Hobbs 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney
Finding yourself involved in a collision with a large commercial truck on the roads of Hobbs, New Mexico, is a daunting experience. With the ever present trucking industry in New Mexico, accidents involving 18-wheelers are unfortunately becoming more common on big roads such as U.S. Highway 380, Highway 206, New Mexico State Road 18, and others. These incidents can result in severe injuries and complex legal proceedings. That’s where a Hobbs 18-wheeler accident lawyer comes in. At the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, we understand the challenges and complexities of 18-wheeler accident cases in Hobbs and are here to provide the legal guidance and support you need. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you seek the compensation you deserve.
According to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, New Mexico saw a total of 645 vehicles involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2021, with 89 of those involving large trucks. This accounts for 13.8% of the total vehicles involved in fatal crashes in the state, highlighting the significant impact of trucking accidents on New Mexico’s roadways.
W. Shane Jennings understands the devastating impact of truck accidents and is here to fight for justice on behalf of injury victims and their families. With a focus on maximizing compensation for his clients, he takes the fight to insurance companies without hesitation. Whether through negotiation or trial, our 18-wheeler accident attorneys in Hobbs, New Mexico, are committed to ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
The Trucking Industry and Its Impact in New Mexico
New Mexico’s trucking industry is a vital component of its economy, facilitating the transportation of goods within the state and beyond. With its strategic location along major transportation routes like Interstate 40 and Interstate 25, New Mexico is a crucial link in the national supply chain.
This industry contributes significantly to the state’s economy by supporting various sectors and providing employment opportunities for residents. However, the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks pose road safety challenges. Accidents involving trucks can result in severe consequences, endangering other motorists and pedestrians.
To address these safety concerns, regulatory measures, driver training initiatives, and adopting safety technologies are crucial. By implementing stringent regulations and promoting safe driving practices within the trucking industry, New Mexico aims to enhance road safety and reduce the risk of commercial vehicle accidents.
Factors Contributing to 18-Wheeler Accidents in Hobbs
Our 18-wheeler accident lawyers in Hobbs, New Mexico, see various factors that contribute to truck wrecks in the city. Let’s delve into some of the primary reasons behind these accidents:
The leading cause of 18-wheeler accidents in Hobbs, New Mexico, as reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is driver error. Factors such as nonperformance, recognition issues, decision-making errors, and performance failures contribute to a significant portion of these accidents.
Insufficient driver training exacerbates the risk of accidents involving 18-wheelers. With the growing demand for freight transportation and the current driver shortage, there’s added pressure on trucking companies to hire less experienced drivers. The need for enhanced driver training programs becomes evident to mitigate the risks associated with inexperienced drivers operating these large vehicles on Hobbs’ roads.
Mechanical failures in 18-wheelers can lead to catastrophic accidents. Common issues include faulty brakes, improperly inflated tires, defective lights, and transmission failures. The presence of such equipment failures significantly heightens the risk of accidents, especially on Hobbs’ busy highways, where large trucks share the road with other vehicles.
In some cases, the priorities of trucking companies may contribute to accidents. Unrealistic schedules, improper loading practices, and driver fatigue resulting from demanding delivery deadlines can increase the likelihood of accidents. It’s essential for companies to prioritize safety over strict delivery timelines to prevent accidents on Hobbs’ roadways.
Substance abuse among truck drivers poses a severe risk on Hobbs’s roads. Regular substance abuse screenings and strict adherence to regulations regarding driving under the influence are crucial measures to ensure the safety of drivers and others sharing the road.
By addressing these factors and implementing comprehensive safety measures, the frequency of truck accidents in Hobbs, New Mexico, and Lea County, can be mitigated, promoting safer roadways for all motorists.
Liability and How Fault is Determined in a Hobbs Truck Accident
In Hobbs, New Mexico, determining liability and how fault is determined in a truck accident is crucial for seeking compensation for damages incurred. Hobbs 18-wheeler accident lawyer W. Shane Jennings’ law office outlines here a breakdown of the process:
Negligence and Liability
In these types of accidents, negligence plays a significant role in determining liability. When someone’s negligent actions result in injury or property damage, they can be held legally responsible for the damages caused. For example, if a truck driver’s careless driving leads to a collision with another vehicle in Hobbs, they can be held liable for the resulting damages.
Truck accidents often involve multiple parties, each potentially sharing responsibility for the accident. Besides the truck driver, the trucking company may also be held liable for the driver’s actions, mainly if negligence or improper maintenance contributed to the accident. Determining the extent of each party’s liability requires a thorough investigation into the accident’s circumstances.
