Roswell Truck Accident Lawyers
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Any vehicle accident is dangerous and can cause life-changing or life-ending injuries. However, accidents involving large commercial trucks are often particularly devastating, leaving victims or their loved ones struggling to recover physically, emotionally, and financially. As a result, it is critical that victims hire an experienced attorney who can handle their claims as they seek to recover financially from the accident; doing so will allow victims and their loved ones to focus on their physical and emotional recovery instead of legal obstacles. Our Roswell truck accident lawyers are here to help.
If you have been injured or if you have lost loved ones in a truck accident in Roswell, New Mexico, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled Roswell truck accident lawyers who can help you understand your next steps after your accident. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
Truck accidents in New Mexico
New Mexico has two major interstate highways that serve as major shipping routes for many large trucks and which intersect in Albuquerque, New Mexico, near the state’s center. Interstate 40 runs across the state west to east through Albuquerque, from Gallup in the west to the Logan and Tucumcari area in the eastern part of the state. Meanwhile, Interstate 25 goes from Raton in northeastern New Mexico down through Albuquerque to Las Cruces in southern New Mexico. Although Roswell is not near these major interstates, there is still significant trucking activity, especially traveling along Highway 70, Highway 285, and Highway 380 through Roswell.
While many of the truck accidents in New Mexico take place on the interstates or highways, they can occur anywhere, especially if the driver is failing to take appropriate care to drive safely.
Common types of truck accidents
Trucking accidents in Roswell, New Mexico, can be caused in a variety of ways, often as the result of negligent behavior by one of the drivers involved in the accident, the trucking company, or another party. However, regardless of the specific cause of the truck accident, every accident can potentially result in catastrophic injuries and property damage. Some of the most common causes of New Mexico truck accidents include:
One of the most common causes of many types of vehicle accidents, including truck accidents, is a rear-end collision, where one vehicle strikes the rear of another vehicle. Large trucks require much more space and time to stop than smaller passenger vehicles, which can lead to a collision if a vehicle suddenly stops in front of the truck or the truck driver is not adequately paying attention to the road in time to see a vehicle ahead slowing down, turning, changing lanes, or stopping, so that the truck can avoid crashing into the vehicle. These accidents can cause devastating injuries and damages when a large truck rear-ends another vehicle because of the sheer size, weight, and force of the truck.
Meanwhile, rear-end collisions can also occur with a vehicle crashing into the rear of the truck, such as if a truck driver is fatigued or is driving recklessly and switches lanes without adequately checking its blind spot or if the truck driver pulls out in front of an oncoming passenger vehicle when it was unsafe to do so. When a smaller vehicle crashes into the back of a large truck, it can potentially become stuck under the body of the trailer; this can be fatal for some or all of the vehicle’s occupants.
Another common cause of trucking accidents in New Mexico is when a large truck is involved in a rollover accident. These accidents generally occur when some force—such as a truck attempting to stop too suddenly and swerving to avoid a rear-end collision—causes the large truck, especially if it is currently pulling a trailer, to roll over on its side where it may flip or slide, potentially crashing into other vehicles. Rollover accidents may also take place if the truck driver attempts to turn too suddenly or is going too fast when the driver begins to turn, especially if the driver is also turning too sharply.
Similar to rollover accidents, a tip-over accident most likely to occur when a truck is pulling an empty trailer, and it is driving through an area with sharp curves or high winds. In these situations, the fact that large trucks have higher centers of gravity than the average passenger vehicle means that pulling an empty trailer can cause the truck to tip-over. This kind of accident happens more frequently if the driver is not being very careful or being mindful of dangerous conditions such as high winds or sharp curves.
A jackknife accident can be caused by a variety of reasons, but it can be dangerous for many people on the highway, even across multiple lanes of traffic. In some cases, such as when a truck driver attempts to stop too suddenly, the trailer being pulled by the truck may swing out to one side while the truck is still traveling forward; this creates an L shape and can seriously injure any vehicles in the truck’s path before the driver is able to regain control of the truck and bring it to a stop.
A turning accident is another common type of truck accident in Roswell; it usually happens because of the significant blind spots for the driver of a large truck. Because of the size of these trucks, especially while pulling a trailer, truck drivers must take special care to be aware of their blind spots and make sure a smaller vehicle is not in the adjacent lane to the truck as it begins to turn.
Common causes of trucking accidents
Some truck accidents may have similar causes as typical car accidents, but many have more unique causes. The size, weight, type of truck, and other factors affect the nature of the accident, both in causing the accident and in the severity of injuries and damage caused by the trucking accident. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in New Mexico include when truck drivers or trucking companies engage in one or more negligent behaviors, such as:
- Driving above the speed limit
- Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Improperly maintaining or repairing the truck
- Failing to properly inspect the truck to make sure it is in safe working condition, such as ensuring the brakes, tires, lights, and signals are functioning properly
- Driving while distracted (i.e., texting or talking on the phone, watching a GPS for directions, reading, changing the radio station, turning to talk to passengers, or otherwise failing to pay proper attention to the road)
- Incorrectly loading cargo onto the truck
- Driving while fatigued: Commercial truck drivers are required by federal law to rest after a certain amount of hours spent driving.
federal trucking laws and regulations
Every driver on the road in New Mexico must follow various traffic laws and ordinances established by the state or local governments—such as speed limits, traffic lights, and road signs; they must also obey other requirements whether they are posted on temporary signs or permanent ones. All drivers are required to obey these laws and others, such as when operating a vehicle in New Mexico, your car must have operating headlights and taillights.
