While the causes of some New Mexico truck accidents are clear from the surrounding circumstances, other truck accidents present a more difficult task for the investigators charged with determining what precipitated the collision. Often, accidents with more than two vehicles involved are those in which investigators have their work cut out for them. However, there can be unanswered questions in some two-vehicle collisions when the damage to both vehicles is substantial or when there are significant injuries.
The result of an accident scene investigation can be used by both criminal and civil courts. Initially, the police and prosecutor’s office will review an investigation to determine if criminal charges are appropriate given the circumstances of the accident. However, even if no criminal charges are pursued, the victims of the truck accident may proceed with a civil lawsuit against the truck driver and potentially the truck driver’s employer.
It is important for New Mexico accident victims to understand that the result of a pending criminal case – while potentially helpful – is not necessary to establish civil liability. This is because the burden of proof placed on the prosecution in a criminal matter is the highest anywhere in the law. However, a personal injury plaintiff’s claim for damages must only be proved by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is to say that it was more likely than not that the defendant’s actions resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.