Naked Man “Surfing” atop Pickup Truck Falls onto Road, Causes Multi-Vehicle Accident

A New Mexico man was charged with indecent exposure, leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to wear a seatbelt after an accident that occurred when he fell off a Ford pickup truck near Taos, New Mexico earlier this month. The man was completely naked and standing on top of the truck as it travelled on State Road 522 on June 6. The man apparently fell off the truck, and a motorcycle behind him stopped quickly to avoid running him over. A woman who was in a car behind the motorcyclist was unable to stop in time and rear-ended the motorcycle. Witnesses helped the man into the pickup truck he was riding on, and the driver sped off. Police pulled over the pickup truck a few minutes later and booked both the man who fell and the driver of the truck on various charges. The man was moderately injured and hospitalized, but he was released the following day.

yelling-for-joy-1076678-m.jpgThe Laws against “Naked Truck-Surfing”

Not surprisingly, New Mexico does not have a specific criminal provision that forbids someone from riding naked on top of a truck on the highway. The police were still able to charge the man with indecent exposure and failure to wear a seat belt, but his behavior appears too strange to fit cleanly within the criminal code. Any injuries or damage suffered by the other drivers involved will most likely not be addressed by the criminal proceedings against the man, and if the other drivers want to be paid back for the damage that the man’s behavior caused, they will most likely need to file a New Mexico auto accident lawsuit. If the injured victims can show that the man was acting negligently when he decided to ride naked on top of the truck, a civil court will have the ability to order the man to pay the victims to compensate them for their injury.

Obtaining Damages in Court
A New Mexico auto accident lawsuit usually requires that the plaintiff prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant acted either negligently or intentionally and caused the accident and ensuing damages. Showing intentional conduct could be difficult in this case, because the plaintiff would need to prove that the defendant intended the final result to happen. It seems unlikely that the man, who was quite seriously injured after the accident, intended to fall onto the asphalt at a high rate of speed and cause an accident. It seems more likely that the man decided to ride on the truck but did not intend to fall off or cause the accident.

Proving Negligence to Obtain Damages
If the victims do not feel confident that they can prove that the man intended to cause the accident and ensuing damage, they may file a suit that alleges negligence. To prove negligence and obtain a judgment in New Mexico, a plaintiff must show four things. First, a successful plaintiff must show that the defendant owed some sort of duty. Second, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached that duty. The plaintiff also must demonstrate that he or she was injured in the accident, and fourth, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach of the duty was a direct cause of the injury.

How Negligence May Relate to This Case
If one of the people involved in the accident this month were to file a lawsuit against the “naked surfer,” it would probably be fair to say that passengers in vehicles on New Mexico highways have a duty not to fall off their vehicles directly in front of following cars. If the man did in fact fall off the truck, it would appear that he breached that duty. To successfully sue for personal injury, the potential plaintiffs must show that some sort of physical injury was inflicted by the accident, and that the injury was caused by the defendant’s failure to uphold his duty to drivers on New Mexico roads. If successful, the victims could receive a substantial judgment against the defendant to make up for the injury that they suffered.

Have You Been in an Auto Accident?

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, even if it is not as strange or interesting as this one, it may have been caused by the negligence of another driver. The New Mexico accident lawyers at The Fine Law Firm would be happy to review and discuss your case, and let you know if they think you might be entitled to compensation. Our skilled and dedicated attorneys will personally represent your interests, and they have the experience to handle the strangest and least expected types of cases. The Fine Law Firm represents clients in all kinds of New Mexico personal injury cases, including auto accidents. Give us a call today at (505)889-3463 or contact us through our website for a free consultation regarding your case.

More Blog Posts:

New Mexico Supreme Court Finds That Lack of Foreseeability Does Not Prevent a Premises Liability Claim from Going to Trial, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 20, 2014.

New Mexico Supreme Court Finds That Lack of Foreseeability Does Not Prevent a Premises Liability Claim from Going to Trial, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 20, 2014.