Late this month, a New Mexico bus driver was caught on camera eating a burrito immediately prior to causing a serious accident. The driver caused a multi-car pileup when he was traveling down a city street because he failed to notice the vehicles in front of him coming to a stop. According to one local news source, the bus driver ended up slamming into the back of the vehicle directly in front of him, subsequently causing a domino effect.
When emergency personnel and officers arrived, the city bus driver claimed that he was texting right before the accident occurred. Interestingly, video cameras caught his actions right before the accident happened, and he was not texting. The driver was actually eating a burrito at the time of the accident. Video footage shows him eating the burrito with both of his hands and taking sips of his drink. It was clear that he was distracted but not because of the actions he originally claimed.
One of the individuals involved in the accident has brought a civil lawsuit against the city. The city has not terminated the city bus driver, even though they admitted that city bus drivers are not supposed to be drinking or eating while operating a city bus. The city claims that they retrained the driver and that he has not been involved in an accident since.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Against New Mexico Local Governments and the State
Most States have some version of sovereign immunity when individuals want to bring a truck accident case against a government entity. Under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act, there are stringent rules when a plaintiff attempts to bring a case against an allegedly negligent government employee.
In New Mexico, a plaintiff only has 90 days after the conduct that resulted in the claim to bring a lawsuit. This time limit is very strictly enforced and is almost always imposed. The only known exception to this 90-day rule is in a wrongful death lawsuit. In these cases, the party has about six months to give notice. If the appropriate notice is not given, the case will not be heard, regardless of the conduct alleged.
Furthermore, in addition to these time limits, strict adherence to the statute of limitations is also required. It is important to note that for most personal injury claims, the plaintiff has three years to file suit. However, in claims against the government, that time limit is only two years.
Lastly, there are also significant caps on damages that can be awarded in claims against the government. To learn more, contact an experienced New Mexico truck accident attorney.
Have You Been Injured Because of a Negligent City Employee?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured due to the negligence of the city or one of its employees, it is important that you do not wait to begin your claim. These cases are very difficult to proceed on without knowledge of the procedural requirements. The requirements require strict compliance, and any deviation could result in a dismissal. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can help you navigate this complex area of the law. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 505-889-FINE to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
New Mexico Judge Denies Motion for New Trial in Largest Jury Award in New Mexico History, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 6, 2015.
New York Times Reports on Prevalence of Trucking Accidents, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 21, 2015.