Whether you’re on the highway or driving around city streets, there is always a risk of being injured in a truck accident.
As interstate and intrastate commerce increase, truck accidents are becoming more commonplace.
At Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., we know that many of these accidents end in severe, life-threatening injuries.
If you receive an injury in a truck accident, our Hobbs big rig accident attorneys can help you pursue your claim and recover the full compensation you deserve.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to 2017 data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), around 24% of all commercial truck accidents in the U.S. end with an injury or fatality. In addition, about 72% of the people killed in truck accidents were occupants of other vehicles. Unfortunately, the statistics for New Mexico aren’t much better.
A study by the New Mexico Department of Transportation found that annual fatalities in commercial truck accidents increased by nearly 75% between 2015 and 2019.
In fact, even though truck accidents only accounted for 6.2% of all accidents in New Mexico during 2019, they contributed 17.6% of all reported accident deaths.
Common Types of New Mexico Truck Accidents
Not all truck accidents happen in the same way. Despite this, all truck crashes have the potential to cause an injury or death.
Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:
- Rear-end accidents—Due to their size and weight, trucks take much longer to stop. This means that if they’re speeding or distracted, they usually can’t stop in time, crushing the car in front of them.
- Jackknife accidents—A jackknife occurs when the trailer of a truck swings out at a 90-degree angle with the tractor. When this happens, the truck driver loses complete control of the vehicle as it skids across the road.
- Wide-turn collisions—When making right-hand turns, large trucks need more space to maneuver. Some drivers swing the cab to the left and then turn right to avoid hitting anything with their trailer. However, if they do this improperly, they put other vehicles in neighboring lanes in danger.
- Rollovers—One of the most catastrophic types of truck accidents is a rollover. This usually happens if the driver takes a turn too fast or if there are bad road conditions. When the trailer hits the ground, it could crush any nearby vehicles or hit them with debris.
While these aren’t the only ways truck accidents happen, they are some of the most common types seen by our Hobbs truck accident lawyers.
The Role of Federal Trucking Regulations
Truck accidents aren’t like standard car accident cases. A good Hobbs truck accident attorney knows this and always examines the operations of the driver’s employer.
Generally, if a motor carrier makes interstate deliveries, they must follow federal trucking regulations. However, some motor carriers violate these regulations by cutting corners for the sake of saving money.
One regulation that drivers frequently violate, either on their own or under the direction of their employer, is hours of service. This is the rule that limits the amount of time that truckers spend driving. The goal is to help avoid driver fatigue, which is a very common cause of accidents.
Some other common violations listed by the FMCSA include:
- Moving violations (i.e., speeding, failure to yield, etc.),
- Not using a seatbelt while operating a commercial motor vehicle,
- Driving while using or in possession of narcotics or alcohol,
- Texting or operating a handheld device while driving, and
- Not using hazard lights when appropriate.
At Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, a Hobbs truck accident attorney knows how to investigate potential violations of federal trucking regulations.
Possible Sources of Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
Looking for evidence of safety violations or other forms of negligence can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. Thankfully, there are many types of records that a trucking company must keep to be in compliance.
This usually comes in the form of:
- Truck black boxes,
- Logging devices or forms,
- Employment records,
- Inspection records,
- Maintenance schedules, and
- Previous compliance reports.
An experienced semi-truck accident attorney knows how to look for and request these pieces of evidence. In fact, there may even be other forms of evidence that could strengthen the truck accident claim, such as witness testimony or camera footage.
Our Hobbs Truck Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help You with Your Claim
At FCHC Law, we understand the consequences of serious injuries sustained in a truck accident. In many cases, victims experience a drastically reduced quality of life with chronic pain and suffering.
Our goal is to be a compassionate advocate for all victims of negligence and fight for the recovery they need. For over 38 years, we’ve helped hundreds of families take on the insurance companies of large trucking companies.