Determining Fault in a Truck Accident

View of a truck in a car's rearview mirror.

Unfortunately, truck accidents happen all across the U.S. and New Mexico is no different. While car accidents may occur more frequently, truck accidents often wreak more havoc. Truck accidents generally occur due to the negligent or reckless behavior of truck drivers. Often times, trucking companies fail to ensure their fleets’ safety.

Most truck accidents require police reports, as they are usually very damaging. In New Mexico, if the crash resulted in any injuries, fatalities, or a minimum of $500 in property damages, then police reporting is required. 

Investigating the Scene of the Accident

When a police officer comes to the scene of the accident, his or her job is to investigate what has transpired and subsequently drat a report that includes the details of the accident including things such as:

  • The location of the crash
  • The time and date of the crash
  • The names of all parties involved
  • Whether a party did something illegal to have caused the accident

In situations where the truck driver seems to be under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, sobriety tests can be performed at the scene and the results and opinions can be included in the report as well. 

Recovering Compensation for Damages

When someone has been the victim of a truck accident, he or she may be able to recover compensation for the damages that they have endured. However, in order to do so, he or she must be able to prove that liability for the accident belongs to someone else, such as the truck company. 

Having a police report can come in very handy when a victim makes an injury claim and it comes time to produce evidence of fault. By obtaining a copy of the police report it can back up your assertions. 

Gathering Important Evidence from the Scene

Other evidence to be gathered includes:

Pictures from the scene

By taking pictures of the accident scene you can actually help accident reconstructionists to figure out who may be liable. Pictures can also help to support assertions of negligence, such as freshly made food sitting in the vehicle console, suggesting possible distracted driving.

Eyewitness accounts

Identifying eyewitnesses can be of great help in that they can testify to what they saw and can provide details that can help to support what actually occurred. Therefore it is always best to retrieve contact information for witnesses while they are still at the scene of the accident. Sometimes police reports fail to include eyewitness accounts. 

Black box data

Some may not know that much like airplanes, most new trucks contain a black box. The black box provides recordings pertaining to monitoring and tracking the truck’s metrics. This can provide a lot of information, such as whether the driver was speeding, slammed on the breaks, or drove erratically. It is important to note that under federal law, all commercial trucks house an electronic logging device.

MPJ Law Firm Can Help Those in NM Who Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident

If you have a loved one that has been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, it can be devastating. It can be hard enough fighting to recover without the added expenses. However, you should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. 

At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of truck accidents and understand the effect that being involved in one can have on many aspects of your life. The lawyers at MPJ Law Firm will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Truck Accidents