Albuquerque Attorneys for Victims of Crime
Victims of crime have the right to seek civil justice against the offender or party whose negligent or wrongful conduct caused their injuries. The Albuquerque victims’ rights lawyers at Parnall Law Firm, LLC are prepared to fight for you if you suffered a crime-related injury. Our attorneys have the experience and compassion to help you through this traumatic and painful time, and are ready to offer you the legal guidance you need to seek justice. If you were a victim of a crime, contact us today.
Crime Victims in New Mexico
Crimes in Albuquerque occur on a daily basis, but according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the incidents of crime in our city are underreported. According to their Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there were 11,660 incidents of violent crime, such as murder, rape, and robbery, in New Mexico in 2012. Violent crimes were committed at a rate of 559 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the country. This rate was even higher for Albuquerque. Based on the FBI’s data, there were 4,151 violent crimes committed in Albuquerque in 2012, a rate of 645 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants. Approximately two-thirds of these violent crimes were aggravated assaults.
Seeking Civil Justice for Victims of Crime
A victim of crime has the right to seek compensation through a civil suit from the offender or third party whose conduct caused the crime to occur. If a perpetrator is convicted of certain crimes, such as assault or arson, New Mexico law requires that they pay restitution to a victim. In many cases, a perpetrator lacks the financial resources to properly compensate a victim. The New Mexico “Crime Victim Reparation Commission” assists these victims with expenses such as medical care and funeral expenses. These awards, however, are capped at $20,000, or $50,000 in permanent disability cases, and may not adequately compensate a victim.
In a civil suit, a victim can seek proper compensation from an offender, even if the offender was not convicted or prosecuted in a criminal case. A victim can also file a suit against negligent third parties whose actions or failure to act caused the crime to occur, such as property owners. Property owners in New Mexico are required to exercise care in keeping their premises safe for visitors. This includes protecting a visitor from the foreseeable conduct of a third party, regardless of whether that conduct is negligent, intentionally tortious, or criminal. Convenience stores in New Mexico, for example, must have two employees present during the overnight shift or employ security personnel, and are required to provide exterior lighting at night to ensure clear visibility in parking areas and walkways. If a store lacks the proper security or lighting, and the owner does nothing to fix the problem, he or she may be held liable if a robbery occurs and a visitor is injured.
There are several theories under which a crime victim can hold the offender or third party liable. Crimes such as assault or battery have a corresponding intentional tort in civil law. A victim would have to prove liability by a fair preponderance of the evidence in a civil case, which is a lower burden of proof than in a criminal case. A third party can be held liable under a theory of negligence. A crime victim would have to establish that the third party owed the victim a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and that the breach resulted in the victim’s crime-related injuries.
Recovery & Compensation for Victims of Crime
A victim of crime may be able to recover compensation for their injuries from the offender or a third party. If you are a victim of a crime, you may be able to recover for your medical bills, long-term care, loss of income, property damage, and pain and suffering. You may be able to file a wrongful death suit if your loved one died as a result of a crime.
Standing Up For Your Rights
The Albuquerque attorneys for victims of crime at Parnall Law Firm, LLC are committed to seeking justice for crime victims. Our lawyers will fight to hold the offender and other responsible parties accountable for your injuries. We offer caring and compassionate client service, and are ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at 505-268-6500 or reach us via our contact page to set up a free initial consultation.