. Central Ave E & San Mateo Blvd – in three years, there were 145 total motor vehicle accidents with 48 resulting in serious personal injuries or a fatality.  What makes this intersection more dangerous is the number of pedestrian collisions which were the highest surveyed at 12 pedestrian knockdowns.
  5. Coors Blvd & Montano Rd. NW – overall ranked the 6th most dangerous in a three year study with 242 crashes and 25% being fatal or resulting in injury, this intersection remained higher on the list for not decreasing and improving its crashes while the other intersections all did.

Victims of Albuquerque Car Accident in the Top Five Dangerous Intersections in New Mexico Require Strong Legal Advocacy

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

New Mexico Drunk Driving Accidents are Decreasing, But Still Too Deadly

- Mark Caruso

Statistics Show New Mexico Trucking Driving Accidents are Decreasing, But Even One is too Many

As experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys, the attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. know that even one drunk driving motor vehicle accident is inexcusable.  These are preventable accidents which should not occur, and only occur but for the negligence of the intoxicated driver.  Recent studies for the last year of statistics have shown that New Mexico drunk driving accidents are steadily decreasing and even at some of their lowest numbers, but still almost 400 people are killed each year in New Mexico drunk driving accidents.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a New Mexico drunk driving accident, call our experienced Albuquerque car accident attorneys to learn how we can protect your rights to compensation.  We will fight to get you the maximum compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries or the death of a loved one.  We offer a FREE consultation, so call (505) 883-5000 now to hear how we can help you.

Grim Statistics for New Mexico

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,254 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving a drunk driver in New Mexico in the years 2003 through 2012.  New Mexico’s rate of deaths per age group per 100,000 was more than the national average in each age group studied.  According to news outlet, this is because New Mexico actually lead the country in alcohol-related deaths in 2014, the last year of compiled statistics.

Drunk Driving is Illegal and is Negligent

NM Stat 66-8-102 makes it is unlawful for any person from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence any intoxicating liquor such as wine, beer, liquor, cider, or any other alcoholic beverage.  There are different levels of intoxication based on a set of parameters, which include the following:

  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more if you are 21 years old or more;
  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .02 or more if you are under 21 years old; and
  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .04 or more if you drive a commercial vehicle like a tractor trailer truck.

Any driver who violates this status can be found negligent per se.  This means that a violator who causes a New Mexico motor vehicle accident is automatically deemed negligent.  This allows a victim who was injured by the drunk driver to prove his or her case by virtue of the drunk driver violating the statute.

Injuries or Wrongful Deaths Cased by a Drunk Driver are Unacceptable and Negligent

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Fatigued and Tired Truck Drivers Causing Albuquerque Trucking Accidents: Federal Regulations Prohibit Driving While Tired

- Mark Caruso

Drowsy Driving is Dangerous and Can Cause Serious Trucking Accidents, Which is Why Federal Regulations Govern a Truck Driver’s Conduct

The trucking business is all about delivering cargo to get paid.  The faster the trucking business delivers cargo, the faster the trucking business gets paid.  The faster the trucking business gets paid, the more the trucking business makes.  Simply put, for trucking businesses time is money.  This means the more shortcuts trucking companies can take to speed up the delivery process, the more money they can make.  The faster a trucking business can deliver goods, the less drivers they need and the more hours they can get out of their drivers.

Trucking Shortcuts Kill

These shortcuts, however, put everyone else on or around the roads at risk for trucking accidents.  The most common shortcut is to have a driver work too many hours on the road delivering as much as possible.  This makes the driver sleep-deprived,  fatigued, and dangerous.

This cannot be more true on the interstates in New Mexico, some of the busiest interstates in the country, where drowsy truck drivers could fall asleep behind the wheel going 75 MPH.  This includes Interstate 40 and Interstate 25 going through Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Interstate 10 going through Las Cruces, New Mexico which is another major hub.  Serious personal injuries or wrongful death can easily occur in these types of trucking accidents.

This is why federal regulations help protect all of us on the roadways from drowsy truck drivers.  These regulations apply to all trucking companies and truck drivers on any roads throughout the Untied States.  These regulations apply in addition to any state-specific regulations or laws which also apply.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations To Protect Drivers From Drowsy Truck Drivers

In addition to it just being negligent under the common law, the federal regulations help prove an Albuquerque trucking accident victim’s case against a tired and fatigued driver.  A violation of a federal regulation is evidence of negligence and can be used to help proof the victim’s case under the theory of negligence per se in an Albuquerque trucking accident.

Specifically, under 49 CFR 392.3, “[n]o driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.”

This means that both the truck driver AND trucking business are responsible for ensuring that the truck driver is not driving while fatigued.  If a truck driver falls asleep while driving, both will be liable under this regulation if the trucking company knew or should have known the truck driver was fatigued or tired.

When a Truck Driver Falls Asleep Behind the Wheel, a Victim of an Albuquerque Trucking Accident Can Collect Compensation for Injuries or Wrongful Death

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico truck accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

New Mexico Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers: Understanding Liability

- Mark Caruso

When a Drunk Driver Causes a New Mexico Car Accident, Victims Can Receive Compensation for their Personal Injuries

Drunk driving car accidents are avoidable.  Yet, they are still way too common in our society.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 there were almost 10,000 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in the United States.  And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired motor vehicle accidents costs more than an estimated $37 billion annually in the United States.  Both sources report that this equates to approximately one person killed by alcohol-related car accidents every 51 minutes.  In addition, drunk driving car accidents cause horrific and serious personal injuries to many more people.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a New Mexico car accident, call our experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000.  We will explain to you all of your rights and how we can obtain the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to.  We will also take the burden of protecting your rights off of your shoulders so you can focus on your recovery with your family.  Do not delay, and call our experienced attorneys today.

New Mexico Law Makes it Unlawful for Any Person to Drive While Under the Influence of an Intoxicating Liquor

It should be obvious, but under NM Stat 66-8-102, it is unlawful for any person from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence any intoxicating liquor.  There are different levels of intoxication based on a set of parameters, which include the following:

  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more if you are 21 years old or more;
  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .02 or more if you are under 21 years old; and
  • it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .04 or more if you drive a commercial vehicle like a tractor trailer truck.

Violating this statute and causing a New Mexico car accident can result in a finding of negligence per se.  This is an automatic finding of negligence based on the violation of a statute.  It can be a powerful tool for a victim to use.

Additionally, New Mexico common law also finds that a defendant can be liable for driving while ability impaired or while intoxicated even under .08 if there are tell-tale characteristics of intoxication.  For instance, if a defendant comes out of a vehicle and fails multiple field sobriety tests but only blows a .04, he or she may still be liable for driving while intoxicated.  Either or, the impaired ability recorded by a police officer can be valuable evidence in a car accident case to establish negligence and win.

Drunk Drivers Causing New Mexico Car Accidents are Negligent

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.