Truck Accident Lawyer in Albuquerque, New Mexico
RING THE BELL
State laws and federal regulations require truck drivers to follow strict rules about rest, avoiding distractions, and maintaining their rig. If they fail to follow any of these rules or break general traffic laws, and an accident occurs, you have the right to recover compensation for injuries you suffered and damage sustained to your property.
An Albuquerque truck accident lawyer at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers can explain your rights under New Mexico’s personal injury laws. We can help you understand the process and go to bat for you. We will fight to help you recover full compensation for your damages. Our consultations are always free, and we handle all truck accident cases.
If you’ve been injured in a big truck wreck, call Ron Bell Injury Lawyers today at 505-898-BELL to speak with one of our team members. We always offer 100% free consultations and are here for you 24/7.
Table of Contents
- New Mexico and Albuquerque area truck wreck statistics
- What is considered a big truck by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)?
- Semi-truck or other big truck cases often involve multiple parties, making them very complex
- Where truck accidents in Albuquerque most commonly happen
- The most common types of big trucks involved in wrecks
- The most common types of injuries following a truck crash
- The most frequent types of collisions that our truck accident lawyers handle
- What to do after a big truck wreck
- Trucking companies will begin their investigation immediately to protect their bottom line
- We start your investigation immediately to protect your legal rights
- We investigate the cause of the wreck so that you can recover
- How to choose the best truck accident lawyer in Albuquerque, NM, for you
- How much is my truck accident case worth, and what damages can I recover?
- How long do I have to file a claim after an Albuquerque, NM, commercial truck accident?
- Is a truck driver’s employer liable after a crash?
- Will your case settle or go to court?
- What to expect when you call about your Albuquerque truck accident
- Ring the BELL and call us today
New Mexico and Albuquerque area truck wreck statistics
- A semi-truck or large truck crash occurs every three hours in New Mexico.
- In 2020, a crash occurred in Bernalillo County every 38 minutes.
- In 2020, heavy trucks, or commercial trucks, were 4.8 percent of all vehicle types in crashes and 8.6 percent of vehicle types in fatal crashes.
- In 2020, heavy truck crashes, as a percentage of all crashes, rose to 7.8 percent, their highest level in the past five years.
- In 2021, there were 481 collision fatalities in New Mexico, with semi-trucks and buses accounting for approximately 4 percent.
- Semis and heavy trucks were involved in 3,176 of all crashes in 2020.
What is considered a big truck by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)?
According to the NHTSA, a “big truck” is any large truck that exceeds a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds. This excludes buses and motor homes but includes other commercial and non-commercial vehicles, such as heavy equipment, light box trucks, and delivery trucks. This same definition is held by the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
Although a big truck is formally defined as a truck exceeding a GVWR of 10,000 pounds, it is important to understand that the average 18-wheeler can reach weights of up to 80,000 pounds, making them extremely dangerous when driven by a negligent driver, or when otherwise out of control.
While automotive accidents involving passenger vehicles can be devastating, collisions between a passenger vehicle and an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer, for example, are often far worse. It’s simply not a fair contest to pit an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer against 3,000-pound passenger cars and other smaller vehicles. When a semi-truck collides with a passenger vehicle, 72 percent of the time the car occupants are harmed, while truck occupants are injured only 17 percent of the time.
Semi-truck or other big truck cases often involve multiple parties, making them very complex
In a typical car accident, you are primarily dealing with a combination of your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. But if you are injured in a trucking accident, there are often additional parties involved. These parties can include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- Parts manufacturers
- Cargo loaders
This makes trucking accident cases very complex and is why you should ensure you have proper legal representation to navigate all these parties on your behalf. We will identify all the liable parties and hold them each accountable for their negligence.
Where truck accidents in Albuquerque most commonly happen
I-40, locally known as the “Big I,” is the third-longest Interstate Highway in the country, and the I-25 Pan American Freeway, a major interchange with I-40, has many exits into the city of Albuquerque. Since these interstates are the major shipping routes in New Mexico for commercial trucking companies, truck wrecks along these roads are all too common in Albuquerque and across New Mexico.