In Hobbs, New Mexico, even if the injured party is found partially at fault for the accident, they may still pursue compensation from other responsible parties. The state follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which allows injured individuals to recover damages proportionate to the degree of fault assigned to each party.
For instance, if a truck driver is primarily at fault for an accident but the injured party is also found partially responsible, they can still seek compensation, although their damages may be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Proving fault in a truck accident case requires gathering evidence such as witness statements, accident reconstruction reports, and driver records. An experienced truck accident attorney in Hobbs can assist in building a solid case by collecting and presenting evidence to establish liability on the part of the negligent parties.
By understanding the principles of negligence, liability, and comparative negligence, individuals involved in crashes involving 18-wheelers in Hobbs, New Mexico, can work with a Hobbs 18-wheeler accident attorney at the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings and pursue legal recourse to recover damages for their injuries and losses.
What Parties Can Be Held Responsible For Accidents Involving 18-Wheelers?
In accidents involving 18-wheelers, determining liability often involves identifying multiple parties who may share responsibility for the crash. Here are the potential parties that can be held responsible for accidents involving 18-wheelers:
- The Driver of the 18-Wheeler: The truck driver is typically the first party considered for liability in a truck accident. If the driver was negligent, such as driving under the influence, distracted driving, or violating traffic laws, they may bear sole responsibility for the accident. However, if the driver’s actions were influenced by external factors like inadequate training or unrealistic schedules imposed by their employer, liability may extend to other parties.
- The Trucking Company: Trucking companies can be held liable for accidents involving their drivers if they were negligent in hiring, training, or supervising their employees. For example, if a trucking company fails to conduct proper background checks on drivers or enforces unrealistic delivery deadlines that lead to driver fatigue, they may share liability for any resulting accidents.
- The Owner of the 18-Wheeler: In many cases, the truck’s owner differs from the truck driver or the trucking company. The truck owner is responsible for ensuring the vehicle is adequately maintained and in safe operating condition. If mechanical failures or equipment defects contribute to the accident, the truck owner may be held liable for negligence.
- Vehicle Manufacturers: Manufacturers of truck components or parts may be held liable if defects in their products contribute to the accident. For example, if brake failure or tire blowouts occur due to defective parts, the manufacturer of those components may share liability for the accident.
- Shippers or Loaders: Entities responsible for loading or securing cargo onto trucks may be liable if improper loading practices contribute to the accident. For instance, if cargo shifts during transit or falls off the truck due to inadequate securing, the shipper or loader may be liable for negligence.
Determining liability in 18-wheeler accidents requires a thorough investigation by experienced Hobbs 18-wheeler accident lawyers. Injured victims can seek compensation from those responsible for their damages and losses by identifying all potentially liable parties.
Why Are Truck Accident Claims More Complicated Than Other Injury Claims?
Accident claims involving 18-wheelers are more complex than many other personal injury claims for several reasons:
- Multiple Parties: 18-wheeler and truck accidents often involve multiple parties, such as the truck driver, trucking company, vehicle owner, manufacturer, and cargo shipper, making liability determination challenging.
- Federal Regulations: The trucking industry is heavily regulated by federal laws governing driver qualifications, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and cargo securement.
- Complex Insurance: Trucking companies carry substantial insurance coverage, but navigating multiple insurance policies and dealing with adjusters can be complicated.
- Catastrophic Injuries: Truck accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities, leading to extensive medical treatment and financial losses.
- Evidence Collection: Gathering evidence like ELD data, driver logs, and witness statements promptly is crucial for building a strong case.
- Legal Expertise: Truck accident claims require experienced legal representation familiar with the complexities of these cases.
Overall, seeking legal assistance from an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney in Hobbs is essential to pursue fair compensation.
What Evidence Will Help With My Hobbs Truck Accident Claim?
Gathering the proper evidence is crucial for building a solid truck accident claim in Hobbs. Here are some types of evidence that can help support your claim:
- Reports From the Hobbs Police Department: Obtaining a copy of the report by the Hobbs police department created at the accident scene is essential. It provides details about the crash, including statements from involved parties and witnesses, as well as any citations issued.
- Eyewitness Statements: Statements from eyewitnesses who observed the accident can provide valuable firsthand accounts of what happened. Their testimony can corroborate your version of events and strengthen your claim.
- Photographs and Videos: Visual evidence, such as photographs or videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, skid marks, road conditions, and traffic signals, can help recreate the accident and demonstrate the extent of the damage.
