If you have been involved in a New Mexico highway crash involving a commercial or “big” truck, semi-truck, tractor-trailer, etc., you know truck accidents are different from car accidents. Two primary factors make large, heavy truck, or commercial motor vehicle (CMV), accidents much worse than passenger car accidents:
- Truck Size: Large 18-wheelers and similar commercial trucks can weigh more than 10,000 pounds and carry up to 80,000 pounds of cargo. Their impact in a collision with a passenger vehicle can be catastrophic, particularly if the truck is moving at full speed. Occupants of cars, pickups, SUVs, and vans are likely to suffer a serious injury, if not death, while the trucker walks away from the crash.
- Truck owners: After most truck accidents, you aren’t dealing with just a truck driver whose negligence or recklessness may have caused the crash. Usually, the truck is owned by a trucking company, which has a huge investment to protect and deep pockets to do it with. As you seek compensation for injuries and other losses after a crash, you may soon find you are fighting a trucking company’s team of lawyers.
In Albuquerque and Central New Mexico, Bert Parnall and his Parnall Law team take the fight to truckers and trucking firms when their negligence has caused a truck accident. We have the resources and the determination required to confront the at-fault trucker, the trucking company (or “carrier”), and their insurance company to get the payment you deserve. We act aggressively to make things right for you.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation says in its most recent truck accident facts report that the number of heavy truck crashes, heavy truck-involved fatalities, and their percentage among total crashes and total fatalities have been at their highest levels during the previous five years.
It is best to act quickly after a truck accident to contact an experienced law firm that can start to gather evidence connected to your accident. Trucking companies know how to protect themselves. Don’t wait if you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a truck accident. Call Parnall Law today to protect your rights.
Parnall Law Fights After Truck Accidents in Albuquerque
If you have ever come across a large-truck accident on Interstate 40 or I-25 or elsewhere in the Albuquerque area, you may have been shocked by the destruction. Now that you have been injured or a loved one has died in a truck accident, you understand the true extent of damage done in commercial truck accidents.
Parnall Law’s truck accident lawyers have been working for residents of Albuquerque and other Central New Mexico communities who have been unjustly injured in truck accidents since 2009. We have seen the serious pain, suffering, and losses that occur in collisions with 18-wheelers, semis, and other transfer trucks. We have also seen how trucking companies cover up and cover for negligent truck drivers after wrecks that have left innocent people maimed and killed.
After a truck accident, you have the right under New Mexico personal injury law to obtain compensation for losses caused by a negligent truck driver and/or the negligence or recklessness of the trucking carrier that put the driver and truck on the road. We can help you have your say and, through a settlement or jury award, have it clearly said that you were wronged.
We know how to fight negligent truckers, carriers, and their insurance companies. We have done it successfully and can do it for you and your family.
- $2.5 million for the wrongful death of a motorcyclist hit by a pickup truck driver
- $600,000 for a worker hit by a construction truck
- $199,999 for a client rear-ended by a delivery truck
- $155,000 for a client who required rotator-cuff surgery after being hit by a truck
Common Driver Negligence Found in Albuquerque Truck Accidents
Truck drivers and trucking companies that operate in New Mexico do so according to rules and regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the New Mexico Motor Transportation Division. These regulations cover every aspect of operating commercial trucks, the cargo they haul, the truck drivers who pilot these vehicles, and the activities of truckers while manning large commercial trucks.
In many truck accident case investigations, we find violations of FMCSA or state rules, which make it easier to prove the trucker’s or trucking company’s liability, or legal responsibility, for the wreck.
For example, FMCSA Hours of Service regulations (HOS) dictate how long a trucker can stay behind the wheel without rest, when rest is required and how long he or she must rest. In addition, truckers are required to keep detailed logs of drive time and rest breaks. However, many truckers ignore HOS regulations and keep driving when they should be resting. They may do this to make a delivery deadline, perhaps on orders from supervisors, or to stay ahead of bad weather or rush-hour traffic.
Violating HOS regulations leads to fatigued driving, which numerous surveys and studies have said is the primary reason truck drivers cause accidents. In fact, the FMCSA has a web page dedicated to fighting fatigued driving by truckers.
“The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) reported that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash,” the FMCSA page says, referring to a study well-known to the trucking industry.
It’s instructive to consider other truck driving issues that are of such concern to the FMCSA that they each warrant their own web page:
- Distracted Driving: “A 2009 study found that 71 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when the truck driver was doing something besides driving the truck,” it says.
