Albuquerque and Sante Fe Truck Accident Attorney
Collisions with commercial trucks are often serious. We have the drive and discipline to help
When you’ve been injured in a truck accident in New Mexico, your life can change in a split second. You deserve financial compensation for your injuries. Getting the money you’re legally entitled to can be complicated, however. It takes an experienced New Mexico truck accident lawyer who knows how to take on trucking companies and insurance companies and win.
Because of their sheer size, commercial trucks (including 18-wheelers, tractor trailers and delivery trucks) often cause devastating damage when they collide with passenger cars. As a result, truckers and trucking companies are held to a high legal standard to make sure they stay safe on the road. When they fail to do so, serious injuries or death often result.
Who’s responsible for paying for my accident?
First, it’s important to understand that New Mexico has an “at-fault” insurance system. This means the at-fault party must pay for all accident-related expenses for injury victims. In most cases, that’s the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
Crashes caused by commercial truck drivers can be different. While the at-fault driver’s insurance company might still be responsible for paying for your expenses, other individuals or companies may be partially or completely at fault as well. Such additional at-fault parties may include:
- The trucking company the driver works for.
- The company that loaded the truck, especially if it was improperly loaded and rolled over or caused a jackknife accident.
- The company that repairs and maintains the truck, especially if a tire blowout, brake failure or another mechanical problem caused your crash.
- The company that manufactured the truck, especially if a defective part contributed to your collision.
- The company that packaged the products being transported, especially if they weren’t packed properly, shifted during transit and caused a collision.
- The company that owns the trailer in crashes involving tractor-trailers.
- The insurance companies for these companies.
Make sure you fully explore all the possibilities after your commercial truck accident. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options.
Why are these cases so complicated?
Because there’s often so much money at stake, the at-fault party will often do everything they can to avoid paying for the collision. That’s why the at-faulty party or parties will hire a team of attorneys to defend their actions and deny your claim.
And because many long-haul truckers pass through New Mexico, the trucking company or other businesses you’re dealing with could located be in another state or even another country. Tracking them down and dealing with them can be extremely difficult, especially if they don’t want to cooperate.
Another reason why these cases can be so complicated is the laws governing the commercial trucking industry. Along with New Mexico’s rules and regulations, there are many federal laws that apply specifically to collisions involving commercial truck drivers.
Many of these federal laws can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these regulations place strict rules on what commercial truck drivers and trucking companies can and cannot do. Such rules include:
- How often commercial drivers and trucking companies must inspect, repair and maintain commercial vehicles. Such rules can be found in Title 49, Part 396 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
- What qualifications drivers must have in order to obtain and maintain a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). These regulations can be found in Title 49, Part 391 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
- When truck drivers must take a mandatory break from driving. Specifically, drivers with a CDL must take a break after driving 11 hours in a row. Drivers also cannot work more than 60 hours seven days in a row or 70 hours eight days in a row. These regulations known as Hours of Service (HOS) rules can be found in Title 49, Part 395 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Such rules and regulations change constantly. If your lawyer is not up to date on the latest FMCSA regulations, your injury claim could be denied.
You also need to act fast after a collision caused by a commercial truck driver. Many people only take into account New Mexico’s three-year deadline from the date of their accident to take legal action. That deadline is known as the statute of limitations. But in most cases, you need to take action even faster. That’s because trucking companies can legally destroy important evidence long before then. Such evidence includes:
- Information stored in the truck’s event data recorder (EDR). Also sometimes called a black box, this device records how fast the truck was going at the time of the crash, if the driver applied the brakes and other important information. Most EDR devices store such data for 250 ignition cycles, which is roughly 3 or 4 weeks on the road.
- Inspection and repair records for the commercial truck, which can be destroyed after 12 months.
- The commercial driver’s HOS logs, which they only have to keep for 6 months before being destroyed.
This is your opportunity to demand the money you rightfully deserve for your accident. Don’t miss out. Take action right away. Put the power of an experienced New Mexico truck accident attorney to work for you.
What to do after a truck accident
Call the police and ask them to respond to your crash. A local police officer or trooper from the New Mexico State Police will likely investigate your collision.
Get the name and phone number of anyone who saw your accident. Eyewitness testimony can be a powerful piece of evidence.
Take photos of your crash site. Make sure to get pictures of accident debris, the point of impact and other, important details. The more evidence you have, the stronger your legal case.
Get the truck driver’s full name, address, driver’s license number and insurance information as well as the trucking company’s name, address and phone number.
Give your contact information to the other driver – your name, address, license number and insurance information.
Don’t discuss your accident with anyone at the crash site other than the investigating state trooper or police officer. Keep your comments brief and stick to the facts of what happened. This is not the time to speculate on fault or causation.
Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine, have a doctor examine you right away. You could have a life-threatening medical issue, including internal bleeding, organ damage or a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Even if a medical professional has already examined you, have your doctor take another look at you. Many accident injuries, including whiplash and concussions, take time to develop.
Take your doctor’s advice. If they tell you to rest and recover, follow their instructions. Failure to do so could result in your injury claim being denied.
Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after your truck accident. The sooner you have an attorney working for you, the better.
You Have Rights. We Can Fight For Them
Standing up to trucking companies isn’t easy. They have deep pockets, well-paid attorneys that know how the system works and highly skilled insurance adjusters who know how to reduce or deny claims altogether. Getting the damages (financial compensation) you need can often be a very tough battle. That’s why you need a tough competitor on your side. That's why you need a truck accident lawyer from the Szantho Law Firm.
