Truck Accident Lawyers in Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Every day you drive, you face the risk of being involved in an accident, whether you’re driving to work or school, or you happen to drive for a living. Unfortunately, these accidents do happen, and when trucks are involved, there are far more likely to be serious, long-lasting consequences. These consequences can be debilitating to both you and your family, financially and emotionally. That’s why it’s important to speak with Santa Fe truck accident lawyers and learn your options.
If you’ve suffered an injury after involvement in a truck accident in Santa Fe, you may be interest in pursuing a claim against those who are responsible. Before you file a claim, you may first wish to consult a personal injury lawyer in Santa Fe to discuss your case.
If you or a loved one have suffered from an injury after a truck accident in Santa Fe, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with one of our Santa Fe truck accident lawyers.
What to do After a Truck Accident
It is important to be aware of what you should do if you are involved in a truck accident. The information you gather after the accident will help a truck accident lawyer make sure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. The following steps are those you should take immediately after the accident occurs; in doing so, you will protect not only yourself, but also the potential success of your claim.
Report the Accident
Call the police immediately after the accident. While waiting for police, leave any trucks involved in the accident in their place. The police will write up a report of the accident when they arrive, taking detailed statements from those involved and from witnesses. Be sure to request a copy of this report; it will typically be available to you within a few days, and you should give a copy of the report to your attorney.
Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. If someone at the scene of the accident is severely injured, call emergency medical services immediately. If you believe you are uninjured, or only have a minor injury, you should still seek medical attention anyway.
An injury that seems small to you could have caused more damage than you realized. Latent injuries, like concussions, can have serious consequences later on if they are not properly treated as soon as possible. Be sure to request any documentation from your physician regarding the extent of your injuries, for your lawyer will need it when it comes time to file your claim.
Document the Accident Scene
Take pictures of the accident scene exactly how it is, without moving any vehicles; these pictures should include the damage to the vehicles, their license plates, and any company logos on the vehicles. Be sure to take pictures of the area and conditions surrounding the accident scene. If you sustained any injuries, take pictures of these too; all of these pictures will be useful as evidence your attorney can use when pursuing your claim.
Gather Insurance Information
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party or parties involved in the accident. If another truck is involved, be sure to get the information of the company the driver works for. Once the other parties leave, it can be difficult to track them down if you do not already have their information.
Take Witness Statements
Try to speak with anyone who witnessed the accident as soon as possible; take their statement at the scene. If they are uncomfortable giving you a statement, ask that they give a statement to the police for their report. Get the witnesses’ contact information in case further details about the accident are needed later; witness statements can help determine who was at fault for the accident.
Speak With Santa Fe truck Accident Lawyers at A Personal Injury Firm
After taking care of your injuries, filing reports, and documenting the scene of the accident, try to speak with a Santa Fe personal injury lawyer as soon as possible; an experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled many similar cases will be able to provide sound advice for your case and walk you through your next steps. Finding the right personal injury lawyer in New Mexico may seem difficult, but there are plenty of resources available to make the process easier. You can ask friends or family for recommendations, or even use a simple internet search using terms such as “accident lawyer near me” or
Another option when looking for representation is to look for an attorney through the American Bar Association’s online directory. You can also find a lawyer through the New Mexico State Bar Association’s website or a bar association of your county or city if there is one available.
Choose a personal injury attorney who has the experience and skill needed to handle your case, and a track record of success in pursing personal injury claims. Zinda Law Group’s have experience with personal injury claims and an outstanding record of success in handling matters like these for our New Mexico clients.
Statute of Limitations
As with all personal injury cases, time is of the essence. If you believe that the accident was caused by another’s negligence, contact a lawyer right away, for there are time constraints, such as statutes of limitations, involved in civil cases that determine how long you will have to file your claim. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for truck accident cases is three years; this means that you would have three years from the date of your accident to file a claim.
If you attempt to file your claim beyond that three-year limit, your claim is barred. This means that it is not allowed and will be dismissed. An experienced personal injury attorney in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will be able to help you determine when you will need to file, and if you are subject to any of the exceptions that exist to “toll” or delay the statute of limitations.
TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWSUIT PROCESS
Filing a lawsuit can be a confusing and unnerving process, especially if it is your first time dealing with anything remotely similar to this situation. The steps a personal injury claim after a truck accident takes almost always look like the process described below.
Contact a Santa Fe Personal Injury Attorney
This is where your claim will begin. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the often confusing process of filing a claim and help you seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to. All of the documentation you gathered after your accident should be given to your attorney immediately.
Once you have given them the documentation they need, your attorney will begin their own investigation into your accident. The attorney will comb through all of the evidence available, both from you and other sources. Attorney activities at this stage may include gathering employment data from the trucking company and conducting witness interviews.
