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Is a Trucking Company Liable for a Truck Driver’s Mistake? Albuquerque Trucking Accident Lawyer Explains

Understanding Liability in New Mexico: Is a Trucking Company Liable for a Truck Driver’s Mistake?

Common questions that our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer gets usually relates to liability.  One of the most common regards liability with a trucking company.  Victims and families ask is a trucking company liable for a truck driver’s mistake under New Mexico law?  This is of course in reference to an 18 wheeler wreck, big rig crash, or other type of box truck accident.  Many accidents in New Mexico happen right here in Albuquerque on the Big I exchange.  Other times, big rig accidents occur throughout the interstates such as I-25, I-10, and I-40.

Understanding Liability and Payment, Generally

When a victim suffered serious personal injuries in an 18 wheeler wreck occurring in New Mexico, he or she commonly asks what rights to compensation that they may or may not have under the law.  This is particularly related to recovering compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future earnings, medical expenses, past medical bills, loss of consortium, and other losses under New Mexico law.  More importantly, victims and their families want to know HOW they will be compensation under New Mexico law.

This is because most people know that an individual person cannot usually pay for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.  It does not matter if the person is a student right out of high school (a class of persons who typically have little to no money because they have not been able to start working yet), or if the person is a wealthy lawyer, doctor, or business owner—most people do not have this kind of money laying around to pay a claim.  

Moreover, most people also know that an individual’s motor vehicle insurance may not be able to cover all of the damage in a motor vehicle accident.  This is because most individuals have an insurance company that may be lower or just appropriate for their regular vehicle.  But a truck like an 18 wheeler, box rig, flatbed, or other box truck may obviously case much more significant and severe injuries in an Albuquerque trucking accident.

This is Why NM Law Holds Companies Liable for an Employee’s Actions

Now understanding how individuals likely do not have the money or insurance coverage that a big business may have, it should be clear why the New Mexico legislature has create laws, and judges have evolved decisional law (common law), into holding an employer liable for an employee’s actions.  This means that a truck driver’s mistake will usually result in liability for the trucking company, therefore requiring the trucking company to pay for the damages through their own pocket or insurance.

It only makes sense too.  A truck driver is assigned a task by an employer, the trucking company.  The trucking company pays the employee, but also makes money on the actions that the employer is doing for them.  This is an employee-employer relationship.

Under the law, it is called respondeat superior, or a type of master-servant relationship which dates back to old British law principles.  It is also a type of vicarious liability, where one person or entity could be liable for the actions of another person or entity.  

As a result, an individual who makes a mistake can cause the company to be liable, as long as the employee was acting on behalf of the company.  This means that an employee who is not acting within the scope of employment may not be liable under New Mexico law for an employee’s actions.  

So the principle boils down to this.  An employer is usually responsible for the actions of an employee committed within the scope of employment.  An employer is therefore not responsible for the actions of an employee committed outside of the scope of employment.  What is within the scope of employment is usually a hotly contested issue which is why you need an Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer to help you.

Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. To Learn If Your Claim Imposed Liability on a Trucking Company

If a negligent truck driver caused you or a loved one serious personal injuries like a brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bone, amputation, or other damage, ask our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for help.  Call us for a FREE consultation to learn how we can help you today.

We handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, Hobbs, Lordsburg, or anywhere else in the state, including Albuquerque where our law office is located. Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help.  You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

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