However, commercial trucks are also subject to many additional regulations and rules imposed by the federal government if the truck meets any of the following applicable criteria found in 49 U.S.C. 31132(1), which defines a “commercial motor vehicle” (CMV) as one in which:
- The truck itself weighs over 10,000 pounds.
- The truck and its cargo together weigh over 10,000 pounds.
- The vehicle is used or designed to transport nine or more paying passengers.
- The vehicle is designed or is otherwise used to transport more than fifteen non-paying passengers.
- The vehicle is used for commerce and is transporting hazardous materials.
When Congress established these criteria, it did so in recognition that smaller vans or pickup trucks are more comparable to passenger vehicles than they are to medium-sized or heavy commercial vehicles. However, if the commercial pickup truck meets any of these five criteria, the truck will be considered a CMV and will therefore be required to comply with the rules established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Most of these rules establishing safety measures for commercial motor vehicles like large trucks are located in 49 CFR Parts 300-399, in which FMCSA imposes regulations regarding:
- Training requirements for CMV drivers
- Texting or using cell phones or other devices by drivers while behind the wheel
- Use of alcohol and drugs by drivers
- Drug and alcohol testing for drivers
- A limit on the number of consecutive hours per day and the number of total hours per day that a driver is allowed to drive before he or she must rest for a minimum number of hours
- Requirements for a commercial driver’s license
- Regular safety inspections of the truck to ensure the CMV is maintained in a safe operating condition
- Thorough inspections of loads to prevent potentially dangerous shifting of cargo during transport
After your accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer will look for any evidence that proves the driver or trucking company may have violated one of these requirements before the accident. He or she will also investigate how many and which violations were made by the truck driver, and which if any was the cause of the truck accident that resulted in your injuries and damages.
how our Roswell Truck Accident Lawyers from Zinda Law Group can help you
One of the most crucial steps to successfully pursuing any compensation you may be entitled to after your truck accident is to hire an experienced Roswell injury lawyer. Trucking companies and their insurers often have teams of lawyers who will be dedicated to making sure you receive as little compensation as possible for your claim. Fortunately, the skilled team at Zinda Law Group can help you level the playing field against the insurance company and their lawyers.
Our attorneys have years of experience helping victims seek maximum compensation after their accidents, and your lawyer will use this experience and knowledge of New Mexico injury law, as well as federal trucking regulations, to thoroughly prepare your case. Once hired, our attorneys will handle your case carefully, allowing you to focus on your recovery from your injuries suffered in the accident.
At Zinda Law Group, one of our experienced Roswell truck accident lawyers will help you understand your legal options and determine who may be liable for your injuries as well as how much compensation you may be entitled to. After your initial consultation, your lawyer may take the following steps to help you pursue maximum compensation after your accident:
Your lawyer will begin by investigating your accident; they will:
- examine the accident scene,
- study any available pictures or videos of the accident,
- identify potential factors that may have led to the accident,
- review any available police report filed for the accident, and
- interview any potential witnesses to the accident.
During the investigation, your lawyer will also obtain a copy of all of your medical records as evidence supporting the extent of your injuries and the compensation you are entitled to for those injuries. In truck accident cases, your lawyer may also obtain a copy of the driver’s Hours of Service logs, and any dash cam footage or data from the truck’s electronic data recorder (EDR), which can provide information about critical factors such as how fast the truck was going at the time of the accident, if or when the driver used the brakes, the steering angle, and other important information. Through your attorney’s investigation, he or she will work to establish who may be liable for the accident, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the mechanic who may have failed to adequately maintain or repair the vehicle, or the truck’s manufacturer if it contained any defects that led to the accident.
Aside from gathering as much evidence as possible to support your claim, your attorney may also consider whether an expert witness may be necessary to support your claim. For example, your lawyer may consult relevant expert witnesses in the Roswell area to review the facts of your case; this will assist them in preparing a successful strategy for your case. Your attorney may also consult expert witnesses such as engineers to present evidence at trial regarding how the accident may have been caused, or an economist to provide validation for the amount of compensation being requested as a result of your loss of earning capacity or disability caused by the accident.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company
After conducting a thorough investigation of the accident and gathering as much evidence as possible to support your claim and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf in an attempt to settle your claim and avoid the delay and expenses of having to take your case to trial. Your lawyer will make an initial demand to the insurer, whose team of lawyers will usually reject the initial offer, responding instead with a counter-offer; some of them will even dispute aspects of your claim. This back and forth will generally continue until the insurer agrees to a reasonable settlement amount that will fully compensate you for your injuries or damages; if the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement amount, your case may then go to court.
If the trucking company or their insurer refuses to accept responsibility for a reasonable settlement amount, your attorney will then generally take your case to court and present the evidence gathered during the investigation to support your claim. He or she will argue to prove the other party’s liability for the accident as well as the full extent of your injuries and the damages you have suffered as a result of the accident. At the end of the trial, the jury will determine whether the other party should be held liable for the accident, and if so, how much compensation you are entitled to as a result.
Contact skilled Roswell truck accident lawyers near you today
The potential for severe or fatal injuries, the higher level of regulations and laws governing commercial trucks, and the significant resources trucking companies and insurers often use to pay as little compensation to victims as possible, can make truck accident claims more complicated than other road accident claims. These obstacles make it crucial for you to hire a skilled Roswell injury lawyer to help you pursue maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident in Roswell, New Mexico, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney; we will discuss 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. Your lawyer can help you understand your legal options as they explain who may be liable for your injuries and how much compensation you may be entitled to as a result of your injuries and damages.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.