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Blind Spots

Truck Accident Attorney Advocating for Victims in the Albuquerque Area

Big rigs have big blind spots, sometimes referred to as the "NO-Zone," the place where the truck driver can't see. This simple and well-known fact does not excuse the negligence or recklessness of truckers who fail to properly check their blind spots before changing lanes or making other traffic maneuvers, thereby causing dangerous and potentially deadly collisions with innocent motorists. If you or a family member has been involved in a crash caused by a trucker’s disregard for blind spot safety or an unsafe lane change, Albuquerque truck accident lawyer Matthew Vance can investigate the details of your situation and guide you through the legal process.

Seeking Compensation from a Negligent Driver or Company

An 18-wheeler may have not just one blind spot but several blind spots around the truck and trailer, making it difficult or impossible for the driver to see motorists in certain areas. Although blind spots can extend as far away as two or three lanes of traffic, the most vulnerable motorists (and passengers) are usually those traveling closest to the truck. If a commercial driver moves into the lane of a travel of a small vehicle, the driver of the smaller vehicle may not be able to clear the tractor-trailer’s path. Very serious and even fatal accidents can happen this way.

To assert a legal claim in New Mexico against a trucker or trucking company following a blind spot collision or lane change crash, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, that the defendant breached the duty, that the defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, and that quantifiable damages resulted. Each element must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.

Truckers, like other drivers, have a duty to keep a proper lookout and use reasonable precautions while operating their vehicles. Since professional drivers are well aware (or should be aware) that there are dangerous blind spots around their trucks, they should use an appropriate amount of caution when changing lanes. This is something professional drivers went to commercial motor vehicle driving school for. It's something they are required to know how and be able to do. This obligation includes making their intentions known in time for drivers of other vehicles to react appropriately. A failure to uphold this obligation can result in a finding of liability if and when an accident occurs.

As with other lawsuits arising from motor vehicle collisions, it is not uncommon for a defendant semi driver or trucking company to claim that the driver of the small vehicle was partially or even largely to blame for the accident. Some trucking companies start their defense the minute they put their tractor-trailers on the road. They apply graphic images on the trailers of their semi-rigs with the picture of a tractor-trailer surrounded by "No-Zones," places where you, as the driver of a passenger car, are somehow not supposed to be. That's ridiculous! New Mexico follows the law of pure comparative fault. A plaintiff is entitled to a damages award that is proportionate to the defendant’s degree of negligence. Professional drivers know about the blind spots that may exist around their vehicle. There are equipment options, like additional mirrors and VoRAD collision detection systems, which can be added to a vehicle to make it safer. Technology makes blind spot sensor systems, turn sensors, and lane guidance systems readily available and accessible for drivers and companies willing to invest in safety. Regardless, it is the job of professional drivers to safely operate their Goliath vehicles on the common streets, roadways, and interstates without hurting or harming others. They are required to have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate their commercial motor vehicle, including making a safe lane change. It's the law, both federal (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations - FMCSR) and state (NMAC - Tile 18, Chapter 3 - Motor Carrier General Provisions).

Contact an Albuquerque Lawyer after a Motor Vehicle Collision

Victims who have been hurt in a devastating truck accident generally have rights to assert. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible following the crash so that an appropriate investigation can be made and all legal paperwork can be prepared in a timely fashion. To speak to Albuquerque personal injury attorney Matthew Vance, call us at (505) 242-6267 or contact us online. Our offices are located in downtown Albuquerque, and we assist accident victims in many cities across the state, including Santa Rosa, Tucumcari, Bloomfield, Grants, Belen, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe. We regularly handle cases involving serious and catastrophic injuries, and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in truck wreck cases. Whether your case arises from a crash occurring on Interstate 40 (I-40), Interstate 25 (I-25), or on other highways around New Mexico, we are ready to help. You can contact us in the evenings and on weekends, and you will not be required to pay a fee unless we recover compensation for you.