Albuquerque Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drunk drivers are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road. According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, more than half of all crash-related fatalities were caused by intoxicated drivers in one recent year. In fact, intoxication was six times more likely to have contributed to a traffic fatality than any other factor.
The cumulative toll of a drunk driving accident – the medical bills, painful injuries, long-term mental trauma, and more – often affects DWI accident victims for the rest of their lives. But while there’s no way to undo a drunk driving accident, New Mexico law recognizes that victims should not have to pay for the consequences of someone else’s negligent actions. If you’ve been hurt in a drunk driving accident, you could be owed compensation from the person responsible for your injuries.
New Mexico drunk driving accident lawyer Bert Parnall has more than 20 years of experience helping injured people get the money and justice they deserve. In that time, he and his team have recovered more than $100 million for his clients. They can help you seek the fair compensation you’re owed. Contact Parnall Law today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Albuquerque.
What is New Mexico’s DWI Law?
Under New Mexico’s drunk driving law, any driver who registers a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is presumed to be impaired and can be charged with DWI. However, drivers can also be charged with DWI if they have consumed any alcohol, as long as their ability to drive safely is affected.
For a personal injury claim, though, a drunk driver doesn’t need to have been charged with a crime In a personal injury lawsuit, you only need to prove the driver was negligent – meaning that they failed to take reasonable steps to avoid injuring you.
While you can use a criminal DWI conviction as evidence in a personal injury case, driving while impaired is generally considered a form of negligence. So even if the other driver is not charged with DWI or manages to get the charge against them dismissed, you can use other evidence to show they should be held liable for your injuries.
Common Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
Albuquerque drunk driving crashes frequently leave victims with devastating injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Damage to muscles, joints, and connective tissues
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Back injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Crushed, amputated, or severed limbs
- External injuries to the skull and face
- Traumatic brain injuries
How to Seek Compensation from a Drunk Driver
To successfully recover compensation from a drunk driver after an accident, you will need to provide evidence that the driver was negligent, and their negligence directly caused your injuries. You can use evidence to show this, such as:
- Police accident reports and breathalyzer tests
- A conviction for drunk driving
- Statements provided by witnesses who saw the driver drinking before the accident
- Photos taken at the scene of the crash
- Testimony from forensic accident investigators
- Your personal account of the crash
- The reports of other eyewitnesses
Once you have established that the driver was negligent, you will have to show how their negligence led to your injuries. Your medical records and testimony from medical experts can help supplement your case. You will also need proof of any economic losses you have suffered, so be sure to save your medical bills, receipts, pay stubs, and other such records.
What Is New Mexico’s Dram Shop Law?
While a drunk driver is the party primarily responsible for an accident because they chose to get behind the wheel while impaired, they are not the only party who can potentially be held liable for a crash. New Mexico law recognizes that bars, liquor stores, and other vendors that sell alcohol often have some responsibility for drunk driving accidents.
Under New Mexico’s “Dram Shop” law, a vendor can be held liable for a drunk driving accident if they sold alcohol to someone who was impaired if their impairment was reasonably apparent. Generally speaking, this means the person who was served must have exhibited obvious signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech and poor coordination. A vendor can also be liable for a drunk driving accident when they knowingly served alcohol to a minor who caused a drunk driving crash.
What Is New Mexico’s Social Host Liability Law?
Bars, liquor stores, restaurants, and other businesses that sell alcohol are not the only places that can over-serve a potential drunk driver. It’s certainly not unheard of for someone to cause a drunk driving accident after consuming alcohol at a party or other social occasion.
State law recognizes that social hosts also have a responsibility to help prevent drunk driving accidents by not over-serving someone already intoxicated. If a drunk driver hits you after they left someone’s home or another social venue, you can file a claim against the host, provided you can demonstrate the host was reckless when it came to the safety of others. This usually means providing evidence that the driver who caused the accident was noticeably intoxicated when they left the host’s premises.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer in Albuquerque Can Help
Here are a few ways the Parnall Law Firm can help if you have been injured in an Albuquerque drunk driving accident:
- Identifying all the potentially liable parties — Our team can review the facts of your case and determine if another party may be partly responsible for an accident, such as a liquor store or bar. If someone besides the drunk driver is partially liable for an accident, we can handle these claims, too.
- Gathering evidence to support your case — Our trained investigators can review the crash scene, your medical records, and other evidence to help you build a strong case for compensation.
- Handling paperwork and correspondence — There’s a lot of paperwork involved in drunk driving accident cases, and it’s important these forms are filled out correctly. We can handle all this paperwork for you and take care of any necessary correspondence with the insurance companies, liable parties, or their attorneys.
- Negotiating for a settlement — Most drunk driving accident cases end in an insurance settlement. We will work hard to help you reach a fair agreement with the insurers of all the liable parties.
- Bringing your case to court — If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to bring your case to court to make sure your rights are upheld.
Hurt in a Drunk Driving Accident? Call Bert Today
Bert Parnall and the rest of the team at Parnall Law are committed to helping drunk driving accident victims get the money they need to rebuild their lives. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to get started on your case.