Truck Accident

New Mexico Trucking Crashes Caused by Speeding

- Mark Caruso

Speed Kills, Especially When New Mexico Trucks Speed on Interstates

In case you did not already know, speed kills.  According to statistics, speed-related crashes cost $40.4 billion and resulted in over 10,000 deaths.  Approximately 30 percent (30%) of all motor vehicle accidents are caused or contributed to by speeding.  Among male drivers, seventy-four percent (74%) of fatal speed-related crashes were between 15 to 24 years old.  For females, forty percent (40%) of fatal speed-related crashes were between 15 to 24 years old.  In New Mexico, 365 people were killed in the last year of statistics due to speeding.  That’s one a day.

The only thing more dangerous than speeding, is speeding in a large commercial truck such as a big rig, semi, 18-wheeler, tanker, flatbed, tandem trailer, double trailer, or other large truck.  These vehicle are already very heavy and difficult to maneuver.  They require a lot of time to brake and slow down.  Speeding not only increases the difficulty to maneuver and the destine it requires to stop, but also decreases the driver’s reaction time to begin braking.  This is clearly a recipe for disaster.

At the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced New Mexico trucking crash attorneys know this.  We have handled many motor vehicle accidents caused by excessive speed, particularly involving large commercial trucks.  If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a New Mexico trucking crash caused by excessive speed, call us today by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help get you the maximum amount of compensation that you may be entitled to.

Speeding is Against the Law: How to Prove Liability With a Traffic Ticket

Under New Mexico Law Stat. 66-7-301 (d), “[i]n every event, speed shall be so controlled by the driver as may be necessary: (1) to avoid colliding with a person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway; (2) to comply with legal requirements as may be established by the state highway and transportation department or the New Mexico state police division of department of public safety and the duty of all persons to use due car . . . .”

If a driver causes a motor vehicle accident due to speeding and a violation of this section of law, a victim can use this violation against the speeder.  The doctrine of negligence per se  allows a victim to use to violation of a traffic law to establish negligence where the traffic law was intended to protect the victim from the harm that the violation occurred.  In this case, the speeding statute prevents victims from being hurt in motor vehicle accidents caused by speeding drivers.  Therefore, a victim will be able to prove his or her case to win.

In a trucking accident, the victim can also show the trucking company as well.  This is because the truck driver is working on behalf of the trucking company.  Thus, the trucking company will be vicariously liable for the negligence of the truck driver.  This is important because it allows a victim to receive compensation under the trucking company’s insurance policy.

Speed Kills, and Truck Drivers that Speed in New Mexico are Killing More and More Innocent Motorists Each Year

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.

US 550 is One of the New Mexico’s Deadliest Roads

- Mark Caruso

Recent Study Finds US 550 in New Mexico to be State’s Deadliest

According to government traffic data, US 550 may be the deadliest road in New Mexico.  Residents of New Mexico know this, as US 550 has a high speed limit and a narrow median separating the two southbound and two northbound lanes.  This route is used by people traveling north in New Mexico, including large trucking companies.

Unfortunately, New Mexico personal injury lawyers also know how deadly US 550 is and can be to motorists.  Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we have handled many motor vehicle accidents occurring on US 550 resulting in the wrongful death of many innocent people.  If you or a loved one were seriously injured or killed on US 550, call us today for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000.  We can help protect your rights to the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to.

Trucks on US 550 Kill Families: The “Killing Zone”

Recently the Santa Fe New Mexican ran an article about two families who were killed on US 550 by large commercial trucks.  Last month, the Crawford family of Aztec, New Mexico were headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico on US 550 to watch their sons play soccer.  The mother, father, and two children never made it to the game because a large commercial truck crossed over the median and hit them head-on.  They were all killed in this serious trucking accident.

This recent accident is similar to the Miller accident years earlier, where the mother, father, and two children were killed on US 550 on their way back from a Texas family vacation.  Also in that case, a large commercial truck crossed the centerline and struck them head-on, killing all the family members in the car.

According to the newspaper, some patrolmen refer to US 550 anywhere from San Ysidro, New Mexico north is a “killing zone” due to all of the traffic accidents.  This specifically refers to trucking accidents, which are coming from Albuquerque which is a major hub for trucking companies delivering cargo throughout the country.

Interestingly, under Interstate 40 in New Mexico had more fatal motor vehicle accidents per mile than US 550.  But it is important to know that Interstate 40 handles more than twice the number of vehicles than US 550.

Common Causes of US 550 Crashes

According to studies, a majority of those motor vehicle accidents include cases where the car in the other lane crosses the median and into the oncoming lane.  Some believe that the road was constructed poorly and that cable medians are needed because research has shown them to be approximately 90% effective at preventing traffic from crossing into the oncoming lane.  Other believe the speed limit is too high for that roadway to begin with.

Others believe that it is driver error which is the problem.  Many of the motor vehicle accidents have involved drugs or alcohol.  Some trucking accidents have been caused by a fatigued driver.  Other accidents are caused by drivers speeding above the limit.  Some accidents have been caused by a combination of these actions, which is even worse.

Loved one Injured or Killed on US 550?  Call Us Now

 

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.

Can I Get Lost Wages in a New Mexico Motor Vehicle Crash?

- Mark Caruso

Sometimes Lost Wages Can be the Largest Part of Your Recovery in a New Mexico Motor Vehicle Accident, And All Victims Should Know Their Rights to Compensation

When most people think of a motor vehicle crash, they think of the pain and suffering and the hospital bills which they will ensure and may obtain compensation for in a lawsuit.  While this is certainly true and is the most commonly sought damages, a victim can also obtain his or her lost wages from work.  In fact, a lost wage claim can actually be even greater than a pain and suffering claim if the victim suffered severe injuries keeping him or her out of work for a long period of time.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced New Mexico motor vehicle accident attorneys know that victims need to be compensated for their lost wages.  Many families depend on these wages and when a family member supporting the household can no longer work, it can create a great burden on the rest of the family.  If you or a loved one have been injured and unable to work, call us today for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can protect your rights to compensation.

Lost Wage Claims Are Available to All Motorists Injured in New Mexico Accidents

Where a victim of a motor vehicle accident is seriously injured and out of work for several months, he or she may have an extended lost wage claim.  A lost wage claim is simply the lost wages that the victim would have earned if he or she had not been injured.  It is simply lost time from work.  The more seriously injured a victim is and the longer away from work, the greater the lost wages.

This is why victims of New Mexico trucking accidents have some of the largest lost wages claims.  Trucking crashes with large commercial vehicles such as big rigs, 18 wheelers, tankers, flatbeds, semis, tandem trailers, and other large trucks will cause devastating wrecks and catastrophic injuries.  This means a victim will be away from work longer, and will miss more salary.  This means a higher lost wage claim.

A Truck Driver’s Lost Wage Claims

Truckers who are also working in national companies like Schneider, Estes, FedEx, and other large trucking companies may also be injured in New Mexico.  Indeed, New Mexico has some of the busiest interstates in the country.  I-40, I-25, and I-10 are very busy and important hubs for trucking companies sending goods coast to coast.

Sometimes these truck drivers fall victim to serious traffic accidents due to the negligence of another truck driver or other drivers.  The Caruso Law Offices, P.C. has represented many such injured truck drivers, including those from Ontario and Upland, California, who are traveling through New Mexico.  Many times truck drivers, even if just incapacitated for several weeks or months, could have large lost wage claims.

Victims of New Mexico Motor Vehicle Accidents Should Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. If They Have a Lost Wage Claim

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.

Pelvic Fractures Caused by Albuquerque Motor Vehicle Accidents

- Mark Caruso

Serious Motor Vehicle Accidents Can Cause Serious Pelvic Fracture

One of the most serious types of fractures that a person can sustain is of the pelvis.  This is because the pelvis is very strong and sturdy, and it takes a lot of force to fracture the pelvis.  When the pelvis is fractured, it is often very dangerous because there are a lot of very vital structures running through that area, including major blood vessels, organs, and nerves.  Pelvic fractures may also cause extensive bleeding which must be quickly treated.

This is why a motor vehicle accident is one of the most common causes of a pelvic fracture, more than slip and falls or disease conditions.  The most common type of motor vehicle accident causing a pelvic fracture is a trucking accident, such as with a semi trailer, tandem truck,  big rig, 18-wheeler, tanker, and other large commercial truck.  This is because these types of trucks have a lot of weight and speed which means they have a lot of force and momentum.

Anatomy of the Pelvis

The pelvis is not made up of a lot of bones, but all of these bones are rather sturdy and rather important.  The sacrum is the triangular-shaped bone at the base of the spine which makes up the center of the pelvis.  The coccyx or tailbone is the very bottom of the sacrum.

Then there are the hip bones, which are the illium (the wings of the hips), ischium (ringed-shape bone at the bottom of the pelvis), and the pubis (narrow segment of bone between the ilium and ischium in the center of the pelvis near the base of the coccyx).  The three hip bones form a “cup,” known as the acetabulum socket, which is where the femur or leg bone connect.

