Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Albuquerque, New Mexico
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with Albuquerque commercial vehicle accident lawyers
Many of us enjoy the convenience provided by companies who transport products and people via commercial vehicles. Whether it is ordering household goods to be delivered the next day or getting around the downtown Albuquerque area with the touch of a button on our phones, we have come to depend upon companies to provide what have become essential services. To do what they promise to do, many of these companies rely on large fleets of commercial vehicles. When one of these vehicles causes you to be involved in an accident, though, things can quickly become extremely stressful. Our Albuquerque commercial vehicle accident lawyers can help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident in or near Albuquerque, call (800) 863-5312 to speak with Zinda Law Group Albuquerque commercial vehicle accident lawyers. We offer free initial case evaluations, and if we do not win your case, you will not owe us a dime.
What is a commercial vehicle?
The first step in determining if you may be eligible to pursue compensation for a commercial vehicle accident is figuring out what, exactly, a commercial vehicle is. Simply put, a commercial vehicle is any vehicle that is being used for a business purpose, as opposed to someone’s personal vehicle being used for their own individual purposes. This includes 18-wheelers making trips across the country with loads of cargo, but it could also include a private owner’s sedan if they are using it for the benefit of their employer.
Determining whether or not a vehicle is a commercial vehicle is important because accidents involving commercial vehicles introduce another potential source of liability in the company who owns the vehicle or employs the person driving it. An Albuquerque personal injury attorney can help determine what type of vehicle or vehicles were involved in your accident and how this will impact the overall claims process.
Read More: Types of Commercial Vehicles
who is liable for my injuries?
In order to be able to file a claim, an important first step is determining whom to file a claim against. In accidents involving only individually owned passenger vehicles, this is a relatively straightforward process. However, accidents that involve one or more commercial vehicles introduce a new lawyer of complexity and more potential sources of liability.
The driver of the vehicle may be the person who is at fault for an accident, but oftentimes the insurance company that will be responsible for paying damages will not be their private insurance. The driver’s employer is typically going to be the entity that is responsible for paying damages caused by their employee. However, in certain circumstances, it is possible for the driver of a commercial vehicle to be held personally liable; the exact liability of a driver will depend on the terms of their employment and whether their actions at the time of the accident would fall within those terms.
When companies hire people to drive, whether that be to transport goods or people, they are responsible for the actions of that driver on the road; when those drivers are at fault for accidents, their employer will typically be the party responsible for paying damages. In certain circumstances, they may also be directly at fault for negligent hiring practices. Employers are responsible to conduct sufficient background and licensing checks, and if they fail to do so, then they could be held directly at fault for an accident caused by an unlicensed driver.
When it comes to determining fault for car accidents, most people tend to think that it will be entirely divided up amongst the drivers who were a part of it; this is not always the case, however. There are a number of different types of third parties who could potentially be liable for a commercial vehicle accident, and a personal injury lawyer can help determine if these might be applicable to your case. For example, a truck mechanic could be held liable for injuries if they failed to properly fix the brakes on a truck, or a government entity could be held liable if there were dangerous conditions present on a road that they were responsible for but failed to fix.
what to do after my accident?
There are no two car accidents that are exactly the same, and this is especially true when it comes to dealing with commercial vehicle accidents in New Mexico. However, no matter how your accident occurred, it is important to complete a few key steps in order to keep yourself safe and to preserve any potential legal claim that you might have.
1. Get Medical Attention
First and foremost, determine if you or anyone else in your vehicle has been injured and go seek the proper medical attention. Even if you don’t notice any apparent injuries, it is important to seek medical attention soon after your accident for a couple of different reasons. First, certain types of injuries might be masked by the adrenaline of the accident and going to a doctor can help to catch these kinds of injuries and prevent them from getting any worse.
Second, opposing attorneys and insurance companies may attempt to argue during the course of your claim that your injuries are not as serious as you’re claiming or that they’re not actually related to the accident you were involved in. Getting medical treatment right away—and the medical records to prove it—helps to prevent against these kinds of arguments.
2. Contact Law Enforcement
Again, it is important to call law enforcement even if the accident seems relatively minor. Speaking with a law enforcement officer right away gives you the chance to make a report and tell your side of the story right after the accident happened while the details are still fresh in your brain.
3. Document the Accident
A personal injury attorney can ultimately build your case for you in an efficient and persuasive fashion; as you are dealing with the immediate aftermath, however, it is important that you document the accident as thoroughly as possible to give them the best possible building blocks to work with. In a commercial vehicle accident, this can include things like taking pictures and videos of the accident scene, collecting contact information for witnesses, and getting copies of police reports and medical documents. With any accident, it is far preferable to be overprepared than underprepared.
4. Speak with our Albuquerque Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers
It can be more difficult than one might think to answer the question, “How do I find an injury lawyer near me?” There are countless billboards around Albuquerque of attorneys who promise that they can get the best results in your case. Doing the groundwork of sifting through the many options of Albuquerque personal injury attorneys to find the firm who will give you the best chance at receiving the maximum compensation for your injuries may be the most worthwhile time you spend during the life of your case.
