Trucking accidents in New Mexico can be devastating, and they often result in fatal injuries when big rigs strike smaller passenger vehicles.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), about 10% of all deadly highway accidents involve a large truck. Worse yet, passenger vehicle occupants frequently are the ones who sustain fatal injuries.
Why are collisions involving 18-wheelers so deadly? As the IIHS explains, people who travel in smaller passenger vehicles are more vulnerable because of trucks’ size. Semis can weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 times as much as a passenger car. In addition, they have a “greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes.”
If you were involved in a truck crash, what should you know about trucking accident lawsuits in New Mexico?
Gathering Evidence at the Scene of the Crash
If you are able to do so, you should always gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the truck collision. Often injury victims cannot collect evidence due to their injuries. However, if you are physically able to collect evidence that could help your case, be sure to gather some of the following materials:
- Photographs from the scene of the accident. You can use your smartphone to take pictures. Also be sure to capture multiple images and from different angles.
- Witness contact information. Get the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of anyone else involved in the accident, as well as anyone who may have witnessed the crash.
- Finally, obtain the police report. You should also make sure that you state the facts to the responding officer (in other words, do not offer your opinion).
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents in New Mexico
If you got hurt in a truck accident, know that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation for your losses. Under New Mexico Law (N.M. Stat. § 37-1-8), an injury victim has three years from the date of the incident to file a claim. The lawsuit does not need to be complete by that point, but the plaintiff does need to file the lawsuit within that period of time.
That specific time window is the statute of limitations. The failure to get your trucking accident claim in on time can bar you from any recovery.
Types of Damages in a New Mexico Truck Crash
Truck crashes often lead to two different types of compensatory damages, both of which compensate victims for their losses:
- Economic damages, which compensate a plaintiff for financial losses such as medical costs and lost wages; and
- Non-economic damages, which compensate a plaintiff for intangible losses such as emotional distress or pain and suffering.
Contact a New Mexico Trucking Accident Lawyer
The last and most important thing to know about filing a truck crash claim is that you should always have the help of an experienced New Mexico trucking accident attorney on your side. Contact Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. to get started on your case.