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At Begum & Cowen Injury & Accident Lawyers, our Albuquerque truck accident lawyers have a long and successful record of helping people injured in tractor-trailer accidents. Our attorneys know how complex they can be and the severity of the injuries they can inflict. Our truck accident attorneys and staff will help you through this challenging time when you’re physically, emotionally, and financially suffering. When you give us responsibility for your legal and insurance claims, we will deal with these issues so that you can focus on recovery and your family.

Call our firm to get the New Mexico truck collision attorney you can trust. Call 505-900-0000 or contact us online to schedule a free case assessment. We’ll answer your questions, tell you how New Mexico law may apply in your case, and discuss your best options to obtain compensation at no risk or obligation to you. We won’t charge you up-front fees and only get paid when you recover compensation.

“Great group of people to work with—very efficient and professional. Alex has put together a great Team!”

– Derek B.

Truck Accidents in Albuquerque, NM

Because of the size of commercial vehicles, truck accident victims are often more seriously injured than those in car accidents. And because of the nature of the trucking business, there may be several parties who may be responsible, each with their own insurance company. Your case may involve different parties that made mistakes, committed negligence, and are liable. You may be compensated for property damage, medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

There are many potential types of accidents when a car is involved in a truck crash. They depend on how fast the vehicles were going, the angle, and where they hit each other. Some Albuquerque tractor-trailer accidents include:

  • Trailer Accidents: Cargo shifts making the truck unstable and more difficult to steer. If there’s a flatbed and the cargo’s not secured correctly, it can fall off and strike a vehicle traveling behind it.
  • Underride Accidents: A car could get trapped under a trailer.
  • Override Accidents: A truck could rear-end a vehicle and end up on top of it.
  • Jackknife Accidents: The truck and trailer could end up going in different directions if there’s little or no traction, or the driver sharply turns or brakes.
  • Wide Turn Accidents: These trucks have a wide turning radius, and drivers may miscalculate a corner.
  • Hazardous Material Spills: A spill could happen because of problems with the trailer or improper loading.
  • Rollover Accidents: A sharp turn, hard braking, or a loss of traction could cause an 18-wheeler to tip on its side.
  • Blind Spot Accidents: Commercial trucks have large blind spots where drivers can’t see other vehicles. A truck could switch lanes and strike or cut off a car.

Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?

A semi-truck is very different from a car, so it must be driven very differently. While a car may weigh two tons, a fully-loaded 18-wheeler could weigh 40 tons and be about 50 feet long. Like other vehicle accidents, driver error is the top cause of accidents.

Some issues that can lead to a truck accident include:

  • Truck Driver Inexperience: the driver doesn’t yet know how to drive the truck in all situations safely.
  • Violating New Mexico Traffic Laws: following too closely, improper lane changes, and running red lights and stop signs
  • Truck Driver Distraction: Cell phone use, including talking, texting, surfing the internet, and using apps. The driver may also be eating, drinking, or not paying attention
  • Failure to properly load or secure cargo
  • Driving while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs
  • Driving over the speed limit or too fast for conditions
  • Failing to properly inspect, maintain, and repair the truck and its systems
  • Fatigued or drowsy driving: caused by a failure to comply with federal hours of service regulations

Truck Accident Injuries

Because of the truck’s significant weight, far more energy is directed into a passenger vehicle in a collision. That energy can crush or tear apart a car, causing severe and even fatal injuries.

Truck accident injuries we see include:

  • Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions
  • Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries which could cause paralysis
  • Burns could be due to chemicals splashed on the vehicle or caused by heat if there’s a vehicle fire
  • Internal injuries
  • Amputation of hands, feet, arms, or legs
  • Broken bones
  • Sprained ligaments
  • Strained muscles
  • Deep cuts, bruises, and abrasions
  • Soft tissue injuries, including whiplash

Compensation for Your Truck Accident Damages

In addition to the severe injuries that may be caused, commercial truck accident cases are complex because:

  • Truck driver
  • Several parties may be involved with the truck and its contents
  • There could be multiple causes for an accident
  • There are overlapping state and federal trucking laws
  • Each party involved with the truck could have their own insurers and lawyers

Some of those parties are:

  • The truck driver’s employer
  • A trucking company renting the truck to a driver who’s an independent contractor
  • A shipper who improperly loaded a trailer or that failed to secure cargo on a flatbed
  • The trucking company or an outside business that failed to maintain or repair the 18-wheeler
  • The manufacturer, distributor, and seller of a defective truck or trailer parts that caused the accident

After being injured, you and your family may face astronomical expenses. Medical and rehabilitation costs could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you can’t work, you’ll lose income and possibly your job. Your pay may be the difference between your family living comfortably or facing financial disaster. If you’re severely disabled in a truck accident over a lifetime, you may face millions of dollars in costs and lost income.

Given how you and your family may be impacted, don’t try to settle your case alone. Get legal help from an Albuquerque truck accident lawyer to recover the compensation you’re owed.

