Investigating Trucking Companies
Rely on an Albuquerque attorney who understands the process
Dealing with trucking companies after a truck accident can be complicated and frustrating. Trucking companies usually have their own team of investigators, adjustors and attorneys who vigorously work to downplay any wrongdoing on the company’s part. Some trucking companies also sometimes take dishonest measures to cover up their mistakes.
That’s why you need an Albuquerque truck accident attorney who understands the process following a truck accident. Attorney Andras Szantho has years of experience helping injured motorists seek justice. He can use his knowledge of New Mexico’s complex legal system to launch a thorough investigation into a trucking company to find out how they were negligent. He also understands the unique state and federal laws that apply to collisions involving commercial truck drivers in New Mexico. Contact Attorney Szantho today and find out how he can help you.
Damages caused by negligence of trucking companies
Due to the sheer size and weight of large commercial trucks, trucking companies, and their drivers, are expected to follow federal regulations and make safety a priority. When they fail to do so, devastating accidents can occur, resulting in severe, often life-threatening, injuries to everyone involved. Truck accidents often include:
- Jackknife accidents: This often happens when a truck swerves, brakes or turns too quickly during slippery road conditions. A lightly loaded trailer can swing out, forming the shape of a jackknife and slamming into other cars.
- Underride accidents: When trucks stop abruptly or pull out into traffic, smaller cars can crash under the side or rear of the trailer and get crushed underneath.
- Lane-departure accidents: Shifting lanes without care or experiencing a tire blowout can cause a large truck to sideswipe nearby cars.
- Rear-end accidents: Distracted driving, impaired driving, slippery road conditions and brake failure are often the culprit behind rear-end accidents involving large trucks.
- T-bone accidents: A truck driver who fails to stop at a red light or stop sign can end up broadsiding another vehicle. The side impact of the crash forms the shape of a T.
- Rollover accidents: Inclement weather, loose wheels, brake failure or tire blowouts can cause a truck to lose control and rollover. A rollover accident involving a large truck can affect many nearby cars.
- Head-on collisions: Truck drivers who operate their vehicle without care on a windy road or a road without a median strip sometimes cause head-on collisions with nearby cars.
What we will look for
If a trucking company’s negligence caused your accident, don’t try to handle your claim alone. Let the Szantho Law Firm handle it so you can focus on your recovery. Attorney Szantho often examines the following violations often associated with accidents when investigating truck crashes:
- Falsifying records: If a trucking company failed to follow federal regulations, they may attempt to cover up their behavior by changing or falsifying records. This includes federally-mandated breaks, maintenance and inspection of their vehicles and logging of miles.
- Driver experience, history and licensure: Trucking companies can be responsible for negligence when they hire drivers who are inexperienced, untrained, unlicensed or have a history of reckless driving.
- Cargo loads: The trailer of a large truck should be loaded properly, with cargo evenly balanced to prevent the cargo from spilling or the truck from rolling over.
- Truck maintenance: Trucking companies are required by law to ensure that their vehicles are safe to drive. This includes make sure the brakes work, the tires are up to date and properly inflated, and the trailer is equipped with reflective gear.
Many of the regulations that apply to trucking companies can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, a federal law enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules often change. That’s why it’s critical that you have an experienced attorney who understands them and knows how to deal with trucking companies, their insurance companies and their attorneys.
Why you need to act fast
Many people focus on the three-year deadline from the date of a truck accident to take legal action in New Mexico. This deadline, known as the statute of limitations, can be found in New Mexico Statutes Annotated section 37-1-8.
But long before that deadline expires, trucking companies can legally destroy important evidence that could be critical to your legal cases. Such evidence can include:
- The truck’s Event Data Recorder (EDR), which is also often called the truck’s black box. This electronic device records the speed the truck was traveling at the time of the crash, if the driver applied the brakes, when the driver last took a break and other important data. Such information can be erased in as little as 3 to 4 weeks after a crash. This is because EDR devices often only store such data for 250 ignition cycles or sometimes even less.
- Detailed logs documenting how many hours the truck driver worked and when they last took a break before causing your collision. These are known as Hours of Service (HOS) logs, and trucking companies can destroy them after 6 months.
- Records documenting when the truck that caused your crash was last inspected or repaired. Such records can be destroyed after 12 months – that’s 12 months from the date of inspection or repair, not 12 months from the date of the accident.
Before these records can be permanently destroyed, your lawyer must demand access to this important information, as well as other time-sensitive data (including traffic camera footage) that can help build a stronger legal case. The sooner you get a lawyer, the easier it is to take legal action to secure and preserve this critical evidence.
Contact us today
Don’t let the trucking company’s insurance provider push you around. They often take advantage of injured motorists who don’t know their rights. Even tracking them down can often be a challenge since trucking company the driver works for may be located in another state or even another country.
Trucking companies and their insurance providers may also try to pin the blame on you or offer a small settlement in hopes that your claim will disappear. Either way, you might not get the money you rightfully deserve for your injury claim.
Fortunately, you can fight back. Rely on New Mexico truck accident attorney Szantho to take a stand for you. Your claim isn’t just about money. It’s about holding trucking companies and their insurance providers accountable for their negligence.
Contact the Szantho Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. We have offices conveniently located in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to better serve you.