- Too Fast for Conditions: “The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) reported that 23 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were traveling too fast for conditions.”
- Unfamiliar Roadway (failure to read a map or directions): The LTCCS reported that 22 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when drivers were unfamiliar with the roadway.
- Inadequate Surveillance (failure to look before a maneuver, such as a turn or lane-change): The LTCCS reported that 14 percent of large-truck crashes occurred due to the drivers’ inadequate surveillance.
- Inadequate Evasive Action (failing to stop or slow down, or steer to avoid a crash): “A 2005 study reported that 14 percent of safety-critical events [near collisions] occurred when the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver executed an inadequate evasive action.”
- Following Too Closely (tailgating): The LTCCS reported that 5 percent of truck crashes occurred when the CMV driver was following the lead vehicle too closely.
Gathering Evidence of Negligence in Albuquerque Truck Accidents
Because each of the driving mistakes outlined above is avoidable, they represent negligence by professional truck drivers. Documenting evidence of this negligence is central to building a trucking accident case.
When Parnall Law is engaged after a truck accident, we begin to gather evidence from the scene of the accident and/or the truck involved in the wreck and the client’s vehicle, as is appropriate and necessary. We can also move to ensure that evidence is preserved, and not “lost” or destroyed, possibly by obtaining a court order against the trucking company and/or driver and others.
Records we may seek include the driver’s Hours of Service logs, cargo manifests, and truck maintenance records. In some cases, the failure of the truck or truck components (tires, brakes, steering, etc.) may have caused a crash. Maintenance records may indicate that the carrier was putting off needed repairs and knowingly allowing an unsafe truck onto the road.
Very important to truck accident investigations is obtaining access to the truck’s electronic data recorder (EDR). This device, similar to the “black box” described after airline crashes, yields a variety of data about the operations of the truck just prior to a crash. A download from a truck’s EDR provides a record of:
- Date and time of the crash
- Vehicle speed
- Engine speed
- Brake status
- Clutch status
- Throttle (gas pedal) position
- Cruise control status
- Steering angle
- And other data
Depending on the age and model of a tractor-trailer involved in the crash and how up-to-date the trucking company is, information may also be available from:
- Data recorders connected to anti-lock brakes with stability control capability
- Collision mitigation systems (forward crash warning and lane departure warning)
- On-board video recordings
- GPS-based fleet monitoring systems
In addition to deposing (interviewing under oath) the truck driver, his or her supervisor(s), cargo handlers, and anyone else connected to the truck that crashed, we may also seek evidence from:
- Cellphone records. The trucker may have been on the phone at the time of the accident, a form of distracted driving. If he or she was on the phone instead of sleeping as required by HOS regulations, this is evidence of fatigued driving.
- Credit card records and/or receipts. Times and dates on these records may also indicate a trucker’s activity as opposed to rest.
- Weather and traffic reports. Road conditions at the time of the accident might indicate that the truck’s speed (as identified by the EDR download) was too fast for conditions.
- Recall notices for the truck, truck parts, systems, etc. If identified problems were not repaired and can be shown to have contributed to the truck’s failure and crash, the truck owner could be held responsible.
In most cases, the cause of a truck accident is apparent or is uncovered relatively quickly, and an appropriate settlement can be negotiated. We do not run up expenses by going beyond what’s necessary to prove a case and secure the best outcome for our clients. However, we know where to look for evidence and are diligent with investigations, which enables us to negotiate from a position of strength.
It is best to start work on a truck accident case as soon as possible. Truckers and trucking company managers and owners know where to find evidence of negligence or recklessness after a truck crash, too. And, when they have a mind to, they can get to it very quickly.
Call Truck Accident Attorneys in Albuquerque at Parnall Law
New Mexico residents who are injured or lose a loved one in a commercial truck accident, face medical bills, lost income and other costs and losses, including pain and suffering and, in many cases, an uncertain future.
Attorney Bert Parnall understands what you are going through and has dedicated his legal career to obtaining justice for accident victims like you. When someone else has caused you harm, you have every right to want your life to be set right again. Parnall Law will help you hold accountable those who have wrongly injured you.
Bert Parnall and his Parnall Law team in Albuquerque offer you experienced personal injury attorneys in New Mexico. Our objective is to secure the maximum compensation available for your losses and, with it, acknowledgment of the injustice you have suffered.
Contact Parnall Law in Albuquerque today to arrange a free legal consultation. Our compassionate and determined team of legal advocates can pursue your truck accident claim while you concentrate on your recovery. Let us make sure things are made right after this unwarranted intrusion into your life.