New Mexico Oil Truck Accident Lawyers
Legal Help After an Oil Truck Accident
The Permian Basin, underlying southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, has become the busiest oil field in the nation over the past several years. Due in part to extensive oil production in this region, the U.S. has surpassed Russia to become the world’s largest producer of oil. While the oil boom has brought significant economic benefits to the primarily rural, southeastern part of the state, it has also increased the risk of deadly oil truck accidents. In fact, a section of U.S. 285 south of Carlsbad is now locally known as “Death Highway.”
As reported by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, crashes and fatalities along U.S. 285, between mileposts 0 and 20, have increased in the past several years as follows:
- 2012 — 6 accidents and 1 fatality
- 2013 – 16 accidents and 3 fatalities
- 2015 – 43 accidents and 1 fatality
- 2018 – 49 accidents and 2 fatalities
These statistics don’t show the number of serious injuries and disabilities these accidents also leave in their wake, but Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP has seen them.
Recent New Mexico Oil Truck Accidents
In July 2019, four oilfield workers and the driver of a tractor-trailer all died on the scene of a head-on collision on a New Mexico road. As reported by the Albuquerque Journal, the crash occurred on N.M. 128, east of Jal and approximately 195 miles east of El Paso. The driver of a pickup truck carrying three oilfield worker passengers crossed the center lane, colliding with the tractor-trailer. Both vehicles caught fire after the crash, and all occupants were declared dead on the scene.
Also in July 2019, a semi flipped over on I-25 near Broadway in Southeast Albuquerque, spilling between 200 and 500 gallons of fuel on the roadway, as reported by KOB 4. As a result of this wreck, officials were forced to close I-25 in both directions, north and south, for hours. It was unknown what caused the rollover. Dozens of emergency crews responded to this disaster, including a hazmat team, Albuquerque Fire Rescue, and the New Mexico State Police.
Causes of Oil Truck Accidents in New Mexico
Not only U.S. 285, but also N.M. 31 and N.M. 128 are small-town farm roads that have become highways for the oil industry. These roads, part of an asphalt triangle that connects Carlsbad, Hobbs, and Hal to the south, with numerous wells in between, have become danger zones for vehicles. Factors contributing to the dramatic increase in the number of accidents include:
- Trucking companies pressuring drivers to meet delivery timelines
- Drivers being paid by the load or the mile
- Companies and drivers failing to properly inspect and maintain trucks and equipment
- Drivers taking risks due to frustration with congestion
- Drivers taking aggressive maneuvers, such as speeding, failing to yield at intersections, and crossing the center line to pass slower vehicles
What to Do After a Serious New Mexico Oil Truck Accident
If you have been seriously injured in a crash with an oil truck, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced New Mexico truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. If you try to deal directly with an insurance adjuster, you are not likely to receive a fair settlement. Trucking companies and their insurers have teams of attorneys whose job is to defeat or minimize your claim. Our experienced trial lawyers can:
- Fully investigate the crash to determine cause and liability
- Secure and preserve evidence to support your claim
- Negotiate for a full and fair settlement with insurance companies on your behalf
- Fight for your rights in court, if necessary
We offer client-centered, personalized legal services. We will travel to you if you are unable to come to our office.
After a serious oil truck accident, call Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP at (903) 212-2822. We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you pay us no fees until we win compensation for you.