Car Comes Disconnected from Tow Truck, Crushing City Worker

Earlier this month, one woman was killed in a tragic accident not unlike some New Mexico truck accidents, involving a runaway car that was being loaded onto a tow truck by a private towing company. According to a local news report, the tow truck driver was loading a vehicle onto the flatbed of the truck when a malfunction with the tow truck resulted in the vehicle becoming unhooked from the truck.

The vehicle rolled down the declined portion of the flatbed and began rolling toward three city workers. Two of the three workers were able to get out of the vehicle’s way, but the third was struck and killed by the errant vehicle. Authorities told reporters that no one was arrested after the accident and that the tow truck driver has been fully cooperative with police in their investigation.

The worker who was killed in the accident was a 34-year-old woman who was employed as a utility plumber for the public utility commission. The police investigation is ongoing.

Fatal Workplace Accidents

As a general matter, when an employee is injured or killed in an accident while at work, they are able to recover workers’ compensation benefits while they are out of work. However, workers’ compensation benefits are limited both in the amount provided to the injured worker or their family and in the time the benefits are available. Additionally, workers’ compensation claimants cannot receive any compensation for the pain and suffering they endured as a result of the accident.

In some situations in which a party other than an injured worker’s employer is responsible for the worker’s injury or death, the third party may be held liable for the injuries or death in a New Mexico personal injury lawsuit. These cases are not within the gamut of the workers’ compensation scheme because the case is technically not brought against the employer but against the third party who caused the injury or death.

When it comes to determining liability for third-party workplace accidents, general personal injury theories apply. For example, in the accident discussed above, the tow truck company may be liable for the woman’s death if the malfunction was preventable. However, if the malfunction was based on a mechanical failure, the manufacturer of the tow truck (or the mechanism that failed) may be liable. These cases are highly fact-specific, and anyone considering a personal injury lawsuit should consult with a dedicated New Mexico personal injury lawyer.

Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a truck accident or any other on-the-job accident, you may be entitled to compensation aside from that which is available under the workers’ compensation program. At the Fine Law Firm, we represent victims in all types of New Mexico personal injury claims, including third-party workplace injury lawsuits. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, call 505-889-FINE today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you get the compensation you deserve.

More Blog Posts:

Woman Awarded $20 Million After Husband Was Struck by Oncoming Train, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 6, 2018.

How New Mexico’s Pure Comparative Negligence Statue Works to Divide Fault in New Mexico Truck Accident Cases, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 23, 2018.