Earlier this month, a semi-truck crashed into another vehicle on Interstate 70 in neighboring Topeka, Kansas. According to one news source, the semi-truck was traveling on the highway when it attempted to avoid a disabled vehicle that was in the shoulder of the eastbound lane. As the semi-truck was swerving on the rain-slicked pavement to avoid the disabled car, the driver ended up steering into the right side of the highway. While veering to the right, he ended up ramming into the back of a Dodge that had stopped on the right shoulder to assist those in the disabled vehicle.
The semi-truck ended up in a ditch on the side of the highway, and then it proceeded to roll into a fence and finally came to a rest in the grass. The semi-truck began leaking fuel because its diesel tank was punctured. The Fire Department and Hazmat crews came to the scene of the accident to assist in the cleanup of the fuel. The semi-truck driver and the driver and the passenger in the Dodge were taken to a hospital by an ambulance that arrived on the scene. Apparently, the semi-truck driver and the driver of the Dodge were wearing seat belts, but the passenger in the Dodge was not.
Comparative Negligence in New Mexico
In the above case, it seems clear that that there were a number of variables that contributed to the outcome and severity of the accident. First, there was a car parked on the side of a presumably busy highway. Second, a semi-truck was attempting to swerve on a wet highway, and third, one of the injured individuals was not wearing a seatbelt. There are also several parties that can be named in a lawsuit: possibly the owner of the car that was parked on the side of the road, the employer of the truck driver, or even the driver of the Dodge.
In most cases, a defendant will attempt to defend itself by shifting the blame for the accident onto another party, often the plaintiff. New Mexico is considered a comparative negligence state, which means that a jury will determine the fault of each of the parties involved in the suit and assign damages accordingly. If the jury finds that the plaintiff is responsible for some part of the accident, the damages will be apportioned amongst all of the parties. In other words, the plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by the amount they were at fault.
Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Mexico truck accident that was cause by the negligence of another party, you should consider bringing a personal injury suit against the culpable parties. These cases can often be complicated, and there are many factors and parties to be considered. Therefore, it is important to retain the assistance of an experienced and dedicated attorney. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can work with you to determine the optimal way to pursue your case and protect yourself from a defense the other party may bring. Contact the Fine Law Firm today at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Texas Semi-Truck Accident Results in Fatality, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, April 1, 2015.
Court of Appeals in California Reverses Lower Court Decision on Trucking Accident, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2015.