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The Relevance of Past Citations in Truck Accident Cases

Posted in Firm News

Personal injury cases are governed by certain rules, set by the legislature in conjunction with the highest court in the state. These rules range from the procedures that must be followed by both parties when proceeding through a lawsuit to the substantive rules of evidence governing which evidence is admissible at trial.

The rules of evidence act as a guide to trial judges, helping them understand which evidence the parties are able to submit. Not all evidence is admissible at trial. For example, only relevant evidence is admissible. If a party tries to submit irrelevant evidence at trial, the judge can properly prevent that party from introducing the evidence. There are dozens of rules of evidence governing both the general rules as well as some very specific situations.

In truck accident cases, an accident victim may want to point to previous citations issued against the truck driver. However, the rules of evidence may prevent a party from submitting this evidence to a jury. Evidence of a party’s propensity to act in a certain way is not generally admissible, unless it is offered for another reason. For example, this may mean that an accident victim may not be able to show evidence of a truck driver’s previous speeding tickets, even if the accident in the current case involved allegations of speeding. This is because the law is not willing to say that just because a party acted in a certain manner once they are likely to act in the same way on another occasion. However, there are ways that an attorney can get evidence of prior consistent acts admitted into evidence in some situations.

Trucking Company Involved in Fatal Accident Had History of Serious Violations

Earlier this month, a young boy was killed and his mother seriously injured when part of a bridge collapsed and fell on their vehicle after a semi-truck driver slammed into one of the bridge’s support poles. According to one local news source reporting on the tragic accident, the accident occurred on a state highway early on a Thursday morning.

According to the news report, the trucking company has a history of serious violations as well as serious and fatal accidents. In fact, earlier this year in May, a truck accident in Austin injured three people. Similarly, back in 2015, a truck owned by the trucking company was involved in a fatal accident after the driver struck a woman crossing the road.

Have You Been Involved in a New Mexico Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a New Mexico truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, proving a case against a negligent truck driver or trucking company may not be as easy as putting all available evidence in front of the judge or jury. In some cases, parties must litigate whether evidence is admissible in the first place. Contact one of the skilled personal injury attorneys at the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to set up a free consultation to discuss your case. With decades of experience handling truck accident cases, you can rest assured your case is in good hands.

More Blog Posts:

Risks Associated with Fatigued Truck Drivers in New Mexico, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 28, 2016.

Truck Accidents Occurring in Parking Lots, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 13, 2016.