The most common types of big trucks involved in wrecks
The most common types of accidents our truck accident attorneys come across involve some of the following vehicles:
- Trucks that transport oil and gas
- Trucks that dump waste
- Trucks that deliver packages
- Tractor-trailer trucks
- Box Trucks
- Towing vehicles
- Trucks with refrigeration
The most common types of injuries following a truck crash
The following are some of the most prevalent injuries that occur in wrecks:
- Bruises and cuts
- Injuries to the soft tissues
- Broken bones
- Disc herniation
- Injuries to the face and teeth
- Injury to the neck and back
- Various types of traumatic brain injuries
Ron Bell Injury Lawyers always seek to incorporate provisions in our lawsuits to pay future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, outpatient treatment costs, pharmaceutical costs, and any other non-economic damages that may be related to your recovery. Call 505-898-BELL for a free case review today.
The most frequent types of collisions that our truck accident lawyers handle
Albuquerque truck accident lawyers come across many types of collisions involving big trucks, and every case is different. At Ron Bell Injury Lawyers, we have worked with many that vary in severity, but the reality is that there are no small big truck accidents.
Trailer slew or trailer swing truck accidents
Swings of a trailer can happen in any condition but are most prominent in bad weather. Even the slightest swing of a trailer into a car can cause serious damage.
Jackknife truck accidents
Jackknifes occur when a trailer swing or slew becomes uncorrectable and leaves the trailer and the truck in a “V” or “L” shape, forming a moving wall of destruction as it moves across the road. These are typically caused by improper braking by the driver while traveling at high speeds, around fast turns, empty trailers that cannot hold to the ground as much as a full load, or in inclement weather.
Rollover accidents involving tractor trailers
Blindspot crashes and collisions
Many large vehicles have a “no-zone,” where the driver cannot see surrounding vehicles. Truck drivers must follow the same laws as everyone else and are still responsible for ensuring that their blind spots are clear before taking an action, such as merging or changing lanes. They are granted no additional rights than a typical car.
Underride semi-truck accidents
An underride accident happens when a car, motorcycle, or other type of vehicle collides with a large truck, and the smaller vehicle gets crushed under the side or rear of the tractor-trailer. These are some of the most deadly and damaging types of wrecks in Albuquerque and New Mexico.
An override accident happens when a large truck is unable to stop and runs over the smaller vehicle – or vehicles – in front of them. In many cases, because trucks are traveling at high speeds, the vehicle that was struck can be pushed a far distance due to the force or even off the road.
Unfortunately, a truck driver’s negligence in these types of accidents frequently damages a victim’s way of life, making it impossible for you to earn a living and maintain your family. Fortunately, these reckless drivers, the trucking company, and their insurance company are required by law to compensate the innocent individuals they harm.
If you’ve been injured in a truck wreck of any kind, call us today at 505-898-BELL
What to do after a big truck wreck
In New Mexico, there are some critical things you need to do following an accident.
Get Help Immediately
Prioritize your safety. If you have been severely injured in a truck wreck, call 911. This should always be your first step. Now is not the time to worry about medical bills. You need to ensure that you are cared for.
File a police report
Filing a police report is often the next step following a car accident, and it is the same for an accident involving a big truck. Documentation of what happened will be critical in your case.
Get Truck Driver Information
If able, ask the truck driver for basic information, such as their full name, address, their insurance company, and what company they work for. It is important to never discuss fault with the driver or police on the scene. Let an experienced truck accident lawyer gather the evidence to argue and prove fault.
Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer
Having an experienced law firm on your side will be critical following an accident with a large truck. We are here to represent you and help guide you through the process.
Call us today for a free consultation at 505-898-BELL
Trucking companies will begin their investigation immediately to protect their bottom line
The truck company’s insurance company will attempt to reduce or potentially deny your truck accident claim altogether. They could even place fault on you, which can complicate things even more. Large trucking companies will have teams of lawyers on their side, and medium-to-small companies will have teams that also represent them.
Our law firm has experience negotiating with trucking companies of all sizes, including independent drivers and their insurance companies. We will ensure that you are not taken advantage of.
We start your investigation immediately to protect your legal rights
Investigating a truck accident case is complex. Not only do we need to do routine tasks such as requesting a copy of the accident report filed by the Police Department, but we also need to keep tabs on the evidence the trucking company possesses.
Early in the process, we will send a spoliation letter to the trucking company. This letter demands they protect the evidence in your case, including:
- The trucker’s logs
- Digital data from the truck’s onboard computer
- Results of post-accident drug and alcohol tests
- The trucker’s personnel file
- The damaged truck and/or trailer
- Other evidence that could play a role in your case
We also often partner with experts to help investigate truck accident cases. This may include:
- Accident reconstruction specialists
- Trucking industry experts
- Medical experts
If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck or other big truck wreck, don’t wait. Call us today at 505-898-BELL to ensure you are in the best position possible from the start.
