Albuquerque Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
It’s not unusual to see drivers multitasking while driving on Albuquerque roadways. Some drivers eat and drink while behind the wheel, talk on the phone, and turn around to discipline kids in the backseat. The frequency of distracting behavior masks how dangerous it is. Any type of distraction can cause a motorist to overlook a traffic hazard and cause a crash. In fact, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, accounting for more than 3,500 deaths in a recent year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If a distracted driver has hit you, you may seek compensation for your losses, including your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. We can help you demand accountability. Contact Parnall Law Firm today for a free consultation with an Albuquerque distracted driving attorney.
Distracted Driving Accident Causes in New Mexico
A driving distraction is anything that could take the driver’s attention off the road. Distractions can be both physical and mental. A physical distraction is an activity that takes the driver’s hands off the wheel, such as putting on lipstick or adjusting a navigation system. Mental distractions include things like daydreaming or having an intense conversation with another person.
Texting is both a physical and mental distraction. It involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your focus off the road while composing a message. That’s why New Mexico banned texting while driving, with violators assessed a fine based on prior violations.
A mobile phone isn’t the only distraction that can cause a crash. Other common distractions that contribute to collisions include:
- Eating or drinking
- Turning around to talk to passengers
- Changing the radio station or adjusting a playlist
- Grooming, such as putting on make-up
- Trying to program a GPS or read a map
Often, the distracted driver doesn’t see a danger in time to slow down or avoid it so these crashes can happen at high speeds. Some common injuries distracted driver car accident victims suffer include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries, like sprains or strains caused by overextension of the tendons or ligaments
- Facial lacerations, scarring, or disfigurement
- Crushing injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Head injuries like a concussion or brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries, which could cause partial or total paralysis
New Mexico Distracted Driving Laws
New Mexico law requires drivers to obey traffic signs and signals and remain alert when operating a vehicle on the road. Failure to do so can be considered careless driving and lead to fines. If the driver’s behavior was especially heedless of the safety of other road users, the driver could face charges of reckless driving.
Furthermore, the state of New Mexico also prohibits the manual use of a mobile phone or other personal communication device while driving. However, a motorist may use the device if lawfully stopped at a red light or pulled over. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, period. Violation of this law will result in fines.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to sue the at-fault driver to recover compensation for the harm you have suffered. A personal injury lawsuit is separate from any criminal charges the distracted driver may face. But if the other driver received a traffic ticket for texting and driving as part of the accident investigation, your personal injury attorney may be able to use this as part of your personal injury case.
How To Prove a Distracted Driving Accident Claim
Your texting and driving accident attorney must prove that the other driver was distracted and caused the accident, making the at-fault driver financially liable for your medical bills and other losses. When investigating the accident, your lawyer will seek evidence of distracted driving to develop a case. The evidence may include:
- Cellphone records that show the driver was using their phone while driving.
- Witness testimony to establish that the driver was engaged in other activities while driving.
- Traffic camera or security camera footage that may have captured the driver engaging in activities other than the safe operation of their vehicle.
- An accident reconstruction and testimony showing that the driver did not react in time to avoid the collision because they were distracted.
Once your distracted driving attorney establishes that the other driver is at fault for the accident, the attorney can argue that you deserve compensation for the harm that you have unjustly sustained.
Statute of Limitations for a Distracted Driving Injury
New Mexico has a three-year statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit. If you miss the deadline for taking legal action, you may lose your right to pursue compensation.
Compensation for Injured Victims
If a distracted driver caused a car accident that injured you, then you may have a right to demand compensation for the following:
- All medical expenses, past, present, and future, including surgery, a hospital stay, and medications related to the injury
- Medical devices such as wheelchairs or prosthetics
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Loss of wages from time missed at work
- Loss of earning potential for victims who cannot continue in the same career or job after their wreck
In addition to compensation for quantifiable losses, such as medical expenses, New Mexico law allows you to seek compensation for less tangible losses, such as
- Emotional trauma and mental anguish
- Pain and suffering from your injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
- Compromised abilities
- Loss of companionship or consortium with a partner
Contact Parnall Law To Speak with an Albuquerque Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Hurt in a car accident caused by a distracted driver? Call Bert! Contact Parnall Law today for a free case review with an experienced distracted driving car accident lawyer!