Earlier last month, a truck in Mexico ended up slamming into a series of cars and religious pilgrims, killing several and injuring dozens. According to a news report, the tragic accident occurred near Mazapil.
Evidently, several hundred pilgrims were walking toward the famed San Gregorio Mango church when a truck carrying sand rammed into the marching individuals as well as several cars. The truck then ended up swerving into a building and pinning people up against the façade. Witnesses explained that the dump truck driver jumped out of his truck before the vehicle finally stopped. Fourteen individuals were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, and many other individuals were transported to local hospitals because of severe injuries.
The Health Minister explained that the death toll had risen to around 26 individuals by the end of the day. Additionally, about 120 people were hurt, and over 40 were still hospitalized. There is no information regarding the cause of the dump truck’s initial crash, but the owner of the trucking company has been identified. The religious festival brought over 1,000 people from the surrounding areas to the north-central town.
Vicarious Employer Liability in Trucking Accidents
In many situations, a truck driver’s employer may be liable for the actions of a truck driver. New Mexico recognizes some derivative negligence claims that may impute liability to an employer for their employees’ actions. There are four major types of these theories in New Mexico:
Respondeat Superior: Under this theory, an employer may be liable to a victim in a negligence action when their employee commits a negligent act while acting within the “course and scope” of their employment. In a situation such as the one above, the victims may attempt to put forth a claim against the trucking company if they can establish that the driver was engaged in the employer’s business when the accident occurred.
Negligent Entrustment: These types of claims often arise in car accident cases. In order to prove a case using this theory, the plaintiff must be able to show that the owner of the vehicle allowed the driver who caused the accident to use their car. They must also be able to show that the owner of the vehicle should have known that the person using the car would create an unreasonable risk of harm. Lastly, the plaintiff must show the basic elements of negligence against the actual driver.
Negligent Hiring: New Mexico also allows claims against an employer using the theory of negligent hiring. The plaintiff must be able to show that the employee was unfit and a risk to others, the employer knew or should have known this, and the employer’s negligence was the “proximate cause” of the accident.
Negligent Training/Supervision: Lastly, New Mexico allows claims under the theory of negligent training and supervision. The plaintiff must be able to show that the employer did not use reasonable care in training or supervising the negligent employee and that this negligence was the proximate cause of the victim’s injuries.
Have You Been Injured Because of a Truck Driver’s Negligence?
If you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligence of a truck driver, you may consider bringing a claim against their employer as well. As you can see from above, there are many legal theories that these types of claims can be brought under, and they are each complex and require a significant amount of investigation, preparation, and research. If you have been injured, you may be able to collect damages from the employee as well as their employer. It is important that you contact an experienced truck accident attorney at the Fine Law Firm to discuss your rights and remedies. Contact the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Three Killed in Accident Between Two Semi-Trucks and a Tourist Bus, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 11, 2015.
New Mexico Woman Arrested after Arriving at Husband’s DUI Stop Drunk, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2015.