Semi-Truck Accidents on New Mexico Highways Are Too Common

- Mark Caruso

If you have recently traveled on Interstate 25 or Interstate 40 in New Mexico you know that semi-truck traffic is heavy and dangerous. Big tractor trailers and 18 wheelers dominate New Mexico highways. Whether it’s a big rig cutting in front of you from the right lane into your lane of traffic and forcing you to slam on your brakes or the dangerously speeding semi-truck that passes you like you were standing still, interstate truck drivers passing thru New Mexico really think they “own the road!”  It’s for this reason that you must drive defensively on our state’s highways and interstates when near a semi-truck.

Too often semi-trucks are the cause of serious injuries and fatalities.  Their big rigs are no comparison for the family vehicles most of us drive. With tens of thousands of pounds of weight, they smash our family cars like tin cans.  Individuals and families could have been spared the trauma and pain of the collision if the truck driver would have driven more responsibly and carefully through our state. Sometimes the blame is on the driver, but sometimes the blame is on the trucking company itself for negligently hiring the driver, failing to maintain the semi-truck and failing to train and discipline the truck driver.   Unfortunately, there has been an increase in truck drivers from Mexico and Mexican trucking companies on our state’s highways because of changes in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that have allowed non-US licensed drivers to transport into the United States.

While there are several larger trucking companies such as Swift, Old Dominion, Covenant, FedEx Freight, etc on our state’s highways, there are also many smaller companies. Almost all of these trucking companies are based out of state.

Because of the familiarity of trucking companies in dealing with highway accidents and collisions, their truck drivers are trained by their managers on specifically what to tell the State Police, Sheriff and New Mexico Department of Transportation investigating officers. The trucking company and the driver will say or do whatever is necessary to help them avoid liability for the collision. Certain evidence may disappear after the collision if the investigating officer fails to secure the evidence at the scene. The NM-DOT is especially good at securing the evidence and inspecting the semi-truck for defects and violations.

Nevertheless, it is important to act quickly if you or a family member are involved in a commercial trucking accident with a semi-truck, tractor trailer or 18 wheeler. An investigator should immediately be retained on your behalf to collect the evidence from the investigating authorities, inspect and photograph the damage to the vehicle, inspect the log books, and dot every “i” and cross every “t” to establish the liability of the truck driver and the trucking company.

Most of the trucking accidents that have been handled by our firm involve driver fatigue and violations of state and federal trucking laws. Often times the collisions involve a driver not checking his side mirror before changing lanes or speeding too fast for conditions. There are specific rules requiring a truck driver to reduce speed when certain weather conditions are present–for example rain, snow, ice or black ice.

Caruso Law Offices has represented hundreds of clients with claims against trucking companies. We only represent individuals with claims for personal injury and wrongful death.  Because we focus our entire law practice exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death, we are particularly good at what we do. We have the trucking experts and investigators ready to assure successful settlements and litigation.

If you or a loved one has been in a commercial trucking accident, call Mark Caruso at 505-883-5000 for a free and confidential consultation. You should never hire an attorney based on a 30 second television advertisement or a billboard advertisement. Rather, look at the attorney’s testimonials from Real Clients! Our testimonials are available on our web site at http://www.carusolaw.com/testimonials/  We have secured millions of dollars in settlements for victims and families of trucking accidents and are recognized for this achievement in our membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and American Society of Legal Advocates, the AVVO Lawyer Ratings of 9.9/10.0, the Martindale Hubbell Rated, the BBB A+ Rating and others.