How to establish negligence
Regardless of whom you end up fling your claim against, it will likely be necessary to prove that they acted negligently in some way. Proving negligence will look different depending on the exact circumstances of how an accident happened, but it will always involve proving the same core elements.
First, a claimant must prove that the person against whom they are filing a claim owed them a duty to act in a certain way; this can be established in a few different ways depending on the type of entity against whom liability is being sought and how the accident took place. For example, if a commercial vehicle driver was speeding, it may be relatively straightforward to establish that all vehicle drivers owe a general duty to follow the rules of the road. In a commercial vehicle accident case, the duty in question could also be the duty of companies to sufficiently vet their drivers to make sure that they are qualified before they put them out onto the road.
After establishing that a duty exists, the next step is to show that the person or company in question breached that duty in some way. For example, if it is established that a company needs to run a thorough background check on someone whom they intend to hire to drive for them, then a breach of that duty might exist if they only took a quick glance at that person’s driver’s license and then allowed them on the road.
In order to be able to claim damages from the negligent actions of another, a victim must be able to establish a link between the breach of the duty and the injuries they sustained. In other words, it isn’t enough to say that someone was acting irresponsibly and an injury occurred—there must be a causal link between those two things. For example, if an unqualified driver was driving and was involved in an accident but the accident was actually the fault of another driver or third party, then an opposing insurance company may make the argument that the driver’s lack of qualifications was not actually the thing that caused the injuries of the victim.
Finally, your personal injury attorney in Albuquerque must be able to prove that you actually sustained damages from the negligent conduct. Most often, this will be established by medical bills or receipts for damage to your vehicle and property.
It can be difficult to tie all of the facts of a case into a succinct and persuasive argument to establish the negligence of another party. Zinda Law Group has a team of Albuquerque commercial vehicle accident lawyers who can sort through the messy aftermath of an accident to help you and your family get fair treatment from everyone involved in your accident.
what is my case worth?
One of the important questions that accident victims have is what their case could be worth to them in compensation. Dealing with medical bills and replacing vehicles can be expensive, and unfortunately, insurance companies often want to pay out as little as they are legally obligated to. While there is no easy way to determine what a case could potentially be worth without knowing more about the details of what happened, the value of a given case will generally be determined by the amounts in a few main categories of damages.
Economic damages are perhaps the most straightforward category of damages that an insurance company or at-fault party might be required to pay. Economic damages include things like medical bills, costs of damaged property, and any lost wages from being unable to work due to injury. These tangible forms of damages can generally be proven with a relatively high degree of certainty through things like bills and receipts.
Non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering that a victim experiences as a result of their injuries. While they can be a bit squishy and more difficult to establish with an exact amount, the general rule is that the worse a victim’s injuries are, the higher the number in this category might be. This pain and suffering can be more than simply physical pain; if a victim is dealing with long-lasting or intense mental or emotional suffering as a result of the accident, then they may be eligible to compensation in this category.
While the first two categories of damages are intended to make victims whole, punitive damages are more focused on punishing the wrongdoer and serving as a warning to others not to act in a similar way. Punitive damages are not available in the majority of cases but are available in cases where a wrongdoer acted in a particularly reckless or even purposeful way. Albuquerque commercial vehicle accident lawyers can work with you and your family to determine what kind of compensation you may be eligible for and how you much you might expect to receive to help rebuild your life after your accident involving a commercial vehicle.
Can I sue uber or lyft?
Many of the vehicles on the road that are being driven on behalf of a company are being driven by Uber or Lyft drivers, as these companies have exploded in popularity in recent years. It might seem like these companies should be liable when their drivers cause an accident. However, these companies have been careful to classify their drivers as independent contractors as opposed to employees, which means that they aren’t liable in the same way that a typical employer would be.
Nevertheless, in some cases, it may still be possible to hold Uber or Lyft liable for injuries caused by one of their drivers. For example, these companies are still responsible for making sure that their drivers have the proper qualifications before allowing them to drive. If the driver in your accident had a background of driving recklessly that should have prevented the company from hiring them, then the company might be held liable for the injuries that they caused.
An Albuquerque personal injury attorney can analyze the facts in your case and help make a determination of whether it might be possible to sue Uber or Lyft if it was one of their drivers who caused the accident that hurt you. Zinda Law Group attorneys can also explain what some reasonable alternatives might be if it is not possible for you to sue them.
Call zinda law group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with Albuquerque Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers
For what could potentially be one of the most stressful situations in your life, it is very important to hire a highly qualified and experienced attorney; the Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the necessary experience to be able to fight effectively and persuasively on your behalf. In addition, you won’t pay us anything until we win your case for you; that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. Call our Albuquerque office today at (800) 863-5312 and ask to schedule your free case evaluation today.
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