New Mexico Trucking Accidents Caused by Running Stop Signs Can Kill
As motorists, we know that stop signs and red lights are very important traffic control devices. These help dictate the right of way and the order vehicles can travel. They help to make intersections, which are very dangerous areas of roadways, safer by requiring a lane of travel to come to a full stop. Sometimes this is at an intersection where all vehicles entering the intersection can stop. Other times this is at an intersection where only one direction needs to stop; the other direction can still proceed. This is particularly important with the significant increase in large commercial trucks on our roadways which can cause serious personal injuries in a collision.
Motorists and even pedestrians at intersections with traffic control devices such as stop signs and red lights have an expectation that other vehicles will abide by those devices. In fact there is a legal duty to do so. When a motorist fails to follow the traffic control devices, that is a breach of the duty of care. When this breach causes personal injuries or damages to another, the violator may be found to be negligent. When the violator is a large commercial truck, both the truck driver and the trucking company can be liable to all victims.
New Mexico Trucks Failing to Stop at Stop Signs are Negligent and Negligent Per se
Under the common law, which is judge-made law evolved over the years, a truck driver is negligent when he has a duty of care, breaches such duty, and the breach causes damages. A truck driver has a duty of care to stop at a stop sign. When the truck driver runs the stop sign, he or she breaches the duty of care. If the truck driver collides with another vehicle and causes personal injuries to another when he or she breaches the duty to stop at a stop sign, the truck driver will be found negligent by the common law.
Under the same facts, a truck driver can also be negligence as a matter of law under the doctrine of negligence per se for a New Mexico trucking accident. This doctrine finds that a statutory violation which is meant to protect a class of people from a certain harm, and causes harm to that class of persons, is an automatic finding of negligence. This includes a stop sign under NM Stat. 66-7-330, which requires “every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop . . . and after having stopped shall yield to the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on the highway as to constitute an immediate hazard . . . .”
Therefore, a truck which fails to stop at an intersection and collides with another vehicle may be negligence per se. Even if a truck stops at the intersection and then proceeds, if the truck does not do so safely the truck can still be negligence per se.
New Mexico Truck Accidents Caused by Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign is Negligence and Victims can Receive Compensation for their Injuries!
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.