Begum & Cowen Injury & Accident Lawyers will fight for you to recover your:

  • Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses
  • Lost Income
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish
  • Disfigurement and Scarring
  • Physical Limitations
  • Lost Earning Capacity

Dealing with an Insurance Company

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires drivers, trucking companies, and related entities to carry sizeable insurance policies. The coverage can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

Working with these insurers is a challenge because they want to protect profits by limiting claims. They are massive companies that try to use every insurance-related law and practice to their advantage. Companies become more motivated to fight claims when they’re worth a substantial amount of money.

Insurers are very sophisticated, and they know what they’re doing. When people try to negotiate a settlement alone, they are at a severe disadvantage. They know your case’s actual value, the law, and how to negotiate.

It’s essential to work with a local truck accident attorney in Albuquerque. The Begum & Cowen Injury & Accident Lawyers are experienced in handling complicated cases, and we often go up against demanding insurance companies. Our clients have obtained millions of dollars for thousands of clients. We won’t consider a truck accident settlement unless it fairly compensates you for your losses and is the best outcome for your case.

What To Do After a Truck Accident in New Mexico

You may be in shock after an accident, but you must try to remain calm and think clearly. If you’re seriously injured and don’t feel you can drive from the scene, get an ambulance. If you can manage it, here are suggestions on what to do after the accident:

  • See if you and others are injured
  • Contact police or 911 if anyone is injured or a vehicle is stuck in a travel lane and may block traffic or cause another accident
  • Get medical care, depending on the nature of your injuries. If you don’t need emergency treatment, see your physician or go to an urgent care center as soon as possible, no later than 48 hours after the accident. This will help diagnose and treat your injuries and document them.
  • Contact your insurance company and report the basic facts. Don’t go into details. Tell them you’ll be talking to an attorney, and you’ll call them back later. The more you talk, the more likely you may mistakenly say things that may lead to your claim being reduced or denied.

You should also schedule a free consultation with a New Mexico truck accident attorney. If you feel we’re the right lawyers for you, and we feel we can help you with your case, we can handle the claim from there.

Don’t put your interests in jeopardy by negotiating with the truck driver’s insurer. They want it settled as quickly and cheaply as possible Dealing with an insurer is a job for an experienced lawyer.

How a Truck Accident Law Firm Can Help

At Begum & Cowen Injury & Accident Lawyers, we support our clients with solid legal representation and assistance at all phases of their personal injury claim. Each case is unique, but we diligently work for all our clients.

From the moment you retain our firm, we will:

  • Investigate the truck crash and find out what happened, why, and who’s at fault. We can look into the truck’s electronic data recorder, talk to witnesses, and review the evidence the police developed. These facts are the basis of your claim
  • Create an effective legal strategy based on the evidence and state law
  • Consult with professionals, including medical experts who’ll examine your medical records and financial analysts who will assess how your income is affected
  • Prepare claim forms and organize documents that support your claim
  • Communicate and negotiate with the insurance company’s claims adjuster regarding a settlement offer and counteroffer
  • File a lawsuit if we can’t reach a reasonable settlement
  • Tell your story to the jury at a trial, demonstrating the other party’s responsibility for the harm you suffered and that New Mexico law requires that you receive compensation
  • Anything else necessary to protect your legal rights and interests in your truck crash claim

Albuquerque’s Most Dangerous Roads for Truck Accidents

According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, Albuquerque had 7,915 truck crashes from 2014 to 2018, or 29% of the state’s total. The city with the second-highest number, Las Cruces, only had 6%. Bernalillo County had 30% of all truck accidents, followed by Dona Ana County at 9%. Nearly half of the accidents happen on two-lane roads and when the truck is going straight.

The most dangerous areas are where commercial trucks and passenger vehicles mix. That includes interstate highways, state highways, and major roads. These trucks supply grocery stores, major retailers, restaurants, factories, and warehouses, so there can be accidents where the trucks get in and out of these areas. There can also be a lot of conflict on highway entrances and exits as well as in intersections.

Albuquerque Truck Accident Statistics

Albuquerque by far exceeds all other New Mexico cities for truck accidents from 2014 to 2018, according to the state’s Department of Transportation. During that time, Albuquerque had:

  • 25 fatalities
  • 85 accidents where serious injuries were suspected
  • 199 accidents where minor injuries were suspected
  • 737 accidents where injuries may have occurred
  • 7,915 total number of truck accidents

Truck Accident Resources in Albuquerque

KOAT and KRQU provide traffic and weather information on their websites, so you can try to avoid areas with the most traffic. You may also want to avoid driving in severe weather, as slick roads and poor visibility make truck accidents more likely. You can get a copy of a truck accident report through the City of Albuquerque website.

