Who Do I Sue After a Deadly Trucking Accident?
Sharing the road with a trucker can be dangerous, and statistics confirm it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that there were 4,102 deaths related to trucking collisions in just 2017. According to the numbers:
- 17 percent were truck occupants.
- 68 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles.
- 14 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.
The United States experienced the lowest rate of deadly trucking accidents in 2009 since reporting began in 1975. In 2017, there was a 30 percent rise in trucking accidents compared to 2009. The number of fatalities was a shocking 52 percent higher than in 2009. This is alarming for anyone, and more recent statistics haven’t yet been released.
Who Are Potential Defendants In Deadly Truck Accidents?
Trucking collisions are unique in that there can be many people potentially liable for the crash, and therefore liable for both economic and non-economic damages resulting from the loss of a loved one. Let’s take a look at whom these defendants could be.
Truckers often have to travel long distances and work long hours. Under the law, truckers are required to take breaks and maintain logs of their driving hours to make sure they are following the law, but that doesn’t mean they always do. The sooner a trucker arrives at their destination, the more money they’ll make -- so they’re incentivized to travel faster for longer durations of time. That can lead to critical mistakes on the road. Exhausted truckers are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel and cause a serious collision.
Not all truckers own their rig. Trucks must be properly maintained to meet certain safety regulations. When the owner of the truck fails to maintain it, then things can go wrong. A truck that’s traveled a long distance in harsh conditions requires proper maintenance or else it can break down or other critical components can malfunction due to overuse.
Truck Driver Employer
Sometimes, employers pressure their truckers to work longer, and this can cause trucks to make critical mistakes. Employers may also hire individuals with suspended commercial licenses or who are inadequately trained. If this can be proven, the employer can be held liable.
Companies that have workers load their rigs can also be held responsible. The weight and distribution of the contents of a haul are critical to safety. If the content isn’t properly loaded, it can result in a weight shift that could lead to a serious crash.
Trucking Collisions in New Mexico
Accidents involving large commercial vehicles are known to be catastrophic. Each year, an estimated 5,000 people are killed in deadly crashes involving semi-trucks. The ensuing damages can make life difficult for victims.
The team of attorneys at Will Ferguson & Associates is here to help you recover after a serious accident. We can help you determine who is liable for your injuries. Contact our offices at (505) 243-5566 to discuss your case with a New Mexico trucking injury lawyer today.
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