Commercial trucks are an essential part of interstate commerce and frequently travel the roads throughout New Mexico. While trucks provide important services, if a truck driver engages in improper maneuvers, this can cause a devastating accident. If you were injured in an accident caused by an improper maneuver, you may be able to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit and should speak to an attorney. Albuquerque truck accident lawyer Matthew Vance was born and raised in New Mexico and has strong ties to the local community. Mr. Vance’s skillful advocacy has enabled him to recover numerous verdicts in the range of hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars for his clients. Matt Vance has handled numerous trucking cases, knows what to do, and will work hard to make sure reckless truckers and the companies behind them are held responsible and accountable. He understands that each case is unique and crafts a nuanced strategy for each client that will provide them with the best chance of obtaining a successful result.Improper Maneuvers Frequently Cause Accidents
There are numerous improper maneuvers that can lead to truck accidents. For instance, driving too fast for conditions, improper turns, left-turns, U-turns, changing lanes abruptly, failing to stay within the designated lane of travel, stopping or standing in the roadway, pulling out in front of traffic or blocking the roadway, improper backing, or failing to obey traffic control devices all can cause accidents. When a truck driver performs a maneuver that is not permitted under the law or is careless or reckless given the circumstances and causes an accident, the driver should be held liable for any harm arising out of the accident. Typically, a person injured in an accident with a commercial truck will allege that the driver of the truck was negligent. To prove liability based on a theory of negligence, the injured person must first establish that the truck driver owed him or her a duty to exercise reasonable care. Truck drivers are professional drivers. There are federal laws and rules, (the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), which their govern their behavior. There are also local laws and rules that may apply. There can also be company policies and procedures, which may be relevant in determining if the trucker acted as a reasonable professional driver would under the circumstances. Commercial drivers are supposed to know more and are supposed to act safely at all times. The injured person must then show that the improper maneuver constituted a breach of the duty. Lastly, the victim must show that the accident happened because of the breach, and he or she suffered actual harm as a result. Because of the size, weight, and design for most commercial motor vehicles, the consequences of a crash tend to be severe and often catastrophic injuries, including death, dismemberment, paralysis, and permanent injuries.
If a truck driver receives a traffic citation following an accident or it can be show they violated a statute or ordinance, a person injured in the accident may also be able to assert a negligence per se claim against the driver. In a negligence per se claim, the injured person alleges that the driver was negligent as a matter of law due to a violation of a statute or local law meant to prevent harm, such as a traffic law. The injured person must show that he or she suffered the harm that the statute was intended to prevent to be awarded damages under a theory of negligence per se.
When a driver who recklessly caused an accident by performing an improper maneuver was employed by a trucking company at the time of the accident, the company often may be held liable as well. This can increase the chance of the plaintiff recovering the full amount of damages. Additionally, claims can be brought directly against the trucking company under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and for negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention.Damages Following a Trucking Accident
A person who successfully proves liability in a lawsuit arising out of a trucking accident may be awarded damages for the economic and non-economic harm caused by the accident. These damages are typically referred to as compensatory damages. Economic harm may include the cost of hospitalization, surgeries, or other medical treatment for any injuries sustained in the accident. If the injured person was unable to work due to his or her injuries, it may also include compensation for lost past and future earnings. Non-economic damages cover the intangible harm caused by the accident, such as pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. If the injured person had a spouse at the time of the accident, the spouse may be able to recover damages as well for loss of consortium.
In some case, a claim may also be made for punitive damages. If the improper maneuver rises to the level of being reckless conduct based on the law or based on the circumstances, then a claim for punitive damages can be pursued. Punitive damages are damages above and beyond compensatory damages. They are damages meant to punish the reckless trucker and/or their company. In some cases it may be the trucking company that was reckless in sending an under trained or skilled driver onto the roads.Contact a Knowledgeable Albuquerque Attorney
Accidents caused by improper maneuvers can lead to catastrophic harm. Matthew Vance is a proficient personal injury lawyer who will work diligently to help you seek all the compensation available for your losses. Prior to advocating on behalf of injured people, Mr. Vance was an insurance defense attorney, which afforded him an in-depth understanding of how his opponents strategize. Mr. Vance regularly represents victims in Albuquerque, where his office is located. He also assists clients in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Farmington, Taos, Los Alamos, Raton, Silver City, Gallup, Belen, Grants, Rio Rancho, Socorro, Los Lunas, Truth or Consequences, Deming, Clovis, Espanola, Hobbs, Roswell, Carlsbad, Santa Rosa, Tucumcari, Alamogordo, and Bloomfield. Mr. Vance can be contacted at (505) 242-6267 or via the form online to schedule a free and confidential meeting.