More truck accidents occur in Texas than in any other state.
7 4 %

of all fatal truck accident victims are the occupants of other vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Truck accident attorneys in Albuquerque

One of the worst things that can happen on the roads is for a driver or pedestrian to be hurt by a large truck. The injuries caused in these situations tend to be much more severe than other crashes due to the size and weight of the vehicles and the sheer force of the impact. Highway accidents tend to be devastating due to high speeds and the possibility of the truck turning or flipping over. If life changing injuries are the result, the victim’s truck accident attorney needs to be thorough to build a case that will result in significant compensation for any related losses and the costs of treatment.

It is important for anyone who has been injured in such a situation to understand the process of bringing a case and an overview of what the Albuquerque truck accident attorney will accomplish. The expertise of a lawyer and their skills are some of the most important parts of a successful truck accident lawsuit.

What truck accident lawyers do for their clients

The main remedy for a civil truck accident lawsuit is for the victim to receive compensation that reflects the serious nature of their losses. Albuquerque truck accident attorneys do this by collecting evidence that proves the value of all losses, as well as crafting legal arguments that show why the defendant company or driver should be responsible for paying. In the case of truck accident cases, there are some specific doctrines and rules that must be applied correctly to ensure the best chance at receiving the maximum compensation allowed by law.

At the start of this process is the initial consultation and gathering of evidence. Once the client and their lawyer have agreed on representation, the lawsuit will be filed in the appropriate local court system. After the copy of the lawsuit is served on the defendant, they get a chance to respond to the allegations and exchange information through discovery. At some point once both sides have enough evidence and information from this process, it is likely that the case can be settled. The lawsuit will end once a final agreement is signed by all parties and the victim is paid appropriately.

Types of truck accident cases

When considering a truck accident lawsuit, it is possible that there may have been an accident involving a semi truck, pickup truck, commercial vehicles such as utility vans, or construction vehicles. The vehicles also may have parts, cargo, or debris that come loose on a roadway and become extremely dangerous. In all of these situations, the company that owns and operates the vehicle will likely be responsible, and they can be made to pay out damages whether the damage was due to the vehicle itself or other related problems.

Begum & Cowen Injury & Accident Lawyers is able to meet with anyone who was harmed by any of these vehicles. At the meeting, the specifics of the incident can be discussed.

Employer and driver liability

Truck accidents implicate a different set of rules than most other standard motor vehicle accidents. There are doctrines in civil lawsuits that dictate that the employer is strictly liable for the actions of the trucker, as long as the driver was engaged in their standard employment practices such as driving while making a delivery. The employer is also likely to have special high risk insurance and commercial policies that are capable of covering thousands or millions of dollars worth of damage caused during the incident. The average truck accident lawsuit costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a business, which is why special liability coverage is mandated by law.

It is important for anyone who has been harmed to choose an Albuquerque truck accident attorney with specific knowledge of this aspect of truck accident law.

Driver requirements

A significant aspect of investigating a truck crash deals with the driver’s credentials and requirements. Not only must the vehicle itself meet certain standards for size, weight, and secured cargo before the transportation can begin, the driver needs to be properly trained and prepared as well.

The main requirement for a driver is a commercial license. This requires special knowledge and road tests, and additional training may be required if there are endorsements for items such as hazardous materials. Each state has specific requirements for how the driver must earn these credentials, and their qualifications may vary slightly depending on the specific line of work in commercial driving.

Drivers also cannot drive while fatigued, intoxicated, or in violation of hours of service rules. Unfortunately, substance abuse has become a regular problem in the trucking industry, and this kind of behavior is uncovered over the course of many accident investigations.

There are required break times and rest periods for drivers set by state and federal law as well. As a general rule, drivers have an absolute limit on the total number of hours they can be operating their vehicle each day, plus they need to stop at certain intervals to rest. These records are kept in logbooks that need to be available for inspection by various government agencies.

Any failure to meet these special requirements can be used as evidence of negligence in a lawsuit.

Hazardous materials accidents

Albuquerque truck accident lawyers have experience dealing with requirements for hazardous materials. This is a large concern with truck accident cases because hazardous materials can contaminate a roadway, the environment, and cause life changing injuries. There are costs associated with special cleanup crews that need to be called to the scene after the crash as well. The trucker and their employer may be fined by the government as well if they were transporting such items without proper authorization from the relevant government agency.

Compensation from a truck accident settlement

The way that a victim will be compensated for their truck accident case is through a settlement agreement that pays for most or all of their losses. The main job of the truck accident attorney in Albuquerque is to negotiate on their client’s behalf at this point in the litigation. This includes damages for lost income, time away from work, medical treatment, hospital bills, pain and suffering, and the victim’s reduced future earning capacity. If the driver or their employer engaged in any kind of reckless or egregious behavior, it is also possible that punitive damages can be awarded to the victim to punish them.

Getting professional help after the truck accident

Begum & Cowen Injury & Accident Lawyers is a firm staffed by experienced Albuquerque truck accident lawyers. They have successfully handled all aspects of these kinds of cases, and you can get in touch with them to start the process to make a truck driver or their employer pay for losses.