Types of Pelvis Fractures Caused by Albuquerque Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are two general types of fractures of the pelvis.  These are a stable fracture and an unstable fracture.  A stable fracture is where there is just one break, the fractured ends line up, and the bones are not really shifting or moving.

An unstable fracture is whether there are two or more breaks, the fractured ends of the bones do not line up, and the bones may shift or move.  An unstable fracture is very common in high-speed collisions, particularly interstate collisions on Interstate 10, Interstate 25, and Interstate 40.  These types of collisions are frequently caused by trucking collisions.

Types of Stable Fractures

There are three main types of stable pelvic fractures which could be caused by a motor vehicle accident.  The first is where the iliac wing (the hip bone) is fractured.  This is the large bone that flares out to the sides of the spine at the hip.  The second is a sacrum fracture, which is the base of the spine.  The third is a pubic rim fracture, which is the ring-shaped bone at the bottom of the hip that breaks.

Types of Unstable Fractures

There are also three main types of unstable pelvic fractures which could be caused by a motor vehicle accident, but are most likely in a trucking crash.  The first is an anterior-posterior compression fracture which is where the iliac wing (shaped hip bone) and where the pubis bones on the left and right side meet in the middle.

The second type is a lateral compression fracture.  This type of fracture is very common in serious motor vehicle accident because the pelvis is struck and crushed inward.  The iliac wing, pubic, and ischium usually all break and curl towards the center of the body.  Think of a side-impact collision like a t-bone which hits an occupant and pushes all the bones inwards.

The third type is a vertical shear fracture.  This is another common type of fracture caused by a car accident.  This is where one half of the pelvis is pushed upwards and the base of the iliac wing, pubis, and ischium all fracture at or near the midpoint.   These types of fractures are also common in serious motor vehicle crashes where the metal of the car is very serious jolted and mangled, popping the occupant up in his or her seat even though there is a seatbelt on.

If You Have a Pelvis Fracture Caused by an Albuquerque Car Accident or Albuquerque Trucking Accident, Call our Experienced Attorneys Today to Learn How We Can Protect Your Rights to Compensation!

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.

Truck Crash Statistics to Know: Albuquerque Trucking Accident Attorney Shares Scary Stats!

- Mark Caruso

Shocking Trucking Accident Statistics You Must Know and Share with Loved Ones

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute just released horrifying and shocking statistics regarding trucking accidents.  Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we know how dangerous trucking accidents can be but most of our clients are surprised when they are involved in one.  Our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident attorneys have handled many trucking crash cases, even simple bumper taps, which have resulted in permanent and life-threatening injuries.  Unfortunately, many people have also been killed in these types of truck crashes.

Here are some findings from the study and comments from our law office:

Most deaths in large truck crashes are the occupants of passenger vehicles.  It seems like almost every trucking accident case involves a family in a passenger car being serious injured or killed while a truck driver walks away with minor injuries, if any.  According to the statistics, 69% of the people killed in a truck crash were the occupants of other vehicles—not the large truck.  There were 3,852 fatalities in trucking crashes, which equates to 10.5 people killed each day.

This is because commercial trucks such as big rigs, 18 wheelers, tankers, flatbeds, tandem trailers, semi trucks, and other large trucks tower over smaller passenger cars placing the truck driver higher up and out of danger, but lining up the passenger occupants with the large tires or engine block.  Large trucks also have significant momentum due to their large size and heavy weight, which sends powerful shockwaves through passenger vehicles causing serious injuries.  Simply put, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are more vulnerable.

Truck braking capacity can be a factor in causing truck crashes.  Given their large size and heavy weight, large commercial trucks can take 20 to 40 percent farther than other vehicles to come to a stop.  This distance is magnified on fast roads such as interstates I-40, I-25, and I-10 going through New Mexico, or during dust storms or on wet roads.  If a truck’s brakes are poorly maintained, they can cause even longer stopping distances.  Rear end truck crashes can easily result in the wrongful death of an innocent person.

Truck driver fatigues is a known crash risk, and a serious contributing factor.  Even though federal regulations have hours of services requirements, many trucking companies and truck drivers push the limits and even forge their service logs.  Many drivers use caffeine supplements or even illegal drugs to help them stay away while driving, which can obviously add to the risk.

If You or a Loved One Are Seriously Injured in an Albuquerque Trucking Accident, Call us Today!

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.

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.

New Mexico Cities with the Worst Intersections for Fatal Car Accidents

- Mark Caruso

These New Mexico Cities Have the Worst Ranked Intersections for Fatal Car Accidents in the Entire State!

