Albuquerque Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Advising Residents of Albuquerque
Often, an innocent victim pays the ultimate price for drunk driving. In spite of public awareness about the risks of driving under the influence, many people continue to imbibe and get behind the wheel. Sometimes they do this even after one or more criminal DUI convictions. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you can consult the Albuquerque car accident lawyers at the Fine Law Firm to explore your options.
Why Choose Us?
- We prepare all accident claims as if they are going to trial. Our lawyers are ready to go to court on your behalf if your case does not settle.
- We communicate constantly with our clients. Our lawyers are always available by phone or appointment – 24/7 – and can come to you, if necessary.
- We have a 99% success rate with personal injury claims. We have historically recovered outstanding results for clients through hard work and commitment.
- We keep our legal fees affordable. Our Albuquerque drunk driving accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you have no risk in pursuing compensation.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Even in a case that seems as cut-and-dry as one involving an intoxicated driver, insurance companies in New Mexico can make it difficult for victims to obtain fair compensation. Insurers resort to many tactics to limit their liability for victims’ damages – including denying, delaying and disputing claims. They may also offer far less compensation than you believe your accident is worth. Hiring a DWI accident lawyer can enable you to combat these strategies and achieve the outcome you need to move forward after a bad accident.
What Is New Mexico’s DWI Law?
As is the case in most states, it is against the law to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in New Mexico. Any degree of impairment could lead to a driving while intoxicated charge in New Mexico. With a blood alcohol content level of at least 0.08% while driving, however, a police officer needs no other reason to make an arrest for DWI. The penalties for driving while intoxicated can include expensive fines and time in jail, as well as suspension of the driver’s license. The drunk driver could also face civil liability if he or she causes an auto accident. As a victim of the crash, you may be able to hold the drunk driver financially responsible for your damages.
Seeking Compensation from a Drunk Driver
Charges may be brought against a drunk driver in criminal court. Even if the defendant is not convicted, moreover, you can potentially bring a lawsuit against him or her in civil court. Different standards of proof apply in criminal and civil court, and the standard in civil court (“preponderance of the evidence”) is much easier to meet than the criminal standard of proof. You may be able to recover both compensatory damages and punitive damages from a drunk driver who caused you to suffer serious injuries. Punitive damages are awarded both to punish and deter, and the amount varies depending on what would be necessary to accomplish those purposes.
However, even if you can get a judgment in a civil case, you may not be able to recover the full amount of damages if the drunk driver does not have an insurance policy with significant coverage or does not have assets. New Mexico has a dram shop law (New Mexico Statutes Annotated, section 41-11-1) that can impose liability on an establishment or homeowner that serves alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated. It may be helpful to sue an establishment under dram shop laws. However, in dram shop and social host lawsuits, the bodily injury damages are capped at $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident.
You can potentially recover compensation from a bar, for example, if you show it sold alcohol to the defendant while he or she was already drunk, his or her drunkenness was “reasonably apparent,” and the server knew or should have known from the circumstances that the person was drunk. All of this may be proved through circumstantial evidence.
You can also try to hold a social host liable if he or she gives alcohol to guests recklessly in disregard of the rights of others, including the drunken guest. For example, if a person goes to a party, the host of the party may notice that this person is staggering around and speaking unintelligibly but still serve him drinks. If the drunk driver is speeding and crashes into you, causing you to suffer paralysis, you can sue both the driver and the host. You would have to prove that the host served the alcohol in reckless disregard of your rights and the defendant’s rights.
Compensation Available During a Drunk Driving Accident Suit
The goal for most plaintiffs during drunk driving accident claims is to obtain compensation for their damages. At the Fine Law Firm, we do not believe you should have to pay for your vehicle repairs or medical bills if a drunk and reckless driver caused them. We can take the appropriate legal steps to help you recover financial compensation for your economic and noneconomic losses.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and capacity to earn
- Property damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
The value of your drunk driving accident case will depend on factors such as the seriousness of your injuries. In general, you will qualify for a higher settlement or judgment award if you have catastrophic injuries such as broken bones or a concussion. Our attorneys can evaluate your case and let you know how much we believe it could be worth. Then, we can represent you during a damage claim to demand maximum compensation.
Common Drunk Driving Accident Injuries and Losses
At the Fine Law Firm, we have helped clients with many serious car accident injuries. We empathize with crash victims whose lives will never be the same after catastrophic collisions. Our attorneys know how to create strong legal strategies that focus on a client’s healing and future recovery. We can accept drunk driving accident cases in Albuquerque involving many different physical injuries.
- Bone fractures
- Head and brain injuries
- Lacerations and scarring
- Spine and back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic amputations
- Wrongful death
No matter what injuries you or a loved one suffered in a collision with an intoxicated driver, our attorneys can help you pursue fair and full compensation. We excel in obtaining fair outcomes for those who need it most, such as victims with permanent disabilities or disfigurements. Our attorneys also accept wrongful death drunk driving claims in Albuquerque.
Discuss Your DUI Accident Claim with an Albuquerque Lawyer
After a DUI crash in Albuquerque or the surrounding communities, an attorney may be able to devise multiple strategies you can use in order to seek compensation for your injuries. It is important to retain a legal professional who understands the different possible avenues of relief. At the Fine Law Firm, we are experienced trial attorneys who can help you pursue the greatest amount of compensation possible under the circumstances. Contact us via our online form or call us at (505) 243-4541 to schedule a free consultation. The Fine Law Firm also represents accident victims in Rio Rancho and other areas of New Mexico.