Albuquerque Truck Accident Lawyer Salim Khayoumi Can Help You Pursue Fair Compensation for Your Injuries
Head out on to I-25 or I-40 and you’re bound to see dozens of tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and big rigs transporting goods throughout the state. While these massive vehicles generally share the road with smaller vehicles without incident, when an accident does happen it can result in serious injury or death to Albuquerque residents. If you or someone you love is injured in an accident with a large truck, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm done to you. An experienced Albuquerque truck accident lawyer can assess your situation and advise you regarding your legal options.
Reasons for Albuquerque Tractor-Trailer Truck Accidents
In 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, tractor-trailer trucks caused 3.2% of all New Mexico vehicle accidents – that’s about one accident every six hours. Worse yet, these accidents made up 11.4% of New Mexico’s crash fatalities, causing 40 deaths.
The top two contributing factors were driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances, and driver inattention. Driver inattention can be the result of any number of distractions, including texting, cell phone use, or even eating while driving, but the primary culprit is driving while fatigued. In fact, drowsy driving is such a danger that the federal government imposes minimum levels of safe conduct on tractor-trailer drivers. These laws mandate a 10-hour rest period on all tractor-trailer drivers who have:
- Driven more than 11 hours total in a single 24-hour period; or
- Been on duty for more than 14 hours in a single 24-hour period.
In addition many other factors can come in to play in tractor-trailer truck accidents, including:
- Improper loading;
- Excessive weight;
- Excessive speed;
- Following too closely;
- Inadequate driver training;
- Mechanical malfunctions; or
- Weather conditions.
Whatever the cause, if you have been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer or other heavy truck, contact an experienced Albuquerque truck accident lawyer immediately.
Truck Accidents Are Different
Many people mistakenly believe that a truck accident case is just a car accident case on a larger scale. In fact, truck accident cases are different from auto accident cases in several key ways:
- The governing law. Federal laws, including the Motor Carrier Safety Act, as well as state laws govern the conduct of commercial trucking companies. These laws do not apply to the parties in the typical motor vehicle accident case.
- The available evidence. Many trucks contain electronic control modules (ECM’s) – similar to the black boxes used in commercial airlines – that may contain pertinent information regarding the accident, which could prove that the truck driver’s negligence (unreasonable carelessness) or recklessness was the cause of the accident. Information from the black box must be obtained as quickly as possible before it can be lost or destroyed. In addition to the ECM, other evidence unique to truck accident cases includes: the driver’s log book; the truck inspection and maintenance records; the company’s safety records; the driver’s accident and driving history. The truck accident attorneys at Khayoumi Law Firm can help you obtain all this evidence and build a strong case.
- The number of defendants and witnesses. The truck driver often is an employee of a commercial trucking company. This raises employer liability issues and workplace safety issues, and may help to identify other individuals who may bear some responsibility for, or have critical information regarding, the accident.
- The severity of the injuries sustained. When a truck weighing several tons collides with a car, the injuries sustained by the smaller vehicle’s occupants are likely to be catastrophic or even fatal.
- The proof required. Expert testimony often is required to prove up a truck accident case. Depending on the facts of your case, this may include testimony from economists, life-care planners, vocational rehabilitation specialists, accident reconstructionists, and experts in truck safety and driver-related issues.
Impact of Albuquerque Tractor-Trailer Accidents
The costs associated with fatal or incapacitating injuries caused by tractor-trailer accidents can be overwhelming for many Albuquerque families. The immediate costs –primarily, medical expenses –– only tell part of the story. For the family of those severely injured or killed in a tractor-trailer truck accident, there will be long-term costs to bear as they struggle to overcome the physical and emotional scars that resulted from the injuries; to care for their loved one; and to make up for lost income and/or loss of earning capacity.
Contact an Albuquerque Truck Accident Lawyer at Khayoumi Law Firm
If you were injured, or a loved one was injured or killed, as a result of a tractor-trailer truck accident, call an Albuquerque truck accident lawyer at Khayoumi Law Firm. Our attorneys will aggressively pursue your claim so you can focus on your recovery, not how you will pay the bills. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation, or contact us via our online form.