Being involved in a truck accident can be a traumatic experience leaving injured victims with long-term physical and emotional scars. While nothing can undo the accident itself, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the incident. It’s important to understand the legal process of filing an Albuquerque truck accident claim to ensure you are getting all the compensation you are entitled to. For help, contact us to schedule a free consultation with our Albuquerque truck accident attorneys.
Truck accidents can result in devastating consequences due to their size and weight, often leading to severe injuries and even fatalities. In such cases, an Albuquerque truck accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance. Drawing upon their experience in personal injury law and specific knowledge of trucking regulations, these lawyers can help victims navigate the complexities of legal proceedings. They work to determine liability by investigating factors such as driver negligence, equipment malfunction, or improper loading practices.
Additionally, a skilled truck accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of the injured party, striving to secure fair compensation. Their understanding of the nuances in these cases ensures that victims have a strong advocate to guide them through the legal process and fight for their rights.
Types of Compensation Available to Truck Accident Victims
Truck accident victims may be eligible for various types of compensation to help them recover from the physical, emotional, and financial toll of an accident. For example:
This covers the cost of medical treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, and any ongoing and future medical care related to the accident.
If you cannot work due to your injuries, you may receive compensation for the income you would have earned during their recovery period.
Pain and Suffering
This compensation is meant to address the physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life caused by the accident and resulting injuries.
Compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the collision.
Loss of Consortium
This compensation is for the impact the injuries have on the victim’s relationships with their spouse or family members.
In cases where a truck accident results in a fatality, the family of the deceased may be eligible for compensation to cover funeral and burial expenses, as well as the financial support the victim would have provided.
In cases of extreme negligence or intentional misconduct by the truck driver or the trucking company, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible parties and deter similar behavior in the future.
Who Can Be Responsible for an Albuquerque Truck Accident?
In New Mexico truck accident cases, there are multiple parties that could potentially be held liable for the damages caused by the accident. Here are some of the most common:
Truck Driver Liability
The most obvious party that can be held responsible for a truck accident is the driver of the truck itself. The driver must adhere to certain safety standards and regulations while driving on public roads. If they fail to do so, an Albuquerque truck accident lawyer may find them liable for any personal injuries caused by their negligence.
Truck Company Liability
The trucking company that employs the driver involved in the accident can also be held liable for any resulting damages from the truck accident. If the trucking company did not provide adequate training or failed to properly maintain their vehicles, then they could face legal consequences.
Another party that could potentially be liable in a truck accident is those responsible for loading cargo onto trucks before they depart. Cargo must always be loaded correctly for commercial trucks to remain stable and safe as they drive down highways or even city streets, otherwise the risk for a truck accident rises significantly.
The manufacturer of the vehicle itself could also be found liable if it is determined that there was some sort of defect in its design or construction that caused a truck accident. In these accident cases, manufacturers may have to pay compensation to victims due to product liability laws.
If it is proven that a third-party driver (such as a speeding motorcyclist) caused an Albuquerque trucking accident, they too may have legal liability attached and could need to pay damages.
What to Do to Strengthen Your Truck Accident Claim
Strengthening your truck accident claim is crucial to increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. Here are some steps you can take:
Seek Medical Attention: Seek immediate medical attention after the accident, even if your injuries seem minor. Prompt medical treatment creates a record of your injuries and their severity.
Document the Scene: If you are physically able, gather evidence at the accident scene. Take photos of the vehicles involved, road conditions, skid marks, traffic signals, and any other relevant details.
Obtain Witness Information: If there were witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information. Their statements can provide valuable independent perspectives on the events.
Contact Law Enforcement: Report the accident to the appropriate authorities and ensure a police report is filed. This official document can serve as evidence later.
Preserve Evidence: Keep all relevant documents, such as medical records, bills, repair estimates, and receipts related to the accident and your recovery.
Don’t Admit Fault: Avoid making statements that could be construed as admitting fault, either to other parties involved or to insurance representatives.
Consult an Attorney: A skilled truck accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process, advise you on your rights, help you build a strong case, and significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Avoid Speaking to Insurance Adjusters: Insurance adjusters may try to obtain recorded statements that could be used against you. It is generally wise to let your attorney handle all communication with them.
Be Cautious with Settlement Offers: Insurance companies might offer settlements quickly, but it is important to consult your attorney before accepting any offer. Once you accept, you usually cannot seek further compensation.
Prepare for Litigation: If negotiations with the insurance company are not successful, you and your attorney may choose to file a lawsuit. In some cases, filing a lawsuit lets the insurer know you are serious and may pressure them into settling.
