When an individual injures another person because of their negligence, the victim or the victim’s family members may commence a negligence lawsuit to hold the other party liable. In certain circumstances, the alleged behavior that the culpable party engaged that caused the injury may be addressed and prohibited by an applicable statute. In those situations, the theory of negligence per se may apply.
In New Mexico, there is a specific test that must be addressed before there can be a finding of negligence per se. First, there must be a statute that addresses a certain action or standard of conduct. This statute can address the behavior either directly or implicitly. Next, the culpable party must have violated the statute. Then, the plaintiff must be able to establish that they are in the class of individuals that the statute was designed to protect. Lastly, the injury or damages suffered by the plaintiff must be the type that the regulation was designed to protect against.
Negligence per se may apply in some common situations. For example, this statute often applies in drunk driving cases or in cases with injuries caused by truck drivers not following outlined safety regulations.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Releases New Regulations
Earlier this month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a rule that has been in the works for several years. In 1995, the Department of Transportation was ordered by Congress to develop and implement an electronic device to track truck drivers’ hours, but no action was taken until a federal lawsuit in 2004.
According to a news report, the new regulation will now mandate that truck drivers electronically record the hours they are behind the wheel. This rule was intended to prevent fatigued driving and the subsequent accidents that result when tired truck drivers operate large vehicles.
Truck drivers have been required to keep a log of their rest hours for several decades. However, there have been rampant problems with this type of log keeping. For example, logs were not kept properly or tampered with, or the requirement was completely ignored. This new tracking system has been designed in a manner that will make it extremely difficult for truck drivers to tamper with it.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration believes that although there has been some opposition from union groups, this technology will make accidents less frequent and positively change the trucking industry. The rule will go into effect in about two months, and trucking companies will have two years to implement the devices.
It is important to note that, even if the theory of negligence per se does not apply to a case, an accident victim will likely be able to point to these regulations in making their argument that the truck driver was negligent in not getting enough rest.
Have You Been Injured After Being Involved in a Trucking Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Mexico trucking accident, you should strongly consider contacting an attorney at the Fine Law Firm to discuss your rights and remedies. The law is always evolving, and it is important that you have an experienced and diligent attorney to help you prepare your lawsuit. Trucking accidents can be particularly disastrous, and an attorney can assist you in seeking the monetary compensation you deserve. Call an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 505-243-4541 to schedule your free initial consultation.
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.