Federal Laws Concerning Trucking Accidents and Liability

Trucking accidents are some of the deadliest types of accidents that occur on New Mexico roads. Due to the number of trucks on our highways and the potential fatigue of long-haul truck drivers as they cross long stretches of open road, these accidents are quite prevalent in New Mexico. Clearly, the consequences are often disastrous. To help increase motorist safety, there are many federal regulations and safety standards that truck drivers and their respective companies must abide by. In part, these rules have been developed in response to the overwhelming number of accidents that are caused by drowsy truck drivers that push their own physical limits in order to try and stay on the road and remain as profitable as possible.

Recently, in fact, there have been new regulations concerning how truckers keep track of their rest hours and how long a truck driver can be on the road without a break. As is often the case with regulations that may be difficult to enforce, some trucking companies have tried to bypass these rules in favor of making a larger profit by delivering goods at a faster rate. However, often it is not until an accident occurs and a subsequent investigation is conducted that this comes to light.

When an individual has been injured in a truck accident, they may be able to bring a lawsuit against the truck driver as well as their employer. Both truck drivers and their employers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Most people understand that a truck driver must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, too drowsy to safely operate the vehicle, or otherwise too impaired to drive. However, since the trucking company that employs the driver also has a duty to other motorists not to put them in danger, this translates to a duty to make sure that their employees are properly trained and not imposing unrealistic driving expectations on them.

Update on Tracy Morgan Case:  Jury Indicts Truck Driver with Criminal Charges

Late last month, a national news report indicated that the grand jury in the Tracy Morgan case has reached a decision regarding the truck driver responsible for the accident. For background, the crash occurred in 2014 when a Walmart truck driver slammed into a stopped limo that was carrying Tracy Morgan and several other individuals. Unfortunately, Morgan’s good friend and fellow comedian James McNair died in the accident. Morgan and the other passengers suffered severe injuries, from which they are still recovering.

According to legal documents, the truck driver did not see that traffic was slowing down on the New Jersey Turnpike, and he continued driving at highway speeds. When he realized that the traffic had slowed, it was too late, and he crashed into the back of the limo carrying Morgan and his entourage. According to prosecutors, the truck driver admitted that he had not slept for almost 24 hours straight. It has since become evident that fatigue and drowsiness played a significant role in the accident.

After the accident, Walmart changed their trucking safety standards and developed a “fatigue management program.” Walmart settled the civil suit, but the truck driver is still facing criminal charges. The grand jury met and concluded that the truck driver should be charged with aggravated manslaughter in the first degree for the death of McNair.

Have You Been Injured in a Trucking Accident in New Mexico?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in New Mexico, it is important you contact an experienced and dedicated attorney to help you navigate this complex area of the law. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in bringing the appropriate claims against liable parties, while making sure to follow all of the civil rules of procedure. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you or your loved one has suffered. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 505-243-4541.

More Blog Posts:

Officials Believe Truck Driver Was “Sexting” Immediately Before Causing Deadly Crash, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 7, 2016.

Large Double-Decker Tour Bus Crash Results in Several Injuries, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2015.