Seeking Damages After a New Mexico Truck Accident

In the United States, 500,000 accidents involving semi-trucks occur annually, resulting in hundreds of thousands of injuries and an estimated 5,000 fatalities.

But just how often do collisions involving semi-trucks occur in New Mexico? And if you've been involved in one of these incidents, what types of damages can you seek?

Needless to say, accidents involving commercial vehicles in New Mexico are often catastrophic for all parties involved. Thankfully, if you've been involved in one of these crashes, our New Mexico truck accident lawyers at Will Ferguson & Associates are available to assist in the aftermath. We'll help you learn more about potential damages, recompense, and regaining your livelihood after a devastating truck crash.

Truck Accident-Related Injuries

Seeking Damages After a New Mexico Truck Accident

Almost 1,400 of the roughly 43,000 vehicle accidents that occur yearly in New Mexico include semi-trucks. And tragically, semi-truck accidents in New Mexico are four times more likely to result in fatalities than other incidents.

Like other vehicle accidents, incidents involving semi-trucks may result in serious injuries and casualties. But in contrast to wrecks involving smaller passenger sedans and the typical cars driven by your average motorist, collisions involving semi-trucks may result in particularly catastrophic damage due to their size.

Truck accident attorneys in New Mexico are able to assist clients in recovering compensation in the following situations:

  • The accidental death of a family member
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Significant back or neck injuries
  • Amputations and/or crush wounds
  • Scarring and permanent deformation

Filing For Recompense of Medical Expenses

In fact, medical expenses often account for the majority of compensation awards in New Mexico and may include recompense for the following:

  • Hospitalizations, surgeries, and prosthetics
  • Mobility devices
  • Provisions for your home or automobile to accommodate a disability
  • Rehabilitation
  • Ongoing medical visits
  • Long-term treatment like pharmaceuticals and in-home care
  • Income loss or loss of earning potential

Suppose you've had to take time off work for your injuries and subsequent recovery and rehabilitation. Thus, because your injuries from an accident prohibit you from returning to work, you are eligible to file a claim for loss of current and future income.

Furthermore, truck accidents typically cause extensive damage to private property. A fully loaded semi-truck may weigh more than 80,000 pounds, allowing it to decimate nearly everything in its path.

Generally, compensation consists of car repairs and replacement. Property damage can also cover roads, residences, other buildings, and the land itself if the accident has resulted in damage.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages relate to physical and psychological losses incurred as a result of accidents. This is often known as compensation for pain and suffering and may include the following losses:

  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Persistent disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Emotional trauma and stress
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Trauma-related stress disorder

Knowledge of all the relevant damages you may seek is crucial to the claims process. A seasoned New Mexico truck accident attorney will be aware of the compensation you are legally entitled to, allowing you to secure the highest possible settlement. Without a skilled lawyer on your side, you may be forced to settle for less than you deserve from an insurance company or third party.

Punitive Damages in New Mexico

The carelessness or negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies causes the majority of these accidents throughout New Mexico. Sometimes, though, this neglect evolves into irresponsible and plain harmful behavior.

In truck accidents, punitive damages are difficult to claim due to the high burden of evidence required to establish that the defendant's acts were negligent or malicious. The court will evaluate the purpose or degree of the negligence of the defendant based on the facts surrounding the event or accident that caused your injuries. Theoretically, punitive damages may be awarded in any accident, including vehicle accidents, slip-and-falls, premises liability cases, and the like.

Although punitive damages in New Mexico are rare to be awarded in a typical lawsuit, they may be awarded in unusual situations. For example, if the defendant was very inebriated at the time of the accident, this may qualify for punitive damages. Similarly, if the manufacturer of a certain prescription medicine deliberately placed a hazardous drug on the market and it caused the death of a person, this may constitute recklessness to the point that punitive damages could be granted.

Punitive damages are granted to the aggrieved party in order to punish the at-fault party and deter them from repeating their negligent actions. Your New Mexico truck accident attorney must demonstrate at least one of the following to successfully secure punitive damages on your behalf:

  • Conduct that shows blatant disregard for safety
  • Willful or reckless behavior leading to the accident in question

According to New Mexico law, all drivers have a "duty of care" regardless of vehicle type. And most of the time, commercial truck drivers are held to an even higher standard.

Essentially, drivers have a fundamental obligation to follow traffic laws and not to threaten the safety of others. Punitive damages will only be granted if it can be shown that the driver acted with indifference or intentional disdain for the safety of others, going beyond basic carelessness.

For instance, accidents involving a blatant lack of care, such as head-on collisions or intersections where someone deliberately ignored traffic signals, are more likely to result in punitive damages.

Other situations in which punitive damages may be assessed include:

  • Driving when impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Overly aggressive and reckless driving, like excessively speeding or weaving in and out of traffic
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road or jumping the sidewalk
  • Vehicle failure or manufacturer error (a vehicle's manufacturer would be held accountable for their defective product)

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in New Mexico

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, you have the right to know your legal rights and the compensation to which you are entitled. Our committed staff will not be intimidated by pushy insurance companies or negligent parties.

On your behalf, we will work diligently and stop at nothing to negotiate a fair settlement for you and yours. If you've been involved in a truck accident in New Mexico, please call Will Ferguson & Associates now for a free consultation.

Our compassionate and caring attorneys know what it takes to build a strong accident claim, and our team is committed to helping you safeguard your legal rights at every step.

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    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM