Fatal collision caused by commercial truck obstructing Carlsbad roadway, deceased driver’s family receives $2,000,000.00+ settlement
A commercial truck broke down in the middle of a Carlsbad roadway in the early morning hours. The unlicensed truck driver abandoned the truck without taking any precautions to warn other motorists of the disabled truck’s presence; it was still dark outside, the sun had not yet risen, and there were no street lights in the area. Unable to see the disabled truck in the dark, another vehicle drove up on the disabled truck, was unable to stop or avoid colliding with the rear of the truck, and died as a result of the collision.
Trucking companies and their drivers are highly regulated by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Pursuant to these Regulations, whenever a commercial truck breaks down, the driver must take precautions to warn the motoring public about the situation and protect the motoring public from hazards associated with the breakdown. Some of these precautions include turning on the truck’s hazard warning signal flashers and placing reflective safety markers behind the disabled truck which are visible to approaching traffic. The State of New Mexico imposes similar requirements pursuant to the New Mexico Motor Carrier Safety Act.
Moreover, driving a commercial truck is very different from driving an average car, truck, or SUV. As such, commercial truck drivers must hold a commercial driver’s license which ensures they have been properly trained to safely operate a commercial truck in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
In this case, the truck driver did not hold a commercial driver’s license when he drove the commercial truck; the driver did not even hold a regular driver’s license. Furthermore, the trucking company that employed him knew its driver was improperly licensed. The trucking company permitted its unlicensed employee to drive a commercial truck, completely disregarding the safety of the motoring public and putting other drivers at risk. The actions of the trucking company and its driver resulted in an innocent driver being killed when the truck driver did not know how to properly warn other motorists of the disabled truck in the roadway. Will Ferguson & Associates sued the trucking company and its driver for negligence and secured compensation for the deceased driver’s family.