Four young students were involved in a fatal accident as they were participating in a driver’s education course. According to one news report, the three students were sitting in the backseat, while a fourth student was driving.
Evidently, a tractor-trailer and the students’ car approached an intersection at approximately the same time. The tractor-trailer had a blinking yellow light, and the car had a blinking red light. The tractor-trailer driver explained that the students’ car stopped at the blinking red light but then suddenly went through it. The tractor-trailer driver stated that he did not have enough time to stop, and he rammed into the side of the car. Of course, this is just the truck driver’s side of the story. It is very possible that the truck driver’s account of the accident differs from the others involved.
Unfortunately, the three students sitting in the backseat were killed upon impact. The fourth student was taken to the hospital and is listed in critical condition. The instructor and truck driver were both hospitalized and are expected to recover. The school has organized counseling services for all students and faculty who wish to participate.
Suing Minors for Personal Injury in New Mexico
The above case is a particularly tragic one because the deaths that occurred could have likely been avoided. The most recent reports indicate that the tractor-trailer driver had the right of way. If this is the case, the student should have let the driver proceed, and it is possible that the deaths could have been avoided.
In many situations, the culpable party in a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit is an adult. However, there are also many instances where the wrongdoer was a minor. The legal liability that is based on the action of a minor is generally the same theory of negligence that is used for an adult. However, the standard of care analysis can be different, depending on the age, intelligence, and maturity of the minor involved.
In New Mexico, the law gives different standards of care to different age groups when determining liability for an accident. In situations where the party is too young to understand their carelessness, the child will most likely not be held culpable. On the other hand, if a child is mature enough to know the difference between right and wrong, they can be held liable.
Multiple Parties in Personal Injury Lawsuits in New Mexico
Under New Mexico law, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit can sue more than one party if the plaintiff believes they were both responsible for the accident. New Mexico employs the theory of pure comparative negligence. For example, in the above case, the family of those who were injured or killed may consider filing a suit against the instructor if they can establish that he directed the student to cross into traffic. In these types of cases, the plaintiff can collect damages from each party in relation to their degree of fault.
Have You Been Injured in a Trucking or Other Accident in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of the negligence of one or more parties, you should consider bringing a suit against the culpable parties. If you are successful at negotiations or trial, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. This compensation can include payments for your medical bills and other damages associated with the accident. Contact the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation with one our dedicated attorneys.
More Blog Posts:
Truck Driver Involved in Crash That Blocked Bridge, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, June 18, 2015.
Technology Report: “Transparent Truck” May Increase Road Safety, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2015.