Keep in mind that each case is unique, and the steps you need to take may vary.
How Long You Have to File an Albuquerque Truck Accident Claim
Generally, you have three years from the date of a truck accident to file a claim in Albuquerque. Failing to file a claim within the specified statute of limitations could result in your case being dismissed, and you may lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
Albuquerque Trucking Regulations and Common Violations
Trucking regulations are actually set at the federal level to ensure the safe, efficient transportation of goods across the country. These regulations cover areas such as driver training and licensing, vehicle maintenance, insurance requirements, and more. As with any legal regulation, there are certain violations that occur more frequently than others that may lead to truck accidents— here is a closer look at these common violations that lead to truck accident cases.
Hours of Service
Hours of service regulations specify how long drivers can be on the road and have strict limits for consecutive work time to prevent fatigue-related accidents. One of the most common hours of service violations includes driving more hours than allowed by law or falsifying logbooks to extend a driver’s duty time.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) states that commercial drivers must take a 30-minute break after every 8 hours of service, as well as a 10-hour break after 14 hours on duty. During this 14-hour period, drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours.
In addition, in any 7-day window, commercial truck drivers cannot drive for more than 60 hours, or 70 hours in an 8-day window. Following that week of work, they must remain off-duty for at least 34 consecutive hours before starting another shift.
Vehicles must be properly maintained to ensure safety for drivers as well as other motorists on the road. This includes regular inspections, oil changes, and timely brake replacements or repairs. Failure to maintain a truck can result in dangerous equipment malfunctions, leading to accidents or costly fines due to suspension of registration or license plates until repairs are made.
All cargo must be properly secured prior to departure so that it does not shift or become unbalanced during travel. Drivers must inspect each load before setting off in order to check for proper loading and securement according to applicable laws.
Additionally, hazardous materials must follow special safety protocols outlined by law and should never be carried without proper paperwork indicating certification that the load has been checked and secured appropriately before being transported.
The Most Common Causes of Albuquerque Truck Accidents
Understanding the most common causes of trucking accidents is an important step towards preventing them and protecting the safety of other motorists on the road. Here is a closer look at some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
Driver Negligence: Driver negligence often plays a role in truck accidents, whether due to distracted driving, fatigue, impaired driving or simply failing to follow traffic laws.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance and Unsecured Loads: The trucking company may have performed inadequate maintenance or improper loading which can lead to brake failure, tire blowouts, and skidding. Failure to properly secure cargo can also cause a vehicle to become unbalanced which greatly increases the risk of a truck accident.
Bad Weather Conditions: Heavy rain, snow, fog, or slippery roads create hazardous conditions for large trucks. Drivers should always check weather forecasts before heading out to be better prepared if they do encounter bad weather on their route.
Speeding: Speeding significantly increases the risk of a collision as trucks take longer than usual to come to a complete stop, especially if roads are wet or icy. Driving too fast for existing conditions is dangerous for everyone on the road and must be avoided at all costs.
How do I know if I have a valid truck accident case?
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident due to negligence or wrongdoing, you may have a valid case. Consult with our experienced lawyers to evaluate the specifics of your situation and determine the strength of your case.
What evidence is important in a truck accident case?
Evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, surveillance footage, black box data, and medical records can play a critical role in proving liability and securing fair compensation. Our lawyers will gather and analyze this evidence on your behalf.
Do I have to go to court for a truck accident claim?
Not all truck accident cases go to court. Many are settled through negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods. Our lawyers will work to achieve the best outcome for you, whether through settlement or litigation.
How much does it cost to hire a truck accident lawyer?
We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay upfront fees. Our fees are a percentage of the compensation we help you secure. If we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing.
Why Hire Our Albuquerque Truck Accident Lawyer From Davis Kelin Law to Handle Your Case
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced Albuquerque truck accident lawyers at Davis Kelin Law Firm. Here’s why you should work with us for your accident case:
Our firm has almost two decades of experience in handling Albuquerque personal injury lawsuits related to truck accidents and we take pride in providing superior service to our clients.
When it comes to taking on a case, we are very selective. This means that when we decide to take on your case, we truly believe we can help you. We are focused on ensuring that all possible outcomes for your claim are explored in great detail.
We have the necessary resources to investigate your claim and see it through to the end. Our team is composed of highly professional Albuquerque truck accident attorneys who possess the knowledge and experience required to deal with complex legal issues.
If you need help with an Albuquerque truck accident case, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Our Results Speak for Themselves
$5.1 Million recovered in a historic verdict for a truck accident that occurred in Gallup, New Mexico.