We investigate the cause of the wreck so that you can recover
If you drive on any of New Mexico’s roadways, you will never be far from an 18-wheeler. The dangers of collision with large trucks and 18-wheelers are significant, but they are essential to our economy. As a result, federal and state regulations establish the minimal safety standards that heavy trucks and 18-wheelers must adhere to before, during, and after operating on highways and roads.
It should come as no surprise that most heavy truck and 18-wheeler collisions are not the types of collisions where everyone involved walks away with minor to no injuries. Many large truck and 18-wheeler accidents are caused by easily avoided factors, such as:
Distracted Driving – Nationwide, including in New Mexico, driver error is one of the leading causes of commercial vehicle accidents. Any distraction that takes a truck driver’s eyes and/or attention off the road, whether it’s from chatting on the phone, texting, streaming a movie/TV show and/or video while driving, or any other distraction is a major hazard to other vehicles on the road.
State and federal minimum safety regulations compel big trucking companies to guarantee that they hire qualified and adequately trained drivers. Many big trucking companies take shortcuts on driver credentials or training, putting unsafe and untrained drivers on the road.
Truck driver fatigue – This arises when a truck driver is weary and works longer hours than is legally permissible. The hours a driver can be on duty in a day, along with state and federal minimum safety requirements, limit how many hours a driver can work a week; yet big truck firms and their drivers frequently break these limits.
Aggressive Driving (Speeding – Failure to Yield Right of Way – Failure to Maintain A Safe Following Distance) – Aggressive and unsafe driving choices such as following too closely or unsafe passing are dangerous choices made by commercial and 18-wheeler drivers daily. These actions are hazardous to other motorists on the road and are a significant component in traffic accidents all around the country.
Failure to obey basic safety regulations – Truck drivers and their employers must follow a set of minimum safety rules meant to protect themselves and other motorists. Failure to adhere to these minimum safety regulations puts the driver and other motorists on the road in danger.
Even though some 18-wheeler drivers are subjected to random drug testing and medical exams, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is still a significant cause of accidents.
Failure to properly load or secure goods — If the driver fails to follow the basic safety regulations when securing or loading cargo, unbalanced weight distribution or a weight shift might occur, increasing the risk of a disaster.
Driving in inclement weather – When faced with inclement weather, heavy truck drivers must adjust their driving (or get off the road) according to the minimum safety regulations. This is because large trucks take much longer to stop than passenger cars. Driving under poor visibility/traction circumstances, such as fog, rain, sleet, ice, snow, or smoke, among other factors, dramatically enhances a heavy truck driver’s chance of causing a collision.
How to choose the best truck accident lawyer in Albuquerque, NM, for you
Choosing a law firm can be a hard decision, but it doesn’t have to be. The most important things to consider are:
Having a local Albuquerque truck accident lawyer on your side is beneficial
Our team is composed of Albuquerque truck accident lawyers who know the city and surrounding areas. We know the local laws, as well as federal regulations related to commercial trucks and their drivers. Our team has successfully represented our clients in some of the largest commercial truck accident claims in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico for over 35 years, and we are here for you.
Hiring a truck accident attorney near you provides benefits such as:
- Knowledge of city and New Mexico state laws pertaining to commercial trucking
- Resources to investigate the wreck scene and document items that may impact your case
- The ability to gather witness testimony efficiently, as well as meet with your doctors
- Having a local Albuquerque attorney means that you can meet face-to-face – our attorneys will even come to you
In big truck wreck cases, experience matters
Because these cases are so complex, you need a firm that has a long track record of representing clients in New Mexico. Ron Bell Injury Lawyers has fought for clients for over 35 years.
100% free case evaluation
Calling us to talk about your case involves zero risk. Our team is available 24/7 to speak with you about your situation.
You don’t pay us unless we recover for you
Our firm works on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay unless we recover for you. There are never up-front out-of-pocket costs.
We keep you informed
At Ron Bell Injury Lawyers, we believe that communication is key in all of our cases and that you should be informed along the way of the progress that is made.
How much is my truck accident case worth, and what damages can I recover?
This is one of the most common questions truck crash victims may have, and some law firms will go as far as to host “damage calculators” that rate the strength of your case. The truth is that no attorney can tell you how much your case might be worth until a full investigation has been conducted and the severity of your injuries is understood. We can tell you that the most common types of damages available in a successful Albuquerque truck accident case are typically a combination of economic and non-economic damages.