Intersections are the most dangerous portion of the road and travel pattern that a driver can encounter.  Unfortunately, most drivers encounter an intersection several times a day.  While most drivers successfully navigate these intersections, far too many people do not leave them alive.  Indeed, intersections kill more people each year than any other portion of a roadway.  And the reason is simple—cars from multiple sides are all coming together to a single point at the same time.  Even traffic light or traffic signed controlled intersections are still downright dangerous.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we handle many motor vehicle crashes at intersections which result in the wrongful death of a victim.  If you or a loved one have been serious injured or killed in a New Mexico intersection crash, call our experienced Albuquerque car accidents attorneys for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000.  We will advise you of your rights and right to ensure you get the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.

List of New Mexico Cities with the Worst Intersections

According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the fifty worst intersections were ranked by the total number of motor vehicle crashes for three consecutive years.  After reviewing the data, the New Mexico cities with the worst Intersections are the following:

Albuquerque, New Mexico

There are more dangerous and deadly intersections in Albuquerque, New Mexico than anywhere else in the state.  In fact, the top 13 worst intersections were all in Albuquerque! And a majority of the list is from Albuquerque.

Paseo Del Norte Blvd NW and Paseo Del Norte Blvd NE contributed to over 250 fatal crashes which is more than any other three streets on the list.  The most dangerous intersection for car accidents was Paseo Del Norte Blvd NW and Coors Blvd NW, and the second worst was Paseo Del Norte Blvd NE and Jefferson St NE.  Other dangerous portions of Paseo Del Norte Blvd are NE and Pan American East Highway NE, and NW and 2nd St NW.

Other dangerous roads with deadly intersections in Albuquerque for car crashes were San Mateo Blvd NE, Montgomery Blvd NE, Coors Blvd NW, and Wyoming Blvd NE.  Of all the cities on this list, Albuquerque, New Mexico absolutely had the most crashes, the most injuries, and the most deaths than any other of the cities on the list.  While most of these intersections have  fatality and injury rate between 25% and 29%, the intersections of Central Ave W and Unser Blvd NW and Indian School Road NE and Sant Mateo Blvd NE both had a 38% fatality and injury rate—second highest on the list!

Las Cruces, New Mexico

While Las Cruces does not have nearly as many intersections on the list, motor vehicle crashes here are likely to cause serious injury or be fatal then any other intersection on the list!  In fact, Las Cruces, New Mexico holds the highest percentage and third highest percentage rate of injury or death in an intersection crash.  The worst was a 41% fatality and injury rate at Elks Dr and Main St.  This is the highest on the list and scary that almost half the time a person will be seriously injured or killed in a crash!.  The third worst on the list is Main St and Solano Drive in Las Cruces, New Mexico has a 37% fatality and injury rate.

Another reason why Las Cruces has such a high percentage of injury and fatality rates is simply because this is a major trucking hub and there are a lot of New Mexico trucking accidents occurring here.  Indeed, trucking companies across the country like Schneider, US Parcel, Estes, McLane, FedEx, and other large companies use New Mexico’s popular interstate highway system to ship cargo coast to coast and north to south.  At Las Cruces, this includes where I-25 and I-10 meet to switch north to south and east to west.  US Route 70 and US Route 180 are also very popular routes adding to the danger of motor vehicle accidents.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

While there are not many Santa Fe cities on the list, the one that is on the list carries a one in four chance to seriously hurt or kill a person in a crash.  This is Cerrillos Rd and St Francis Dr, and has caused over 150 crashes in three years with almost 40 killing or seriously hurting a victim.  Cerrillos Rd and Zafarano Dr is also a very serious intersection, where 30% of the people involved in a crash are seriously hurt or killed.

Española, New Mexico

While only one intersection makes the list, it has resulted in a fatality or serious injury in 37% of the motor vehicle accidents which is tied third for the worst intersection.  The intersection of Fairview Lane and Riverside Drive is incredibly deadly and single handedly gets Española on the list.

Farmington, New Mexico

This is the last non-Albuquerque city on the list.  The intersection of 30th St and Main St has seriously injured or killed 21% of the drivers and passengers.  Motorist should use extreme care when traveling on this intersection as well.

The Caruso Law Offices, P.C. Fight for the Rights of Victims at Dangerous Intersections

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.

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.

Family of Four Killed in Fiery Albuquerque Trucking Accident on US 550

- Mark Caruso

Tragic Accident on US 550 Involving Albuquerque, New Mexico Work Truck Explained by Counsel

In a split second, an entire family was killed in a New Mexico trucking accident.  On May 12, 2017, a family of four was in an SUV on US 550, a fast-moving highway in New Mexico.  In a work truck coming in the other direction, four men were leaving a job in Albuquerque, New Mexico after doing a landscaping job.  The work truck drifted into the oncoming lane, striking head-on the family of four in the SUV.  It resulted in a large, fiery explosion.  All four in the SUV were killed—a retired firefighter, stay-at-home-mom, and two children aged 4 and 2 and a half years old. The driver of the work truck also died, and the three other in his vehicle were seriously injured.

