A New Mexico man was recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after a single-vehicle rollover accident. No other cars were involved, but he did have a passenger who was injured in the accident. The pickup truck went off the shoulder on a curve, came back onto the road, flipped upside down, and landed in the middle of the road. The driver had a blood alcohol content of .099, which led to his arrest.
While this accident occurred across state lines, this incident raises questions that often come up for New Mexico citizens injured in auto accidents by someone who was driving while intoxicated. The charge, DWI, carries varying penalties under criminal statutes that increase with each offense. A conviction for the driver may provide a sense of accountability and fairness, but the injured party is generally still left to pay the medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Pursuing damages in a personal injury action can provide the relief that is needed beyond the criminal conviction.
Drivers in New Mexico have a duty to operate their motor vehicles safely at all times and follow the statutes guiding all motor vehicle use. If a motorist fails in their obligation to drive safely, and this failure leads to the injury you or your loved ones endured, the motorist may be found liable for damages under New Mexico law. Damages in a personal injury lawsuit can include medical expenses, non-medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of consortium, loss of household services, aggravation of pre-existing conditions/injuries, disfigurement or permanent injuries, and pain and suffering. Damages are designed to make the person “whole”, or as they were prior the injury-causing accident, and proof must be shown of the amount incurred or reasonably certain to be required in the future.
Other people or entities beyond the driver may also be at-fault in a DWI accident if their actions contributed to the injury. For example, if someone allowed an intoxicated person to use their car, knowing that he or she had been drinking, then the owner of the car may also be responsible for the damages. If the party or parties responsible for your injuries exhibited outrageous conduct, or reckless conduct that goes far and beyond mere negligence, then punitive damages may be an additional remedy to pursue. Punitive damages are intended to be a deterrent to others from engaging in the same behavior, and may be appropriate to pursue in this type of personal injury action depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
The New Mexico auto accident attorneys at Parnall Law provide experienced and aggressive legal services to the victims of DWI auto accidents. We understand the financial hardships that you and your family face while trying to physically and emotionally recover from the accident, and know that insurance companies are not acting in your best interest when processing a claim. After several years of successfully litigating cases and negotiating settlements, we know how to effectively maximize compensation for our clients. If you or a family member has been injured in a DWI auto accident, then contact our office today at (505) 332-2378 for a free, confidential consultation today.