A Personal Injury Attorney for Truck Accidents

When driving on one of New Mexico’s many highways, it’s likely you’ll encounter a commercial truck during your travels. While these trucks (also commonly referred to as 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, or big-rigs) are integral for shipping supplies and other goods, they can be dangerous when not operated correctly. Through their enormous size and speed, commercial tractor-trailer trucks have the immediate potential of causing great and severe injuries, including death.

Our team at Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C. is ready to help you prosecute the negligence of a truck driver or the truck driver’s employer. We believe that truckers must take their duties seriously, to preserve their own safety as well as the safety of people driving alongside them.

Are Semi-Truck Accidents Different from Car Accident Cases?

Accidents caused by semi-truck drivers are different from cases caused by drivers operating personal automobiles. First and foremost, because of the great harm that can result from the enormous size and speed of the semi-truck, the semi-truck driver must equal owes a great duty of care to all other drivers and passengers who may be hurt by the semi-truck. There exist professional standards and federal regulations that govern semi-truck drivers to ensure they drive safely.

In addition to the heightened degree of care truck drivers must follow, semi-truck accidents are different because most 18-wheelers maintain “black boxes” that measure many important details, such as GPS coordinates, speed, every time the driver stopped to rest, and messages the driver sent to dispatch while driving. This information can help assist in determining who the truck accident occurred. There are intricate regulations covering the use and maintenance of commercial trucks, including limiting driving time and ensuring the driver has sufficient rest before getting behind the wheel. Preservation of the “black box” information is critical and our team is ready to help you ensure this evidence is protected for your case.

In semi-truck accidents, the truck driver’s employer is responsible for paying any damages caused by the truck driver’s negligence. The trucking company may also be separately and directly responsible to you if they knew they had an unsafe driver on their fleet. The trucking company may be directly responsible for its own negligence in hiring, training, retaining, and failing to properly supervise an employee they knew or should have known was an unsafe truck driver. This may be the case if the company failed to properly screen or train the driver. If the truck malfunctioned, then the trucking company may also be directly responsible for paying any damages caused by the company’s failure to properly maintain the 18-wheeler.

Our team at Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C. has successfully handled many claims against large and national trucking companies, and we are ready to listen and stand up for you.  

Common Hazards While Driving a Commercial Truck

Large commercial vehicles, such as tractor trailers, are more complex to operate. They’re also heavier and take longer to stop as a result, which means truckers must be alert at all times. Here are a few more hazards that can occur when operating a commercial truck:

  • Failure to keep proper lookout: Because of their massive size, big rigs and 18-wheelers have a difficult time stopping even under dry roadway conditions. This is why it is so important for truck drivers to always maintain a proper lookout on the roadways. When truck drivers become distracted or fail to keep their eyes on the roadway, then the damages are huge and even deadly. 
  • Fatigue: While there are laws in place prohibiting truck drivers from logging too many hours, many truckers (and trucking companies) disobey these laws. Driving while fatigued is extremely dangerous, especially on the highway. This is especially true when drivers fall asleep behind the wheel and lose control of their vehicles. Other factors, such as sleep apnea, may affect how well a truck driver rests before a long shift of driving.
  • Inebriation: Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs have been long understood to vastly diminish a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. There exist professional and federal standards surrounding a truck driver’s prohibition from using any depressants or stimulants while they are operating a vehicle or during the days leading up to a long shift of driving. Truck drivers who are inebriated pose an even greater risk, since their vehicles are so much bigger than other vehicles on the road.
  • Driver Error: A truck driver turning unsafely or failing to come to a complete stop at a red light are common hazards. For example, when truck drivers swing wide to complete a turn, they often collide with unsuspecting passengers. Problems braking or changing gears may also occur, which can lead to a collision when approaching an intersection.

We Hold Negligent Truck Drivers Accountable

Commercial truck drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe, careful manner. When they’re negligent of these duties, serious consequences can occur. Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C. is dedicated to helping accident victims in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico recover from these events so they can lead full, happy lives. Feel free to call 505-343-1776 to discuss your case with one of our personal injury attorneys. We’ll review the facts of your case to establish fault and ensure you’re sufficiently compensated for what occurred.

You can also contact us for more information on services. We’ve spent the last 30 years helping local clients preserve their rights and we look forward to doing the same for you.

Martinez, Hart,
Thompson & Sanchez, P.C.

1801 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Suite A
Albuquerque, NM 87104

Phone: 505-343-1776

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Thompson & Sanchez, P.C.
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