Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Las Cruces, New Mexico
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with las cruces commercial vehicle accident lawyers for free
Car accidents can occur anywhere, anytime, and even the best drivers may become victims of accidents. Some of the deadliest road accidents involve large commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, moving vans, or other large vehicles used by various businesses or their employees. Given the large difference in size and force of many commercial vehicles compared to passenger vehicles, these accidents may be more likely to result in catastrophic or fatal injuries for victims. Our Las Cruces commercial vehicle accident lawyers are here to help.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle in or near Las Cruces, NM, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled Las Cruces commercial vehicle accident lawyers. We can help you understand your next steps following your accident. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
What is a commercial vehicle?
When people hear the term “commercial vehicle,” they think about large 18-wheelers. However, commercial vehicles can include a wide variety of vehicles, for the distinction is based on the vehicle’s purpose rather than the type of vehicle. Some of the most common examples of commercial vehicles you may encounter in Las Cruces include:
- Cement trucks
- Passenger buses
- Cargo vans
- Moving trucks, such as U-Haul trucks
- Delivery trucks or vans, such as those used by UPS or Amazon
- Box trucks
- Ice cream trucks
- Taxis or other professional transport service vehicles
- Utility trucks
While commercial vehicles can include a wide range of vehicles, many of them are larger than most passenger vehicles and can cause serious and sometimes even fatal injuries if you are involved in an accident with one. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car crash in Las Cruces that may have involved a commercial vehicle, you should call a Las Cruces personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Who may be liable for my commercial vehicle accident?
Many commercial vehicle accidents are more complicated than other car accidents between passenger vehicles where the at-fault driver is primarily the liable party. For example, depending on the particular circumstances in accidents involving commercial vehicles, multiple parties may be liable for any injuries or damages caused by the accident, rather than responsibility lying solely with the vehicle’s driver. Some of the common parties who may be held liable for a commercial vehicle accident include:
The Commercial Vehicle’s Driver
As with most car accidents, the driver is liable if he or she negligently caused the accident. Commercial drivers may drive fatigued, exceed posted speed limits, or otherwise drive recklessly as they rush to meet tight deadlines, which can be very dangerous for others on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) attempts to prevent fatigued drivers from being on the road by placing regulations on large commercial vehicle drivers, such as by limiting the number of hours per day that a driver can drive; nevertheless, these rules do not prevent every accident.
A commercial driver may also be distracted and fail to adequately respond to changing road conditions such as a turning vehicle, or the driver may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Importantly, a driver does not have to have consumed alcohol or illicit drugs to be driving under the influence, as using prescription drugs can also cause a driver to be under the influence if it impairs their ability to safely operate the vehicle.
The Trucking Company or Employer
Aside from the commercial vehicle’s driver, the trucking company that owns the vehicle or the driver’s employer may also be held liable for some accidents. In many cases, the company may be liable regardless of whether the company itself was negligent; for example, if the driver was operating the vehicle under the scope of their employment at the time of the accident when they caused an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,, the company will be held liable for their employee’s actions.
However, the employer or company that owns the vehicle may also be directly liable as a result of their own negligence in some cases. For example, if the trucking company had policies in place or otherwise actively encouraged or incentivized their drivers to violate FMCSA rules by driving more than is allowed or to speed to meet tight deadlines, the company may be liable. The company may also be liable if they failed to properly screen their drivers and allowed a high-risk driver with a history of traffic accidents to drive their vehicles.
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturer
Meanwhile, in some cases, the manufacturer who made the vehicle or some of the vehicle’s parts may also be liable. If the accident was caused by a failing part, such as a new tire blowing on the road, or brakes failing, the parts manufacturer may be liable for the faulty part causing the accident. Similarly, if the vehicle’s manufacturer designed the vehicle in a defective manner, or if the manufacturer failed to ensure the vehicle did not contain any defective parts, the manufacturer may also be liable for any injuries or damages caused by the resulting accident.
The Vehicle’s Most Recent Mechanic
Commercial vehicles are often on the road for a significant period of time, and it is crucial to properly ensure that these vehicles are maintained in a safe manner. If a mechanic fails to properly repair or maintain a vehicle, the mechanic may be held liable for an accident; an example of such negligence is replacing a part with a cheaper or less safe part, like used tires or faulty brakes. In addition, the employer or company that owns the vehicle may also be liable if it was responsible for maintaining the vehicle, such as by performing periodic checks of its large commercial trucks to comply with FMCSA rules
If you have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident in New Mexico, an experienced Las Cruces personal injury attorney at Zinda Law Group can help you better understand who may be liable for your injuries. We can also help you pursue maximum compensation for your injury claim.
