Earlier this month in North Carolina, a tragic accident took the lives of two men and left two others injured when the pickup truck in which they were riding was involved in an accident with a heavy-duty dump truck, which left the pickup truck in flames. The response of two good Samaritans who helped get the three occupants of the pickup truck out of the burning vehicle likely saved one man’s life, although the other two occupants perished in the fire.
According to a local news article discussing the recent crash, the cause of the accident is still under investigation. From the available information, it appears that the driver of the pickup truck was making a turn onto Route 9 from Rabbit Road in Durham, NC, and failed to avoid the dump truck that was in his path. The pickup struck the dump truck near the vehicle’s gas tank, resulting in the fire that engulfed the pickup truck. Speed and visibility may be factors in the accident, although the final analysis has not yet been released.
Recent Construction May Have Made the Road Unsafe
According to the news report, several accidents have occurred at this same intersection in recent months. There is a possible correlation between the spike in accidents at this location and road construction that was recently completed near the intersection. Although the article states that there is no connection between the road construction and the recent accidents, changes made in the design and function of the intersection could have resulted in increased dangers that the municipal authorities may need to address.
Government Responsibility for Poorly Designed Roadways and Dangerous Conditions in New Mexico
Although the recent accident may have had no connection to the design or construction of the intersection where it occurred, in certain circumstances, state or local governments can be held accountable for designing and constructing a dangerous roadway or failing to correct a dangerous road condition. Governments have limited immunity to claims made by members of the public for damages suffered as a result of dangerous roads, but plaintiffs may be entitled to damages from a state or local government if certain requirements are met.
The New Mexico Tort Claims Act contains a limited waiver of the government’s immunity to claims based on the construction of streets and highways. New Mexico Statutes Section 41-4-11(B)(3) allows a private cause of action based upon dangerously constructed roads that unreasonably deviate from the standard design and present a danger to the public. A skilled New Mexico accident attorney can help an injured party determine if they may have a claim for damages against a state or local agency for a dangerous road condition under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act.
Have You or a Loved One Been Hurt in a Crash?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a New Mexico truck accident or another crash with a large commercial or industrial vehicle, the skilled attorneys with the Fine Law Firm can advise you as to the possible remedies available to you. The experienced New Mexico truck accident attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have experience dealing with trucking companies and government agencies to seek the compensation that our clients deserve. Contact the Fine Law Firm today at (585) 989-3463 or sign up online to schedule a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Court Applies Good Samaritan Statute in Truck Accident Case, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 21, 2016.
Federal Court Interprets Insurance Contract in Favor of Insurance Company, Limiting Settlement Amount, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2016.