At Hunt Law, we have extensive experience handling truck accidents in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and New Mexico. Through our many years of practice, we have seen how accidents involving commercial trucks and 18-wheelers cause catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, we can help you obtain just compensation. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.
New Mexico Truck Accident Statistics
The state of New Mexico offers two major trucking routes, I-25 and I-40. New Mexico serves as a drive-through state for many commercial truck drivers on their way to or from Texas or California. According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, heavy trucks accounted for 15.3 percent of all traffic accident fatalities in 2018. That year, 60 people died in truck accidents, nearly 100 people suffered serious injuries, and 325 people suffered minor injuries. The number of New Mexico truck accidents rose to 2,668, the highest number of accidents in the past five years.
Fatigue is a Common Cause of Truck Accidents in New Mexico
Fatigue is one of the most common causes of New Mexico truck accidents. New Mexico’s trucking routes extend for many miles without a stop or city. New Mexico truck drivers are under an enormous amount of pressure to finish jobs as soon as possible. Additionally, many commercial truck drivers are independent contractors who receive payment only when a job is complete. Some truck drivers attempt to drive through the state of New Mexico as quickly as possible. When a truck driver’s fatigue causes a truck accident, the driver may be liable for the damages caused by his or her negligent driving.
Commercial truck drivers in New Mexico must follow the regulations outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations require truck drivers to rest for 30 minutes within the first 8 hours of their driving shift. Truck drivers must not work more than 70 hours per workweek. Additionally, truck drivers must follow the weight regulations and maintain their vehicles properly.
Speeding Is Another Cause of Serious Truck Accidents
Speeding is another common cause of truck accidents in New Mexico: the state is unique in that it doesn’t impose a lower speed limit for semi-trucks. Semi-trucks can drive down the highway at 75 miles per hour. When a truck driver loses control of the truck while driving at that high speed, the results can be disastrous. Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers take longer to slow down and are less easy to maneuver during an accident. The higher the truck’s speed at the time of the collision, the higher the potential for fatalities and serious injuries.
Filing an Insurance Claim for a New Mexico Truck Accident
New Mexico is a fault-based insurance state. Under New Mexico law, the at-fault driver who caused the accident must pay for any damages caused by the truck accident. The at-fault driver is responsible for paying for the victim’s damages. Typically, the at-fault driver’s car insurance will pay for the damages caused by the truck accident. Victims of truck accidents can recover compensation in one of the following ways:
- Submitting a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Seeking payment through the victim’s own insurance company
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit and seeking compensation in a New Mexico court
New Mexican drivers must carry minimum amounts of auto insurance. However, many drivers fail to follow the law and carry no car insurance. In many cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy does not cover the cost of the victim’s injuries. A truck accident victim may need to seek compensation from his or her own insurance company when the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Our Assertive Lawyers Know How to Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies frequently offer unfairly low settlements. While trucking companies typically have well-funded commercial insurance policies, they also fight hard to avoid paying out claims. At Hunt Law, our lawyers are familiar with all of the tactics used by insurance companies to deny claims. We fight hard and negotiate assertively with insurance companies to help our clients receive the most compensation possible.
Damages Available in New Mexico Truck Accident Lawsuits
Successful New Mexico plaintiffs are entitled to the following types of compensation for their injuries:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Non-medical expenses related to the injuries
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent injuries or disfigurement
- Aggravation of pre-existing conditions
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of household services
- Punitive damages (in limited circumstances)
Contact Our Skilled Lawyers in Santa Fe & Albuquerque To Help You Fight for Compensation
At Hunt Law, we understand how challenging it is to recover from a severe trucking accident. If you received an injury caused by a negligent truck driver, you need an experienced New Mexico truck accident lawyer on your side. We will help you aggressively pursue the compensation to which you’re entitled. Contact our New Mexico trucking accident lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.