In late March, a semi-truck traveling north on Interstate 35 in Texas struck the crossbeam of a bridge under construction, causing two other concrete beams to collapse onto traffic below. According to one local Texas news source, one person was killed and three others injured as a result of the truck accident. Fortunately, the injuries were not life-threatening.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the construction is part of a larger project to widen the interstate to four lanes. Several other overpasses are part of the construction project.
After the accident, a spokeswoman for TxDOT said that at least three signs indicating the bridge clearance were posted within two miles of the bridge. However, one local news agency reported that a fourth sign near the bridge indicated a higher clearance height than the other three signs.
The actual height of the truck’s load was unknown at the time of the accident. According to TxDOT, clearance signs typically indicate a lower height than the actual clearance so that drivers have a cushion when passing under a bridge.
Truck Accident Cases Require Experienced Attorneys
Unfortunately, accidents involving semi-trucks often result in death or near-death injuries. For this reason, New Mexico has specific rules and regulations for trucks traveling on its roadways, even if the trucks are passing through from out-of-state. Truck drivers must also obey federal laws that are similarly designed to improve the safety of our roads.
Of New Mexico’s trucking regulations, one of the most important is a rule regulating the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel on a given day. This ensures that drivers have slept a sufficient number of hours before driving and are well rested enough to be attentive to unknown traffic patterns, updated road signage, and other drivers on the road. Other regulations include regular truck inspections, maximum load sizes, and frequent truck maintenance. Truck drivers in New Mexico may also be required to keep trucking logs in order to demonstrate compliance with the above regulations.
A driver or trucking company’s failure to adhere to any of these regulations may amount to what is known as negligence. Negligence in this context is a failure to exercise reasonable care in the operation of a semi-truck. If a trucking company or driver is involved in an accident and is found guilty of negligence, one or both could be liable for damages. Damages may include compensation for out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages, as well as for pain and suffering. In New Mexico, most trucking companies maintain a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance coverage.
Involved in a Trucking Accident? Don’t Wait to Call an Attorney
Trucking accident law is different from automobile accident law because of New Mexico’s special regulations for semi-trucks. This makes hiring an attorney with experience handling truck accident cases essential. It is also essential that the victim of a trucking accident contact an attorney immediately, since crucial evidence, like the trucking logs described above, is often destroyed or lost shortly after an accident. By obtaining a lawyer soon after you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck, this type of evidence is more likely to be available down the line if needed. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident involving a semi-truck, call the Fine Law Firm immediately for a free initial consultation. Our phone number is 505-889-FINE.
More Blog Posts:
Texas Semi-Truck Accident Results in Fatality, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, April 1, 2015.
Court of Appeals in California Reverses Lower Court Decision on Trucking Accident, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2015.