- 18-Wheeler Maintenance Records: Requesting maintenance records and inspection reports for the truck involved in the accident can reveal whether the vehicle was properly maintained and in compliance with safety regulations.
- Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Data: Many commercial trucks and 18-wheelers are equipped with electronic logging devices that track driving hours and vehicle data. ELD data can provide insights into the truck’s speed, braking, and driver activity leading to the accident.
- Black Box Data: Similar to ELD data, some trucks have event data recorders (EDRs) or “black boxes” that capture detailed information about the vehicle’s operation before, during, and after a crash. This data can be crucial in determining factors like speed, braking, and steering input.
- Medical Records: Documentation of your injuries, medical treatment, and prognosis is essential for establishing the extent of your damages. Medical records from healthcare providers detailing your diagnosis, treatment plan, and future medical needs can strengthen your claim.
- Expert Witness Testimony: Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, or trucking industry experts, can provide professional opinions on the cause of the accident, the severity of injuries, and the impact on your life.
- Employment Records: If the accident resulted in lost wages or impacted your ability to work, employment records, pay stubs, and documentation from your employer can demonstrate your income loss and financial damages.
- Communication Records: Keeping communication records with insurance companies, healthcare providers, and other parties involved in the accident can help track important information and correspondence related to your claim.
By gathering and preserving relevant evidence, you can strengthen your truck accident claim and improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
How Are Settlements Determined in Truck Accident Lawsuits?
Settlements in lawsuits involving truck accidents are determined based on various factors, including:
- The Extent of Injuries: The severity and long-term effects of injuries sustained in the accident play a significant role in determining settlement amounts. This includes medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and anticipated future medical needs.
- Property Damage: Compensation for vehicle damage, including repair or replacement costs, is factored into settlements.
- Lost Income: If the accident resulted in missed work or diminished earning capacity, compensation may be sought for lost wages and future income potential.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages such as physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life are considered in settlement negotiations.
- Liability and Negligence: The degree of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident influences settlement amounts. Evidence demonstrating negligence, such as driver error, equipment failure, or violations of safety regulations, can impact the settlement.
- Insurance Coverage: The insurance policies of the parties involved, including the trucking company’s liability coverage, affect the maximum amount available for settlement.
- Legal Representation: The quality of legal representation and the ability of the attorney to negotiate a favorable settlement on behalf of the injured party can impact the final settlement amount.
By considering these factors and negotiating with insurance companies or pursuing legal action, parties involved in truck accident lawsuits seek settlements that adequately compensate the injured party for their losses and damages.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire An 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Hobbs?
When hiring an attorney for an accident or injury involving an 18-wheeler in Hobbs, New Mexico, the cost typically operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients do not pay any upfront fees or retainer costs. Instead, the attorney’s fees are contingent upon successfully recovering compensation for the client.
If the case is successful and a settlement or verdict is obtained, the lawyer receives a percentage of the recovered amount as their fee. However, if the case is unsuccessful and no compensation is recovered, the client generally does not owe any attorney fees.
Additionally, many law firms offer free initial consultations to discuss the case details and evaluate its merits. During this consultation, the lawyer can provide an overview of the legal process, discuss potential strategies, and address any client concerns.
This initial meeting allows the client to determine if they wish to proceed with the attorney and provides an opportunity to ask questions about fees and payment structure.
Overall, the cost of hiring an 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Hobbs is contingent upon the case’s outcome, ensuring that clients have access to legal representation without the burden of upfront financial obligations.
Experienced Law Firm in Hobbs, New Mexico
If you’ve been involved in an 18-wheeler accident in Hobbs, New Mexico, the aftermath can be overwhelming. The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings understands the challenges you may be facing and is here to provide the legal support and guidance you need during this difficult time.
With years of experience handling truck accident cases, our dedicated team of attorneys profoundly understands the complexities of these types of claims.
We recognize the unique challenges that arise when pursuing compensation from trucking companies and their insurers, and we are committed to fighting tirelessly on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive the total and fair compensation they deserve.
Our goal is to secure financial compensation for our clients and provide them with the support and guidance they need to steer the legal process with confidence.
When you choose our firm to represent you, you can trust that you are in capable hands.
We have a proven track record of success in handling truck accident cases and have helped numerous clients recover substantial settlements and verdicts for their injuries and losses. We are fearless in taking on large trucking companies and their insurers, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the justice you deserve.
Don’t face the aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident alone. Contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you. Let us be your advocate and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Areas near Hobbs we serve include Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Llano, Texas, and more.