When all the facts have been uncovered and analyzed, your attorney will begin to negotiate with the other parties involved, and their insurance companies, to come to a settlement on your claim. It is at this stage that your choice in an attorney will be the most important, because a personal injury attorney who has dealt with truck accidents in the past will know what similar cases have settled for and can negotiate effectively on your behalf to get you the maximum amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
WHO CAN YOU SUE?
When it comes to trucking accidents, there may be any number of people who are liable. Aside from the truck drivers themselves, other parties, such as their employers or the manufacturers of the trucks parts or trucks themselves, may be responsible.
As with most accidents, the driver responsible for the accident may be held liable. If the truck driver failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing an accident, the driver may be liable for any injuries and damages you suffered. Truck drivers fail to mitigate the risk of an accident if they drive recklessly, such as by speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failing to obey other traffic laws.
Many truck drivers may be unable to fully compensate you for your injuries. In such case, your lawyer may argue that the trucking company the driver works for is also liable for the accident, and may pursue a claim for compensation from the company. The trucking company may be liable for the accident for a variety of reasons.
The company may be liable because of vicarious liability. Vicarious liability is a legal concept which states that employers may be held liable for any negligence by its employees while the employee was acting in the scope of employment, which in the case of trucking accidents means driving the trucks along their routes. Under a theory of vicarious liability, the employer may be held liable simply by proving the employee was operating the truck to the benefit of the employer in the course of his or her employment.
There are a number of different ways the company themselves may have acted negligently which ultimately led to your accident. One such way is negligence in failing to properly train their truck drivers. If the company failed to provide proper training for truck drivers, including training in truck accident prevention, properly securing trailers and cargo, and handling emergencies, they could be held liable for the accident.
The company could have also been negligent in its hiring of the driver. Companies should perform thorough background checks on all potential employees; generally, companies will not hire any drivers that may have a lengthy history of traffic accidents, citations, or drunk driving arrests. A background check will easily reveal this sort of information; failure to perform these checks, or hiring a driver despite being aware of their history of dangerous or reckless driving behavior, may mean the company can be held liable.
Trucking companies often incentivize or pressure drivers to drive recklessly to deliver cargo quicker. These policies may pressure a driver into failing to take mandatory rest stops, speeding to make the delivery in time, or otherwise engaging in negligent behavior that may result in an accident. If the company places unrealistic or over-demanding deadlines pressuring drivers to drive recklessly, you may be able to pursue compensation from the trucking company.
Other Theories of Liability
A company or driver can be held liable if they fail to properly maintain the truck involved in the accident. The trucking company has a duty to make sure that every truck is properly maintained and kept in a good state of repair. Failure to conduct regular inspections of its trucks or to repair any unsafe conditions could lead to a finding of liability on the company.
Additionally, truck drivers are required to do checks of their vehicles themselves before heading out on the road. If they fail to do so, or discover unsafe conditions that they then ignore and choose to drive anyway, they can be held liable for the accident.
A driver or company can be held liable, on a theory of negligence per se, if they fail to comply with certain laws. If a law protects a certain class of people, such as other drivers on the road, and the driver or company violates that law and as a result injures another driver on the road, the driver or company can be held liable. A trucking company may be held liable if the company failed to comply with applicable regulations, such as enforcing regulations governing hours of service for drivers or failing to properly repair a truck that failed an inspection.
What you can recover
You may be able to recover the costs associated with your injury and recovery through a personal injury claim. The severity of the injury and recovery time directly affect the amount of recovery for a personal injury action; your injury may leave you unable to work or perform daily tasks, and you might require ongoing medical care and extensive rehabilitative therapy. If you are eligible to recover the costs in the form of compensatory damages, an experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in recovering the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Compensatory damages include both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the actual, monetary costs of your injury; these damages include medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other unanticipated costs of your injury such as transportation needs. Noneconomic damages cover the mental and emotional toll the injury has taken on your life and are recovered in the form of compensation for pain and suffering.
In pursing your claim, you may have to deal with the other person’s insurance company, or their employer’s. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Santa Fe can help you navigate this difficult legal terrain to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
How a Zinda Law Group PERSONAL INJURY lawyer Can Help You
Suffering from an injury due to a trucking accident can be a source of immense emotional and financial strain on you and your family. It is important to get as much help and support as you can immediately following your or your loved one’s injury. Our Santa Fe truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group in Santa Fe can assist you with recovering the costs associated with your or your loved one’s injury and recovery.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers will guide you through the often-complex legal system to help file your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. We will take care of the legal work so you can focus on yourself and your family during this time of recovery. If we do not win your case, you will not pay any fees; this is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.