A New Mexico man was the victim of a fatal motorcycle crash at the end of April on Highway 31 outside of Carlsbad. The motorcyclist crossed the center lane and struck a vehicle head-on that was driving in the opposite direction. The man sustained a catastrophic injury in the form of severe head trauma, and was not wearing a helmet. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the Carlsbad Medical Center. While alcohol was not suspected, the ultimate cause of the accident remains unknown.
Because of its inherent vulnerabilities, motorcycle accidents can cause the most severe type of injuries, also known as catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries include brain injury, spine or spinal cord injury, or any other type of permanent impairment or condition that causes loss of use of a body part or system. These injuries require lifelong care and substantially impact the injured’s ability to earn income. Recovering damages from a negligent motorist or manufacturer can be essential to regaining financial stability, and the New Mexico motorcycle accident attorneys at Parnall Law Firm have the experience you need to aggressively pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
New Mexico does not require adults 18 and over to wear a motorcycle helmet, but the motorcyclist’s choices prior to the accident, like not wearing a helmet, could be considered by the at-fault party as contributions to the accident and injury or death. In any personal injury accident, the injured must show the at-fault party failed in their duty to others on the road to drive safely, and that this failure caused the accident that led to the injury. The injured must show the number of damages sustained by the injury, but the injury may be reduced if the injured is also found to be negligent. New Mexico is a comparative law state that allows a fact finder to reduce the number of damages awarded by the amount of the injured’s negligence. For example, even if the injured is found to be 52% at fault, he or she can recover 48% of the damages available. Even though shared responsibility does not bar recovery, it is important to have experienced counsel to demonstrate how the other party bears a greater share of the fault, so your reward can be maximized.
National statistics reveal the dangers facing motorcyclists on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accidents increased (PDF download) between 1998 and 2007. The NHTSA has since launched two motorcycle safety campaigns aiming to prevent drunk driving and encourage motorists to share the roadways with motorcyclists. The CDC has also assessed the increased risks of catastrophic injury and death to motorcyclists and has publicized motorcycle deaths and injuries as an eminent public health concern. This focused concern by these federal agencies re-enforces the need for motorcyclists to stay safe while riding.
The New Mexico motorcycle accident attorneys at Parnall Law Firm firm will aggressively pursue your motorcycle accident claim to provide you with the recovery you deserve. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and would like to speak to one of our experienced lawyers, call our office today for a free, confidential consultation at 505-332-BERT.