Last month, an Illinois toll worker was killed and a State Trooper was injured in a tragic semi-truck accident. The accident occurred when a semi-truck crashed into the two workers’ vehicles on an Illinois highway. According to a report by CBS Chicago, the toll worker was on the side of the road assisting a disabled vehicle when a State Trooper stopped to lend a hand. As the two were assisting the motorist, a semi-truck ran over the Trooper’s squad car and crashed into the other vehicles on the side of the road, causing them to erupt into flames.
The toll operator was pronounced dead at the scene. The trooper was in critical condition until recently, when his condition was upgraded to serious. He is expected to recover. Police claim that the driver of the semi-truck had fraudulently filled out his resting log to reflect that he was properly rested. However, upon investigation, police discovered that the driver was actually in violation of a federal law requiring semi-truck drivers spend no more than 11 of 14 hours on the road at any given time.
Semi-Truck Resting Requirements and Rest-Log Fraud in New Mexico
As we mentioned in a previous blog post, New Mexico semi-truck drivers are required to follow certain federal guidelines dictating drivers rest a certain amount per trip. However, due to the pressures of the job, sometimes semi-truck drivers will fill out their rest logs as though they are complying with federal law, but in actuality they are driving when they should be resting.
An experienced attorney will know how to look for rest-log fraud, including looking into:
- Cell phone and text message records;
- CD Radio communications; and
- Gas station and rest stop receipts.
The Importance of Discovering Rest-Log Fraud
So why is it important to discover that a truck driver is falsifying his or her rest log entries? Often times, an truck accident victim’s case will depend on proving that the truck driver was negligent. A truck driver who disregards the federal laws and fails to get the required amount of rest is acting negligently. If a plaintiff can prove that the truck driver was trying to evade federal requirements, that shows that the truck driver knew of the rules but was intentionally trying to side-step them. This goes a long way towards proving negligence in the minds of jurors.
Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Mexico truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages, depending on the facts of your case. Don’t accept the driver’s initial response that they were in compliance of all federal regulations; sometimes it pays to look a little deeper. An experienced New Mexico personal injury attorney will know where to look to discover whether the driver responsible for your accident was falsifying rest logs or acting negligent in some other way. To find out more about the laws of New Mexico and how you may be able to recover for your truck accident claim, contact an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney at the Fine Law Firm by calling 505-889-FINE, or contact the firm online.
More Blog Posts:
Tragic Wrongful Death Case Reminds Trucking Companies Operating in New Mexico and Elsewhere to Properly Maintain Tractor-Trailers, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, January 20, 2013.
Federal Judge Discusses Expert Testimony Requirements in Fatal New Mexico Truck Collision Lawsuit, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, January 14, 2013.