According to the survivors in the work truck, they admitted to drinking prior to the collision.  While the deceased driver’s toxicology report has not been completed yet, the survivors claim they did drink prior to the collision.  The deceased driver had previously been charged with DWI, but the charges were twice dismissed.  It appears likely that alcohol contributed to this accident.

An All Too Common Fact Pattern: Pieces of a Deadly Puzzle Explained

Unfortunately, alcohol is a common cause of New Mexico motor vehicle accidents.  This has been a major problem throughout the United States for years, and it is one of the most preventable types of motor vehicle accidents.

Interstates and highways like I-40, I-25, I-10, and US 550 are all very fast moving roads.  This means that drivers have less time to react and their vehicle require more distance to stop.  This is a dangerous combination, especially with large commercial trucks like big rigs, 18 wheelers, tankers, tandem trailers, flatbeds, tractor trailers, and other large trucks.

Fires and explosions is a dangerous element in highway collisions.  In very serious motor vehicle accidents, especially on the highway, a gas tank may be ruptured and result in a large explosion and fire.  Out in remote parts of the highways or interstates, this can be catastrophic as it may take first responders a significant amount of time to get to the accident scene to rescue victims and put out the fire.

Large commercial trucks are also deadly, even when operated in a reasonably safe manner.  IN this case, there was a piece of equipment on a bed behind the work truck.  This makes the vehicle heavier and harder to maneuver and stop.  This also gives the work truck much more momentum and force behind it, making a head on collisions particularly deadly.

Fiery, Highway, Truck Accidents Require the Representation of Zealous New Mexico Trucking Accident Attorneys Such As the 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.

Injured in the Cab of a Truck: New Mexico Trucking Accident Injuries to Co-Drivers

- Mark Caruso

When a Co-Driver in a Truck is Injured by the Driver in a New Mexico Trucking Crash, He or She May Be Entitled to Compensation

Some of the largest trucking companies use New Mexico’s busy interstates to transport cargo throughout the United States.  Indeed, companies such as US Parcel, Schneider, and FedEx us I-40, I-25, and I-10 to ship goods north and south, and east and west, through New Mexico and to different ends of the country.  In long and large shipping deliveries, trucking companies may use two drivers to help transport their goods in a faster timetable.  This allows one driver to sleep and rest in the cabin while another driver focuses on the road.  Then they can switch when the hours of operation regulations require rest.

While this can be a safe practice, unfortunately sometimes it is not.  The sleeping driver is completely at the whim of another truck driver and defenseless to any negligence.  Large commercial trucks such as big rigs, tankers, 18 wheelers, tandem trailers, tractor trailers, and other large trucks are always very dangerous.  A sleeping driver could be involved in a serious trucking accident and never wake up.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident attorneys know how devastating it can be for a loved one to perish in a catastrophic trucking crash.  We have the experience and knowledge necessary to zealously represent a victim and his or her family to ensure they get the maximum compensation they deserve.  Call us today by dialing (505) 883-5000 for a FREE consultation.  We represent many drivers in Ontario, Upland, and the surrounding area in serious trucking accidents which they did not cause, and we help them receive the compensation they deserve.

Rights of a Sleeping Co-Pilot in a Trucking Collision

When another driver is sleeping in the cabin while a coworker drives and causes a serious New Mexico trucking accident, the sleeping driver can easily be seriously injured.  The sleeping driver is not doing anything wrong and cannot be liable for the accident.  Thus, he or she has rights to compensation against the negligent part.

If the negligent party is the other truck driver – When the co-driver is the negligent party, the sleeping driver will have rights to commence a lawsuit against the negligent co-worker and his employer.  However, this is only where the employer does not comply with New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act which requires an employer to carry workers’ compensation insurance.  If an employer does NOT comply with the Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured driver can commence and action.  Otherwise, it is unlikely an employee will be able to sue an employer.  However, it should be noted that if the employee is really an independent contractor and not an employee, the injured employee CAN sue!

If the negligent party is another driver – When the co-driver is not the negligent party but rather another driver on the roadway causes the serious New Mexico trucking accident, the sleeping driver can commence a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.  The other driver will likely commence a third party action against your co-driver, employer, and even you, but that may have little effect on your recovery.

New Mexico Trucking Accidents Injuring or Killing Co-Drivers

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.