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A Look at Legal Principles in Personal Injury Law

A recent Law.com article discussed several important legal principles that can affect personal injury cases. Here, we discuss them and how they may impact your case.

Dram Shop

Dram shop laws help hold tavern owners liable for injuries that intoxicated adults cause to others while negligently driving motor vehicles. The rationale behind this law was that alcohol vendors should be financially responsible for serving alcohol to a person who was obviously intoxicated who then went on to harm a third party due to their intoxication. Drunk drivers may not be responsible enough to maintain adequate liability insurance to cover damages by innocent third parties, so dram shop laws allow victims to pursue other forms of financial compensation from negligent alcohol vendors.

New Mexico’s dram shop law applies when:

  • The alcohol vendor sold alcohol to an intoxicated person,
  • It was reasonably apparent to the alcohol vendor that the person was intoxicated, and
  • The alcohol vendor knew from the circumstances that the person was intoxicated.

New Mexico’s dram shop law also applies to social hosts who recklessly provided alcoholic beverages in disregard to the rights of others.

These laws exist to deter alcohol vendors and social hosts from serving alcohol to an intoxicated person or minor. They also represent the state’s public policy that drunk driving accident victims should not have to bear the costs of injuries that drunk drivers and other negligent parties cause.

Establishing the legal elements above often depends on gathering sufficient evidence of the alcohol vendor or social host’s knowledge and actions involving the drunk driver.

Common Carriers

Another important legal principle is that common carriers (like bus drivers, train conductors, and plane pilots) owe a higher duty of care to the public they serve than other types of drivers. Because of the special relationship between common carriers and passengers, common carriers must exercise the highest degree of care in promoting the safety of their passengers. If the common carrier fails to meet this burden and a person is injured; as a result, the injured party may be able to hold it responsible for damages they sustain.

How Our Albuquerque Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You

If you are involved in an accident, an Albuquerque car accident attorney from Parnall Law Firmcan help by:

  • Investigating your case and identifying all potentially liable parties
  • Reviewing all insurance policies that may apply, including UM insurance
  • Reviewing the most recent changes in the law and how they can affect your claim
  • Gathering supporting evidence to establish liability and damages related to your case
  • Preparing your case for trial
  • Negotiating maximum compensation for your case

Hurt? Call Bert today

At Parnall Law our car accident lawyers in Albuquerque will investigate your claim and work to maximize the value of your claim. Our Albuquerque lawyers have represented Albuquerque and Central New Mexico accident victims since 1997. Bert Parnall will use his tenacious, bulldog approach to aggressively pursue justice for clients. We are so sure of our knowledge and skills that we offer a 100% client satisfaction guarantee. Contact us now to learn more.

While pursuing a major in history and French at Rice University in the early 1990s, I spent a year studying at La Sorbonne in Paris in 1991. I received my B.A. from Rice University in 1993 and continued to focus on writing — mostly fiction and plays — for a year before entering New Mexico University School of Law. Since then, my team has helped to recover more than $100 million for our clients. Though my firm has grown quickly to fill the legal needs of our community, it has retained its focus on providing excellent service to clients.