Last month, a devastating accident resulted in several serious injuries, a lost limb, and the death of a young New Mexico boy and a woman. According to a prominent New Mexico news source, the accident occurred when a drunk driver slammed his car into a vehicle carrying several children. The accident resulted in a young boy losing his life, his mother losing an arm, the mother’s best friend dying because of injuries she sustained, and six other children suffering injuries.
The most tragic part of this event was that the driver just bonded himself out of jail a few days before. The driver had a series of charges dating back several years that included driving while intoxicated and many violent crimes, such as child abuse, kidnapping, sexual assault, and battery. The driver attempted to bond out several months before. A pre-trial services worker believed that the driver was a “danger to himself or others,” but his bond was eventually granted. As of the most recent reports, charges are pending.
Collecting Damages after Being a Victim in a Negligence Suit in New Mexico
After an individual or their loved one suffers an injury because of the negligence of another, they may try to recover damages for those injuries. There are two main types of damages in personal injury suits: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory Damages in New Mexico
In New Mexico, an award of compensatory damages is intended to compensate the victim for the injuries and damages they suffered. Often, the party may also be awarded liquidated damages or nominal damages. These types of damages awards sometimes include payments for things such as medical expenses, non-medical expenses, and loss of wages. Non-medical expenses may include the general expenses the plaintiff must now incur because of their injuries. This includes things to make their day-to-day life as normal as possible.
Pain and suffering damages are also included in compensatory damages. This not only compensates the plaintiff for the physical pain but also in some circumstances the emotional suffering that occurs after a person is injured.
Punitive Damages in New Mexico
Unlike compensatory damages, which are designed to make the victim whole again, punitive damages focus on the defendant. These damages are awarded solely to punish the defendant and provide retribution to the plaintiff. In New Mexico, it is very important that a plaintiff who wishes to pursue punitive damages consult with an attorney because these types of awards can be difficult to obtain. They are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted particularly recklessly, egregiously, or intentionally.
In a situation such as the case above, it is possible that the family would consider pursuing punitive damages because of the allegedly wanton behavior of the defendant and the subsequent tragedy that ensued.
Have You Been a Victim of the Negligence of Another in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident because of the negligence of another party, it is important that you consider hiring an attorney to assist you with your claim. The attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have many years of experience settling and litigating claims of this nature. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation, such as the types discussed above. Contact the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
DWI Suspect Involved in Fatal New Mexico Crash Free on Bond Awaiting Trial, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 27, 2015.
New Mexico Woman Arrested after Arriving at Husband’s DUI Stop Drunk, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2015.