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Offices Located In
406 N. Grant St.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1020 Lomas Blvd., NW
Las Cruces, New Mexico
1591 E. Lohman
Hobbs, New Mexico
1515 W. Calle Sur St., Suite 101
Our New Mexico offices are in MST and our Texas offices are in CST.
18 Wheeler Collisions
- Commercial vehicles account for 12% of the fatalities on the road even though they account for only 3% of the vehicles. United States. Department of Transportation. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. National Transportation Statistics. Washington, DC: USDOT, annual. Electronic documents accessed 2006:
- Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for all Americans aged 4-38. National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents as the leading cause of death in the United States, 2005, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008
- Approximately every 15 minutes someone is injured or killed in a collision involving an 18-Wheeler. United States. Department of Transportation. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. National Transportation Statistics. Washington, DC: USDOT, annual. Electronic documents accessed 2006
SPEED & GREED: A deadly combination
Semi-truck tractor trailers are in integral part of our economy. They help ship goods from state to state and provide much needed commerce. Unfortunately, there are far too many truck drivers and trucking companies who look at safety as a secondary concern. It is not uncommon for our investigations to show drivers who are legally not qualified by the D.O.T. to be operating an 18-wheeler, who have lied on their job applications, or who have falsified log books or other records in order to drive more hours and longer distances than what is legal. With each driver who should not be on the road there is typically a company who simply “looked the other way” or failed to properly investigate, or supervise, their drivers, which allows them access to these large commercial vehicles.
In the wrong hands, an 18-wheeler may be nothing more than a 80,000 lbs. wrecking ball. The damage and destruction associated with a collision involving an 18 wheeler is well documented and catastrophic.
On April 13, 2005, at approximately 4:50 p.m., our client was driving her Chevy Blazer west on U.S. 62 near the Texas/New Mexico border. The day was clear, there was no rain, fog, or even curves that would impede or impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle. Unfortunately for our client, directly behind her was 70,000 lbs. 18-wheeler being operated by a reckless driver who should have never been entrusted with such a vehicle to operate. As he barreled forward, the defendant driver was not concerned with the safety and wellbeing of those with whom he shared the road. No, his concern was for filling out his log books as he was operating his 18-wheeler at 70m.p.h. As he sped along, he was so oblivious to anything else but the log books that he did not even notice the rapidly closing distance between himself and the car in front of him. There is no physical evidence, and the defendant driver did not even tell the investigating officer, that he ever even hit his brakes prior to slamming into our clients. The impact was so severe that it caused our client’s vehicle to slide then catch, rolling over multiple times before coming to rest on its left side, the passenger side, and then bursting into flames. Through the heroic actions of one of our clients, who literally pulled our other client out of the wreckage before the flames completely engulfed the vehicle, no one was killed; however there were significant injuries.
Perhaps the most frustrating fact is that the driver had a long history of reckless driving before this incident. Our investigation uncovered that in the 2 years preceding this collision, the Defendant driver had his Texas CDL suspended, he was the cause of another injury accident for which he was cited for changing lanes when unsafe, and most importantly, he was arrested for driving while intoxicated within six months of running over our clients. Under Part 383.51(c) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations, our firm argued that this is a major offense that would disqualify the driver from holding a commercial driver’s license or operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year. Similarly we argued that the Defendant driver was further disqualified pursuant to Part 383.3(f)(3)(i)(B) – 383.3(f)(3)(i)(D) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. In short, he should have been disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle and he should not have even been on the road; yet the trucking company readily provided him a truck to drive.
Ultimately, the trucking company and its driver settled for a confidential amount, rather than risk the prospect of a jury.
Our firm has handled numerous trucking and commercial vehicle claims. Our attorneys are familiar with the Federal and State rules and regulations which govern trucks, truck drivers, and the companies that employ them. We take an aggressive approach in order to maximize recovery for our clients.
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