New Mexico Semi Truck Accidents
New Mexico has three interstates within its boundaries. These interstates add up to a significant amount of interstate traffic and along with it commercial semi truck rigs. Specifically, Interstate 10 runs for 164 miles within New Mexico while Interstate 40 and Interstate 25 run for 368, and 460 miles respectively. This means that there is a total of 992 miles of interstate traffic within New Mexico.
In addition, there are 412 state roads within New Mexico totaling 7405 miles. These roads are typically maintained by the New Mexico Department of Transportation. More often than not, when a semi truck destined for New Mexico leave the interstate is on one of these many state roads. As a result, it is difficult for any New Mexican motorists to avoid coming in contact with a semi truck no matter where you go.
Of the nearly 43,000 car accidents that occur in New Mexico each year approximately 1400 of them, or 3% involved semi-trucks. However, what New Mexico truck accidents lack in terms of their infrequency, they more than make up for it in their severity. Generally, non-semi-truck accidents involve a fatality of 1 out of every 130 accidents in New Mexico. With respect to semi-truck accidents a staggering 1 out of 35 results in a fatality. This means that a semi truck accident is four times more likely to result in a death than a non-semi truck accident. In addition, 1 out of every 15 New Mexico semi-truck accidents resulting incapacitating injuries.
Of all New Mexico truck crashes, approximately 22% are caused by driver inattention at least according to the investigating police officer. The next most significant cause is driving too fast for conditions.
Where are New Mexico Semi Truck Accident Cases Tried?
Because the majority of semi-trucks the pastor New Mexico involve companies outside of the state, it is not uncommon for New Mexico truck accidents to work their way into the federal system. However, there can also be a significant basis to bring such cases within New Mexico’s state courts and often times and favorable jurisdictions.
Determining the exact state or federal court which may preside over a semi truck case is often times a matter of venue. Unlike “jurisdiction”, which is a principal regarding whether or not a court has the authority to preside over a case, “venue” is a matter of picking the specific New Mexico District Court which can preside over a case. Typical factors that may affect which New Mexico venue is appropriate include 1) where the truck accident occurred; 2) where the injured plaintiff is from; and 3) where the semitruck company is from or where it does business.
Filing a lawsuit is one of the first, yet most important steps in any truck accident case. It is necessary for it to be done in a manner and location which is not only appropriate, but also beneficial for the injured party.
What Damages can be Recovered in a New Mexico Semi Truck Accident Case?
New Mexico’s damage elements are generally rather broad. A plaintiff can claim damages relating to his or her past medical bills, future medical bills, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, past lost earnings, future lost earnings, disability, impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, and at times emotional distress. In addition, the family members of a truck accident victim may be able to recover what is called “loss of consortium” which addresses the way in which they are affected by the significant injury or death of their loved one. Finally, New Mexico law may also allow for punitive damages to be recovered when the conduct that leads to a semi truck accident is especially egregious.