Authorities have reported that a 72-year-old Texas man is facing felony charges after he rear=ended a school bus near Kirbyville, Texas earlier this month, injuring several children. According to an article released by The Beaumont Enterprise, the school bus was stopping along U.S. 96 to allow a student to get on board when the tractor trailer crashed into the back of the bus.
Preliminary reports cited in the article state that the bus was flashing all of the lights on the back to indicate that it was stopping to pick up a child when the accident occurred. Six of the 53 students on the bus were injured in the crash and hospitalized, although fortunately none of them sustained life-threatening injuries.
The felony charges that the driver of the truck is facing are very serious, for he could be imprisoned for up to two years and fined up to $10,000 if he is ultimately convicted of the charges. Unfortunately for the driver of the 18-wheeler, the criminal charges are not the only legal problems that he may encounter. Because of the nature of the crash and the injuries caused, the truck driver may also be subject to substantial civil liability if the families of the injured children choose to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Truck Drivers’ Responsibilities and Negligence Per Se
The duties of drivers on the road can be augmented by statute at times under certain circumstances. State and local governments have enacted laws to offer additional protection to children while they are coming to and from school. School zone crosswalks and stopped school buses are protected by unique laws that have increased penalties for those who are reckless or negligent and put school children in danger by their conduct. These laws, while they may not apply directly to personal injury cases that may be filed after an accident, can still help accident victims prove the other driver’s negligence and responsibility for damages relating to the crash.
A often used legal theory in New Mexico truck accident lawsuits is that of negligence per se. Negligence per se is a common-law doctrine that has been used by New Mexico courts in assigning fault and liability for accidents. The doctrine allows an injured plaintiff to prove a defendant’s liability for an accident by demonstrating that the defendant broke a law that was designed to prevent a certain type of harm, and that such harm actually occurred. An allegation of negligence per se allows a shortcut for plaintiffs to prove the essential elements of a New Mexico personal injury lawsuit. The elements, which are a duty owed to the plaintiff, a breach of that duty by the defendant, a demonstration that the breach of the duty was the cause of the injury, and actual damages, can be difficult to prove, and a successful negligence per se claim is often easier to make.
Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Accident?
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an 18-wheeler crash, the New Mexico semi truck accident attorneys at The Fine Law Firm can help give you the best chance of getting the compensation that you deserve for your loss. We have an intimate knowledge of the legal theories that work in New Mexico courts, and we are dedicated to our clients and investigating the facts of their individual cases. We represent clients in most personal injury and wrongful death cases, including semi truck accidents. Contact us through our website or call (555)889-3463 and schedule a no-obligation consultation to discuss your case with a qualified attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Texas Woman Killed After Semi-Truck Crosses into Oncoming Traffic and Hits Three Vehicles, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, September 12, 2014.
Investigation Continues into Semi-Truck Crash that Killed Four Texas Student Athletes, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, October 13, 2014.