Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer | Albuquerque
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In 2019, the national alcohol-impaired driving fatality rate per 100,000 people was 3.1.
In New Mexico, that number stood at 6.2 people per 100,000 people, making it the fifth worst state for drunk-driving deaths in the U.S.
In 2020, 36.7% of all fatal crashes in New Mexico were alcohol-related.
In general, New Mexico’s alcohol-related car accidents in 2020 made up 5.5% of all crashes, the highest increase in alcohol-related accidents on record in a decade.
And with two major interstate systems crisscrossing the Albuquerque metro area, Albuquerque took the lead for the most drunk-driving crashes in the state.
New Mexico has a drunk driving problem. If a drunk driver injured you or a loved one in New Mexico, you could be entitled to compensation for the losses you suffered as a result.
As the victim, you should not have to pay for someone else’s recklessness and poor decisions.
At Flores, Tawney, & Acosta P.C., an experienced New Mexico drunk driving accident lawyer can help you hold drunk drivers accountable for the harm they have caused.
While nothing will fully compensate you for the trauma of a drunk driving accident, an experienced New Mexico drunk driving accident lawyer can help.
They first help by taking the legal burden off of you—thereby giving you the space and peace you need to heal.
Once our lawyers secure compensation on your behalf, they give you further relief from the financial stresses you have experienced since the crash.
Seeking Compensation from a Drunk Driver
Under New Mexico law, operating any vehicle with a breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater is illegal.
The legal limit is even lower for commercial vehicle drivers and people under 21.
A driver may also be charged with a DWI even when their BAC is under the legal limit if the state can prove alcohol or drugs impaired their driving ability.
Prosecutors in New Mexico will hold a drunk driver criminally liable for a drunk driving accident. But in many cases, you can also take a drunk driver to civil court for the financial damages they caused you or a loved one.
Because criminal and civil standards of proof differ, you can even bring a civil suit against a drunk driver if the state charges that driver with a DWI but does not find them guilty.
A Drunk Driving Accident Attorney will Help Seek Compensation from Third Parties
A drunk driving accident attorney will help seek compensation from third parties.
New Mexico has what’s known as Dram Shop laws. These laws hold establishments or homeowners that serve alcohol to intoxicated people responsible for any resulting accidents and injuries.
Dram laws make it possible to sue a bar or a social host for overserving a drunk driver.
However, for dram laws to be applicable, a person’s drunken state must have been “reasonably apparent.” And the bar or server must have known or should have known, given the circumstances, that the person was drunk.
An injury victim may also sue a social host if the host serves a guest alcohol in reckless disregard for the rights of others.
One example is if the host notices a guest exhibiting apparent drunken behavior, like slurring words or having trouble walking, but continues to serve that guest anyway.
In both these cases, if the drunk driver causes an accident that injures you and you can prove that the bar, server, or social host served the driver knowing they were impaired—you may have a viable civil suit against them.
Discuss your case with us during a free consultation.
Proving Civil Liability
If a drunk driving accident damages your car or injures you, you may be able to collect compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance provider.
But if your lawyer cannot reach a reasonable settlement with the insurance company, you can file a lawsuit.
To file a successful personal injury lawsuit against any party involved in a drunk driving accident, you must prove that the party acted negligently and that their negligence caused or contributed to your injury.
To prove a drunk driver’s negligence, you will need to establish four things.
- The driver owed you a duty of care—All drivers owe everyone, including pedestrians and other drivers on the road, the duty to operate their vehicle safely and reasonably. This includes refraining from driving while drugged or intoxicated.
- The driver breached that duty—By driving drunk, the driver who caused the accident breached this duty of care.
- The driver’s breach caused the accident—You must prove that, if not for the driver’s drunken state, the accident and your injuries would not have happened.
- The driver’s breach damaged you—You need to prove that you suffered financial and other losses as a result of the accident.
If you decide to sue the drunk driver, bar, server, or social host that caused your accident, you must also file suit within a limited time.
In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years from the accident’s date. If you are only asking for property damages, the statute of limitations is four years from the accident’s date.
If you and your New Mexico drunk driving injury lawyer can prove all four negligence elements, you will likely be able to recover economic damages.
Economic damages typically include medical care costs, lost wages, and property damage.
You may also be able to recover what is known as non-economic damages, including costs related to your mental anguish, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
In particularly egregious cases like drunk driving, New Mexico courts may also allow victims to ask for punitive damages.
If the behavior was egregious enough, courts could award punitive damages to punish and deter drunk drivers.
Contact The Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers from Flores, Tawney, & Acosta P.C. Today
Drunk driving is a serious issue in the United States, especially in New Mexico. A drunk driving accident lawyer can help with your case.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident and are seeking a compassionate, tireless drunk driving accident lawyer, the NM law firm of Flores, Tawney, & Acosta P.C. is here for you.
With years of combined drunk driving and personal injury experience, our drunk driving accident attorneys know what it takes to secure the compensation you deserve.
We handle drunk driving accident cases throughout the State of New Mexico, and we are committed to ensuring that you get justice for your injuries.