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Albuquerque Truck Accident Lawyer

When a truck collides with a passenger truck in New Mexico, disaster follows. It is among the deadliest types of auto accidents in the United States. The reason is simple: the sheer size of the truck (and its potential contents) versus a passenger vehicle. The average truck with a fully loaded trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds while the average passenger vehicle's weight ranges between 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a truck accident, receiving fair and just compensation may be your only recourse for physical, mental, and emotional recovery.

Accidents involving 18-wheelers or commercial trucks are different from accidents involving only passenger vehicles. There's a lot more involved. The truck driver isn't the only one who may be liable. There are federal regulations to consider alongside state laws. The mechanics involved in the truck, too, are quite different and may be relevant, making truck accident cases more complex.

The problem is this: an insurance company may not settle for what's fair. You may need to file a personal injury claim. At Gauthier & Maier Law Firm, P.C., our truck accident attorneys in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, and Belen can help you file a strong, well-documented claim while advocating your rights and representing your best interests. Contact us today either online or at 505-226-3205 to schedule a Free Consultation.



Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, and Belen

Accidents involving semi-trucks or other types of commercial trucks are caused for any number of reasons. 

Some of the most common include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Excessive speed
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Driving in high winds
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Inadequate training
  • Inexperience
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Defective truck parts
  • Poor truck maintenance
  • Shifting cargo inside the trailer
  • Poorly-fastened cargo on a flatbed trailer.

Not all truck accidents are caused by the truck driver or an issue with the truck. Other causes may include environmental conditions, poor road design, or another driver's error. In the end, there may be several causes that lead up to the accident, which again makes these cases more complex than other types of auto accidents.

Common Types of Injuries in New Mexico from Truck Accidents 

No matter how it is caused, a truck crash often leads to severe injuries for the people in the passenger vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides annual statistics, and year after year, it's been documented that more than 80 percent of those who die from bodily injuries sustained in a truck accident are occupants of the other vehicle (or pedestrians or bicyclists). Only rarely is the truck driver or a passenger of the truck killed, and that's in part because the sheer size and weight of the truck is to their advantage. 

Though fatalities often result from semi-truck collisions, other serious injuries can have life-changing effects on the victim. These injuries include:  

  • Spinal injuries
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Crushing injuries
  • Severe or life-threatening lacerations
  • Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Limb dismemberment
  • Burn injuries.

In some cases, certain injuries can lead to additional compensation. For example, if you are left scarred or unable to work, you deserve more than someone who will fully recover.  

Potential Liable Parties in New Mexico Truck Accidents

Truck accidents, especially commercial truck accidents, are different from other accidents involving only passenger cars because, in part, a trucking company usually employs the truck driver involved in the crash. As the trucker's employer or carrier, it may be legally responsible for the upkeep of the truck and the truck driver's actions.

In addition to a truck driver and the carrier, several other parties may be liable for a truck accident, including:

  • Manufacturer of the truck
  • Manufacturer of truck parts
  • Vendors providing services to the carrier (like loaders)
  • Owner of the cargo
  • Local government or contractors responsible for highway design or maintenance

Why File a Personal Injury Claim for a Truck Accident in New Mexico?

Truck accidents are complex cases. Injuries sustained from them are often severe, and, as such, are extremely costly. Insurance companies may be happy to settle, but the offer will likely not reflect what's fair and just. 

When insurance companies make an initial settlement offer, their first goal is to protect their bottom line – not help the victim recover. They will try to cut costs by not thoroughly investigating the accident. This means the insurer may not uncover all the underlying causes and potentially liable parties (e.g., truck driver, trucking company, loaders, mechanics, etc.). Insurance companies will also try to get away with not paying for future medical bills, future lost wages, loss of earned income, and other expenses that you may not be aware of but which the law allows you to recover. 

By filing a personal injury claim, victims can pursue the compensation that they deserve. 

Timing of the personal injury claim, however, is critical. There are deadlines you must meet to recover. If you miss certain deadlines, like those imposed by statutes of limitations, then you may not be able to recover anything. It is important to know the laws specific to your jurisdiction, thus, the reason why it is so very critical to your personal injury case to speak to a truck accident lawyer today.

Truck accidents––accidents between passenger vehicles and commercial or semi-trucks––in New Mexico can result in some of the worst auto accidents on the road. The risk of severe, life-threatening injuries is high. Injured parties must file strong, smart personal injury or wrongful death claims to receive fair and just compensation. 

