One local newspaper recently reported that an impaired truck driver in Arizona caused an accident on northbound I-17. Apparently, the truck driver was driving a tractor trailer loaded with concrete when he hit four other cars.
The news report indicates that he hit a median, which led to much of his load falling off the truck. He then rammed into one car, which proceeded to hit another, which then caused a domino effect that ended up in a four-car accident. This also resulted in an explosion that killed a 22-year-old driver who was pulled from his burning vehicle. The accident also injured many other drivers, who were taken to various hospitals.
One witness reported that, even though there was congestion on the highway at the time of the accident, the semi-truck driver did not even attempt to stop his truck. The witness went on to tell the reporters that the driver did not apply his brakes, nor did he reduce his speed at all. The police arrested the driver, and he was booked because the officers believed he should be charged with second-degree murder and driving under the influence.
New Mexico Liability in Trucking Accidents
In New Mexico, individuals who have been injured as a result of negligent driving on the part of a truck driver can bring a claim for negligence. In most negligence cases, the plaintiff must meet certain basic elements to be successful in the case. However, if the defendant broke a statutory law, he or she may be held liable under the theory of negligence per se.
Negligence per se is a legal theory that states that if a defendant engages in actions that violate a regulation or statute, the court may find him or her liable for negligence without evaluating the reasonable-person prong of the negligence analysis. Negligence per se is used for “safety statues,” such as drunk driving. In order for the doctrine to apply, the plaintiff must be in the class of persons that the statute was designed to protect. In the above case, the driver was clearly violating a safety statute by driving under the influence. Therefore, the other drivers are eligible plaintiffs because they fall into a class of persons that the statute was designed to protect.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Trucking Accident?
Truck accidents have the potential to be much more severe than other automobile accidents. These types of accidents often lead to more serious injuries, a higher likelihood of death, and costly property damages. Many individuals, rightfully, want to bring a negligence or wrongful death suit against the truck driver or company that caused their injuries or the death of a loved one. Doing this requires a significant amount of preparation, investigation, legal research, and skill. There are often many parties involved, including not only the truck driver but also the trucking company, witnesses, insurance companies, and other victims.
The attorneys at the Fine Law Firm are skilled at handling these types of cases. An attorney at our office can be indispensable in a case like this. We have several years of experience negotiating, settling, and litigating cases of this nature. If you have been injured, you may be entitled to certain monetary compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, and in certain situations punitive damages. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a trucking accident, contact one of our attorneys at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Semi Truck Driver Charged with Felony after Rear Ending School Bus, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, November 9, 2014.
Investigation Continues into Semi-Truck Crash that Killed Four Texas Student Athletes, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, October 13, 2014.