How much is my case worth?
The amount of compensation you may be entitled to after a commercial vehicle accident in Las Cruces will vary from case to case, depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your accident. Some of the damages your personal injury lawyer may be able to help you pursue include economic and non-economic damages such as:
Be sure to keep accurate documentation of all of your medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the accident. You may be able to seek compensation for any medical costs such as:
- ambulance costs
- emergency room bills
- treatment costs
- any physical rehabilitation costs
Compensation for future or ongoing medical treatment that may be necessary to treat your injuries may also be part of your settlement agreement or court award.
Loss of Income
You may also be entitled to compensation for any income you lost as a result of your injuries, such as from any time missed from work while seeking medical care and receiving treatment or while you were unable to work while recovering from your injuries.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Definitely consider pursuing compensation if you suffered a temporary or permanent disability, such as a traumatic brain injury, amputated limb, or other disability. If the disability or injury caused you to be unable to earn the same level of income and reduced your earning capacity, making you unable to perform the same type of work, being unable to work as long, or being unable to work at all following the accident, your attorney will be able to help you seek compensation for this loss of earning capacity.
In addition to compensation for economic damages related to your injuries, you are also entitled to pursue compensation for any property damages caused by the accident, such as the costs to repair or replace your damaged vehicle or any other property that may have been damaged in the accident.
Pain and Suffering
Your personal injury lawyer may help you seek compensation for non-economic damages in addition to economic damages, such as for the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your injuries and the treatment and recovery from those injuries, or the ongoing pain and suffering you may be experiencing, caused by permanent injuries or disabilities. Generally, the amount of compensation you may be entitled to for pain and suffering may varies based on the extent of your injuries and whether they were temporary or are permanent.
Finally, if you have suffered mental or emotional anguish or trauma as a result of your injuries, you may be able to pursue compensation. For example, if you have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after your accident, or if you have suffered from nightmares, emotional distress, or similar negative effects caused by the accident, your personal injury attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation for this emotional distress.
New Mexico statute of limitations
Commercial vehicle accident claims in Las Cruces are subject to the statute of limitations for personal injury claims established in New Mexico law. This statute of limitations creates the legal time limits on personal injury claims in New Mexico where someone was injured. Pursuant to New Mexico Statutes Section 37-1-8, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years; this means that in most cases, you will have three years from the date of your accident to file any claim for any compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries or damages suffered in the accident.
If you fail to file a lawsuit before the expiration of this three year legal time limit, your claim will most likely not be allowed, and you may permanently lose your ability to seek any compensation for the accident. The statute of limitations makes it crucial that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Cruces as soon as possible so they can help you make sure that you understand how much time you have before any claim needs to be filed. Most simply, you want to file on time so that your claim is not barred by the statute of limitations.
Potential Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
While the three year statute of limitations on personal injury claims in New Mexico will generally bar any lawsuits brought later than three years from the date of the accident, there may be a potential exception that will still allow you to file a claim. If the victim is a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations will generally be tolled and will not actually begin running until the minor turns 18. The minor will then have three years from the date he or she turns 18 to file a claim seeking compensation for the accident.
The statute of limitations may also be tolled in certain other situations, such as if the victim was considered disabled at the time of the accident or as a result of the accident and was unable to pursue a claim. For instance, if the accident victim was in a coma as a result of the accident, the statute of limitations will typically be tolled and not begin running until the victim emerges from the coma. However, if a victim later suffers a disability after the accident from an unrelated cause, such disability will generally not toll the statute of limitations in New Mexico.
Contact skilled las cruces commercial vehicle accident lawyers near you today
As traffic on roads across America continues to increase, a large portion of the vehicles making up this traffic are commercially owned vehicles being driven for business purposes. While these vehicles may range from a large commercial 18-wheeler to a fleet of vehicles all owned by a particular company, a skilled personal injury attorney in Las Cruces can help you determine your legal rights after the accident; we are equipped with the knowledge and resources to help you seek compensation for your injuries or damages.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a vehicle accident in Las Cruces involving a commercial vehicle, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Las Cruces personal injury attorney; we will explain how you may be able to pursue compensation for the accident from the other driver, his or her employer, or any other parties who may be responsible for your accident. One of our teams of injury lawyers near you will help you understand the next steps you should take after your accident as well as help you understand who may be potentially liable for the accident and how much compensation you may be entitled to. Learn your legal rights and let us help you focus on recovering from your injuries while your attorney handles your case, deftly pursuing maximum compensation for your claim.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.