The economic damages available to you may include:
- Medical care costs
- Prescription costs
- Physical, occupational, and other therapies
- Ongoing care costs
- Lost wages and lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Replacement of other damaged personal property or other property damage
- Out-of-pocket costs
Non-economic damages available:
In addition to compensation for your expenses related to the accident and your injuries, we also aim to recover compensation for other losses, known as non-economic damages. These include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Other emotional damages
Wrongful Death Damages
If your loved one passed away due to injuries from the accident, you are eligible to collect compensation by means of a wrongful death action. This type of lawsuit allows you to recover money to cover your own losses and expenses related to your family member’s death. This may include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of household services
- Your mental anguish caused by the loss
- Other emotional damages
Albuquerque, NM, wrongful death cases that stem from truck accidents require an experienced attorney, as this adds another layer of complexity.
Punitive damages after a big truck wreck
In some cases, punitive damages can be awarded. In New Mexico, these damages are designed to punish the at-fault party if their actions causing a personal injury were reckless or intentional, for example, if the driver of the truck that caused the crash was intoxicated.
Have an experienced legal team evaluate your case and help you through the process to ensure you get the most money possible.
Call us today at 505-898-BELL.
How long do I have to file a claim after an Albuquerque, NM, commercial truck accident?
In Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico, you have three years to file a claim for injuries sustained in a truck wreck. Three years seems like a long time; however, filing as soon as possible will help you and your truck accident attorney significantly.
As we stated earlier, the trucking company and their insurance company will begin investigating the collision immediately. If you wait to file your personal injury case, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage while allowing them time to build up a case against you.
Is a truck driver’s employer liable after a crash?
When a truck driver causes a wreck in New Mexico, a unique legal doctrine comes into play. Known as vicarious liability, this rule allows us to hold the driver’s employer liable for the damages suffered by the accident victims. This is true as long as the driver:
- Is an employee and not an independent contractor
- Was working at the time of the accident
- Was actively engaged in work-related tasks (in this case, driving)
While filing a claim or lawsuit against the trucking company means we likely need to go head-to-head with its team of corporate lawyers, it also means we may have access to its much larger business liability insurance policy. This can be a lifesaver for clients who suffered catastrophic injuries and will likely require ongoing care.
Will your case settle or go to court?
Most cases will end in a truck accident settlement; however, we approach every case as though it will go to trial and are prepared to go to trial if it is required. As your attorney, it is our primary goal to help you obtain the largest settlement or verdict as quickly as possible. If the insurance company makes an offer, we will help you understand your options so that you can feel confident about the result of your case. If your case needs to go to court, as experienced litigators, we will fight for you there.
What to expect when you call about your Albuquerque truck accident
Our personal injury lawyers have experience handling big truck accidents. Call us, and we can navigate the entire process for you.
- During your initial consultation, we will speak with you about the incident and gather any relevant information you have related to the case.
- When you become our client, we will protect your rights and take care of all communication with the trucking company and its insurer.
- We will conduct a full investigation, collect all available evidence, and build a robust case that allows us to fight for the full value of your damages.
Throughout the case, we keep you up-to-date and informed every step of the way.
Ring the BELL and call us today
If you need help getting the compensation you deserve after an Albuquerque truck accident, the Ron Bell Injury Lawyers team will evaluate your truck accident case for free and help you to hold the trucking company accountable for their driver’s negligent actions and get the money you need.
Call our office today at 505-898-2355 for a free case review.
Visit our office in Albuquerque
Taking Good Care of Our Neighbors
Our mission as personal injury attorneys is to represent injured people, but we don’t want you to think of us as just that: personal injury attorneys. Our team members are part of the community.
We live and work here, and it’s the place we call home. We live in the same neighborhoods as you, and we want to make sure that our neighbors and friends are well taken care of as well.
Our practice is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have experienced attorneys and team members, including legal assistants, field representatives, and paralegals, and we handle cases of all sizes.
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The information and materials offered on this site are for general informational purposes only, do not constitute and should not be considered to be legal advice, and are presented without any representation or warranty whatsoever, including as to the accuracy or completeness of the information. No one should, or is entitled to, rely in any manner on any of the information at this site. Parties seeking advice should consult with legal counsel familiar with their particular circumstances. Text and data rates may apply. Copyright 2022. New Mexico.
 Fatality Facts 2019: Large Trucks. (n.d.). IIHS-HLDI crash testing and highway safety. https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/large-trucks.