A saddening accident occurred earlier this month when a semi-truck struck and killed a bicyclist at an intersection in Tempe, Arizona near Arizona State University. According to a report by Tucson, Arizona NBC affiliate KVOA, the bicyclist was traveling eastbound on Elliot Road against the flow of traffic in the early morning of June 5, and the semi-truck was at an intersection turning right into the westbound lanes when the collision occurred. It appears that the driver of the semi-truck did not see the bicyclist in the roadway as he was making the turn, and he was unable to avoid the collision. According to the report, paramedics arrived at the scene to perform first aid but were unable to save the bicyclist’s life. Police have stated that the truck driver was not impaired, and they do not intend to file criminal charges against him.
Although this accident occurred in our neighboring state of Arizona, the dangers of accidents with semi-trucks are very much the same here in New Mexico. Semi-trucks, especially when they are carrying trailers with full loads, have limited visibility, and the drivers often cannot see everything in their vehicles’ paths at all times. People in smaller vehicles, and especially bicyclists and pedestrians, must exercise extreme caution when traveling near semi-trucks. It is always safest to assume that a semi-truck cannot see you, and to avoid placing yourself in a truck’s path.
In New Mexico, the law states that bicyclists are to drive on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic, unless it is impossible or exceedingly dangerous to do so. The fact that the bicyclist involved in this month’s fatal crash was traveling against the flow of traffic may have contributed to the cause of the accident, although the exact details remain unknown. Although the police have declined to file criminal charges against the semi-truck driver, he still may be subject to civil liability from the accident if it can be shown that he acted negligently in some other way.
When a New Mexico semi-truck accident occurs, a jury can sometimes hold the driver liable and find that the driver of a truck breached a duty owed to an injured person, even if the injured person was violating a law leading up to the collision. Since semi-trucks are inherently dangerous due to their size and weight, the operators may be held to a high standard of care and can be responsible for civil damages even if they do not receive a traffic ticket or criminal citation. Civil liability may be easier to prove when a semi-truck driver is given a citation following an accident that causes injury or death, but it is not impossible for an injured victim or their family to receive compensation even when no criminal charges are filed.
Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Semi-Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by an accident with a semi-truck, you should call an experienced New Mexico accident attorney and discuss the accident as soon as possible. Even if the other driver was not issued a citation or you are unsure whose fault the accident was, the help and advice of a competent lawyer may uncover a strong case that wasn’t immediately visible. The dedicated New Mexico personal injury attorneys at The Fine Law Firm have the skill and experience that is needed to help you make the best decisions after an accident occurs. We represent clients in all kinds of New Mexico personal injury and wrongful death cases, including accidents with semi-trucks. Call us at (505) 889-3463 or contact us through the website to schedule a free consultation and find out if we can help you with your case today.
More Blog Posts:
Semi-Truck Rear-Ends Car in Horrible Wreck, Two People Tragically Killed, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, May 20, 2014.
Distracted Driver Causes Crash on Interstate 25 That Leaves One Dead, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, June 5, 2014.