Asserting the Rights of Albuquerque Truck Crash Victims
Trucks and the trucking industry are regulated by both federal and state laws. These rules are in place to protect the safety of everyone else who shares the road with big rigs. When a commercial driver or trucking company fails to comply with these regulations, they threaten the safety of everyone around them. Albuquerque truck crash lawyer Bert Parnall and the team at Parnall Law Firm, LLC provide comprehensive legal representation to accident victims. We are familiar with the details of state and federal regulations.
State Trucking Rules and Regulations
Federal law governs interstate trucking, which is activity that involves more than one state. If a trucking activity occurs exclusively within a state’s borders, however, that state’s trucking rules apply.
New Mexico has largely adopted the federal trucking regulations, with some modifications. Drivers who wish to operate a big rig in this state must obtain a commercial driver’s license. This requires special training to handle these vehicles. Other examples of state trucking rules include:
- Minimum age requirements to drive a truck in New Mexico, which is 18 years of age and 21 years of age to transport hazardous materials.
- Retention of a special permit for any truck that exceeds 80,000 pounds.
- Restrictions on the height and length of intrastate vehicles and loads.
- Endorsements for hazardous materials and combination vehicles with trailers.
- Compliance with the federal maximum number of hours requirement, unless the driver operates the truck within 150 miles of the company’s regular place of business.
State Regulations and Liability in Big Rig Accidents
A collision can occur when the driver or company does not follow the state rules and regulations. Truck drivers and trucking companies sometimes violate state law. When this results in an accident, the injured party may try to hold a commercial driver and his or her employer liable.
Violations of state rules may provide evidence of negligence. A party is considered negligent if it failed to act with reasonable care. As the victim, you have to prove that the defendant in your case was negligent, and that its careless behavior harmed you. A truck driver, for example, may not have secured the proper endorsement for transporting hazardous material. In other words, he or she should not have been transporting this cargo in the first place. If you can link the driver’s failure to use proper care with your injuries, you may be able to hold the driver liable.
There may be more than one state rule violation. For example, the driver who failed to secure the hazardous material endorsement may also lack the necessary training to properly load such cargo on the truck. Several state regulation violations can bolster your claim that the defendant was negligent.
The law requires that trucking companies and drivers keep detailed records. This includes hours of service logs, employee files, and vehicle inspection reports. In many truck accident cases, key evidence disappears. Records, and even the vehicle, can go missing. If one party in a lawsuit deliberately loses or destroys evidence, the other party can initiate a cause of action for spoliation of evidence. If a court finds that evidence was intentionally destroyed or removed, it may impose sanctions.
What Damages You Can Recover
You may be able to get compensation for your injuries if you are successful in a negligence claim. These damages can include past and future medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, loss in earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. In New Mexico, you have three years beginning from the day the accident occurred to file your lawsuit. If you do not file within the allotted time, you may be barred from seeking compensation.
Capable Legal Representation in Albuquerque Injury Cases
Albuquerque accident attorneys at Parnall Law Firm, LLC are seasoned litigators who can effectively pursue your claim if you were injured in a truck crash. Our lawyers will review your case thoroughly to determine if the commercial driver, trucking company, or other party violated state regulations. We can negotiate a settlement that is fair, or take your case to trial if necessary. To schedule a consultation at no cost, call us at 505-268-6500 or fill out our online form.