At Gauthier & Maier Law Firm, P.C., we know that monetary compensation will never fully make you whole, but it will help pay bills and reduce some stress so that you and your loved ones can work at regaining control of your life again. Our personal injury attorney in New Mexico will thoroughly investigate the truck accident and guide you through the process of a personal injury or wrongful death claim. We understand what is at stake and put all our resources towards a successful end. Contact our office at 505-266-3205 today to schedule a Free Consultation. 

How Federal Regulations Impact New Mexico Truck Accident Lawsuits?

Every driver on the road is required to follow the rules of the road of the jurisdiction in which they drive. However, because of the amount of time they spend on the road and the potential devastating consequences that can occur if things go wrong, truck drivers are subject to an additional level of regulations. These regulations are created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal agency tasked with providing safety oversight for commercial motor vehicles in the United States.

FMCSA regulations touch on nearly every aspect of the trucking business, all with the ultimate goal of keeping the roads safe. Some of these regulations are focused on truck drivers, including special licenses that truck drivers need to acquire and limits on the amount of hours that they can spend on the road. Other regulations are focused on the trucks themselves, such as requirements that trucks undergo regular inspection and maintenance.

Truck Driver Conduct and Truck Condition FMCSA Requirements 

  • The driver must carry a commercial driver's license required by state law.
  • The driver must be 21 years old to engage in interstate commerce.
  • The driver cannot drive over eight hours without taking a 30-minute break and can only drive for 11 hours after being off duty for 10 hours.
  • Federal employees conduct regular inspections of trucks. Drivers must conduct inspections each day. If the driver uncovers a problem, the information must be included in their report.
  • A truck driver must take a drug and alcohol test after specific accidents.

Keep in mind that the fMCSA sets minimum standards, but each state can impose regulations that establish higher standards.

Why Does It Matter If an FMCSA Rule was Violated in New Mexico?

A violation of an FMCSA rule can indicate liability, and that is important to win a personal injury or wrongful death claim in New Mexico. FMCSA regulations introduce a whole new level of complication to truck accidents. A truck accident attorney can more clearly identify what those might be in your specific case, but some ways they could impact a potential case are discussed below.


Because FMCSA regulations introduce a whole new set of rules into the equation, identifying potential violations requires another level of expertise. It can also be more complicated to accurately model and represent a truck accident than a typical car accident. Because of this, FMCSA cases can often necessitate partnering with specialized experts.

Negligence Per Se

Most car accident cases involve proving that the other driver was driving negligently at the time of the accident. Traditionally, this requires proving the legal elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages, which an attorney can explain in more detail. However, there is another legal concept known as negligence per se.

Negligence per se can almost be thought of as a shortcut to negligence. It can be invoked if the truck driver was violating a statute or regulation while they were driving. FMCSA regulations introduce a new potential source of liability to establish a negligence per se case.

Trucking Companies

Truck accidents are also distinct from most car accidents in that truck drivers are usually employees of trucking companies. These companies have a responsibility to make sure that their drivers are trained and adhere to FMCSA regulations. This means that trucking companies are potential sources of compensation after an accident. Accordingly, trucking companies can be held liable for negligent hiring or retention of a driver.

To comply with these regulations, employers:

  • Must administer road tests
  • Must check the driving record of an applicant for the past three years
  • Must perform a background check
  • May need to require the truck driver to pass a drug screen and conduct random drug tests
  • Must conduct annual reviews of its drivers

Failure to perform any of these duties may result in a claim against the trucking company.

Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney in Bernalillo and Valencia Counties?

Simply put, hiring an experienced truck accident attorney after your accident gives you the best possible chance of ending up with a good outcome in a very bad situation. Numerous parties may be liable for your injuries, and experienced attorneys from Gauthier & Maier Law Firm, P.C. will be able to identify those parties and determine how best to pursue compensation. The introduction of these other parties, as well as the complicated web of statutes and regulations, means that pursuing a claim requires a special level of expertise.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, and Belen Today

Truck accidents can be devastating for everyone involved. Make sure you get the compensation you deserve by hiring an auto accident lawyer at Gauthier & Maier Law Firm, P.C. Contact us online or at 505-226-3205 to schedule a Free Consultation today.

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Gauthier & Maier Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about Motor Vehicle Accidents, Medical Malpractice and Civil Rights law issues in New Mexico.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.