Accidents involving large commercial semi-trucks are usually severe in nature. The average semi-truck and trailer weighs about 40 tons, which is about 40 times heavier than the average car. This significant size and weight difference is one reason why these accidents result in significant injuries and property damage.
If you’ve been involved in a semi-truck accident in New Mexico, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Decker Law Office LLC. We are passionate about fighting for the rights of injury victims, and we have years of experience securing fair settlements for our clients.
Why do semi-truck accidents occur?
There are many different reasons why a semi-truck accident could happen, related to driver error, equipment issues, road conditions and more. The following are some of the most common factors leading to a crash:
Truck drivers’ mistakes: Drivers who travel at excessive speeds, fail to obey traffic laws and engage in other dangerous activities endanger the safety of everyone else on the road. Drivers must have the proper training and remain focused on the road while operating their vehicles.
Drunk driving: Just like everyone else, truck drivers must avoid consuming alcohol or impairment-causing drugs before getting behind the wheel. Impaired drivers may have slowed reaction times and tend to find it more difficult to notice and avoid hazards that lead to accidents.
Fatigued driving: For good reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has stringent regulations on the amount of time drivers may stay out on the road before resting. However, some drivers may violate these rules to meet shipping deadlines. Fatigued driving can be just as dangerous as operating while intoxicated.
Equipment problems: Semi-trucks have complex machinery with a lot of moving parts, trucking companies and owner-operators must conduct regular maintenance checks to ensure their vehicles are safe for highway travel. Among the most common types of equipment issues are brake failure and blown tires.
Poorly balanced loads: Trucking and shipping companies must adhere to safety standards when loading trailers. They should not overload them or load them in a way that causes an imbalance. Poorly loaded trailers could cause a truck to jack knife or tip over.
Inclement weather: When weather conditions are poor, truck drivers must be extra cautious and be sure to travel at safe speeds. Failing to account for changing weather patterns could result in a serious crash.
Determining fault after a truck accident
Being able to pinpoint who or what was at fault for your accident is a key component to successfully receiving fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages. There could be a number of parties responsible for your semi-truck accident, including a driver, trucking company and other motorists.
An experienced semi-truck accident attorney will be able to investigate your crash and determine the party who was likely at fault. Only then will you be able to pursue compensation from the responsible parties or their insurance providers.
Answers to frequently asked questions on semi-truck accidents
Are semi-truck accident cases different than other types of crashes?
In some ways, yes. Trucks must carry more insurance coverage than other types of passenger vehicles, and they are also subject to more stringent federal safety regulations. If a driver or trucking company is in violation of any of these regulations, it could help your claim for damages.
Will I need to use expert witnesses in my case?
It might not be necessary to use an expert witness, especially if your claim is relatively straightforward and it’s clear who or what was at fault. However, in more complex cases, an expert can help reconstruct the accident scene and provide an unbiased account of what he or she thinks likely occurred leading up the crash.
When should I contact an attorney?
You should get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible after your semi-truck accident. This will allow you to preserve evidence and get the process of securing compensation started as early as possible. Failing to act right away could impact your ability to receive monetary damages in an expedient manner.
Consult a skilled Albuquerque semi-truck accident attorney
To learn more about your legal options after a semi-truck accident, meet with an experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyer at Decker Law Office LLC. Our team proudly serves injured people throughout New Mexico. Call us today at 505-369-6272 to set up an initial consultation.