Attorney Andras Szantho has the experience, discipline and dedication you need to stand up to the trucking companies and their insurance providers. If you were seriously injured by a commercial vehicle, your case will likely be decided in court. Truck accident attorney Andras Szantho has extensive courtroom experience. A former prosecutor, he thrives in the courtroom and knows how to win.
How Did Your Accident Happen?
- Truck Was Speeding
- Out of Control Truck
- Driver Fell Asleep
- Drunk or Drugged Driver
- Driver Distracted
- I-25 Accident
- I-40 Accident
Your accident wasn't your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. You were hurt because a trucker or trucking company was negligent. You shouldn't have to suffer. You deserve justice. A truck accident attorney can work with you to build a strong legal case. That way, you can get the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Contact us to find out how we can help you. Call 866-853-2462 and schedule your free case evaluation.
Speeding is a common cause of truck accidents because trucking companies run tight delivery schedules. Drivers are expected to make their deliveries as quickly as possible. In some cases, trucking companies pressure drivers to drive above the speed limit in order to meet these tight schedules. Individual drivers may also recklessly choose to drive at unsafe speeds. Whatever the circumstances, speeding big rigs are harder to turn and stop, resulting in devastating accidents.
If you believe the trucker who hit you was going too fast, our legal team can investigate your crash and search for the facts. We often look at physical evidence from the accident scene along with police reports and any eyewitness accounts. Moreover, we'll check the trucking company's records to see if the driver was behind schedule, which could have created motivation for the driver to speed.
Trucks fly out of control for several reasons. To deliver as much cargo as quickly as possible, some trucking companies illegally overload their commercial vehicles, making steering and stopping dangerously difficult. Poorly maintained trucks can also cause accidents, especially if there are issues with the brakes or engine. Other times, cargo is not properly secured and falls off the truck or makes the truck unstable at any speed.
Accidents involving out-of-control big rigs might seem straightforward, but they’re often very complicated. Depending on the circumstances, the trucking company might be held liable for overloading the vehicle. Or perhaps the driver himself may be at fault for failing to maintain his vehicle. Even the shipper of the cargo could be held liable under certain circumstances.
During our investigation, we'll determine exactly who's to blame for the truck going out of control and pursue damages (financial compensation) accordingly. This can be a very complicated process, but we're prepared to do the work to uncover the truth.
Thanks to the strict schedules that trucking companies follow, asleep-at-the-wheel truckers are unfortunately all too common. By law, truck drivers are required to take breaks at regular intervals to rest and make sure they aren't too fatigued to drive. Some unscrupulous trucking companies pressure drivers to work through those breaks in order to make deliveries sooner. Some truck drivers also choose to ignore the law on their own.
After your asleep-at-the-wheel truck accident, our attorneys will look for evidence confirming that the driver was definitely asleep. Common clues we often look for include a lack of skid marks on the road, which indicates that the driver didn't even try to stop. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel also often have no memory of the accident, which we can demonstrate by examining the trucker's own statements. Finally, we'll look to see whether those mandatory breaks were taken and whether the driver or the trucking company should be held liable.
Driving while intoxicated is even more dangerous for truck drivers than for other motorists. When a large vehicle (a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds) is being driven by someone under the influence, serious truck accidents often result.
In most cases, the blame falls on the big rig driver himself if he was drunk or under the influence of drugs. Most trucking companies have strict policies in place to make sure their drivers stay sober on the job. You might still have a claim against the trucking company for inadequate supervision or improper hiring practices, especially if the trucking company knew the driver had a history of driving under the influence when he or she was hired. Our attorneys will investigate all possible sources of liability and make sure you're compensated.
Truckers very commonly drive distracted because they spend their entire workday behind the wheel. Texting while driving is against the law nationwide for all commercial truck drivers. Even so, many truck drivers break the law, which is why it's one of the most common sources of distraction. Many distracted driving accidents also occur while a truck driver is talking to a dispatcher, eating while driving or adjusting the radio.
Distracted truckers often cause devastating rear-end collisions because they don't see the cars right in front of them. As part of our investigation, we'll look for corroborating evidence that the trucker was distracted, including eyewitness reports, phone records and the trucker's own statements. We'll show that your accident was the result of the truck driver's negligence and fight for the damages (financial compensation) you need to move forward with you life.
The main north-south highway in New Mexico, Interstate 25 connects the state with Colorado and Wyoming. From Las Cruces to Albuquerque to Santa Fe, I-25 stretches over 462 miles in New Mexico. Whether you were hit by a distracted trucker on the Pan American Freeway in Albuquerque, an asleep-at-the-wheel driver outside Santa Fe or a drunk driver near I-10 in Las Cruces, we can help. We’ll pore over the evidence and find the facts that prove the trucking company or their driver caused your crash. Contact a truck accident lawyer from the Szantho Law Firm and get you the compensation you deserve.
Connecting New Mexico with Arizona and Texas, Interstate 40 is the heir to the historic Route 66 and the main east-west route in the state. Comprising 374 miles of highway within the state, it links Albuquerque, Santa Rosa, Grants, Gallup and Tucumcari. You have rights if you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by a commercial driver on the Coronado Freeway near Albuquerque or near the Pecos River at Santa Rosa. We can aggressively represent you and hold the trucker accountable for his or her actions. Truck accident attorney Szantho has years of courtroom experience (as a former prosecutor and attorney) and will not rest until justice is served.