A prominent New Mexico businessman was tragically killed while riding his bicycle in late July, and the man who is allegedly responsible is free on bail. According to a New Mexico news report, the 59-year-old businessman was riding his bike less than a mile away from his home.
Evidently, while the man was making his way home, a 25-year-old driver slammed into the businessman with his truck. The man was dragged over 100 feet. After officers arrived on the scene of the accident, they noticed that the truck driver was exhibiting signs of impairment. The police officers reported that the driver had watery, blood-shot eyes and smelled of alcohol. The driver admitted to officers that he had about three beers before striking the businessman.
The driver was given a field sobriety test but would not take a chemical test. He allegedly performed poorly on the sobriety test. The district attorney obtained a warrant to get a blood-draw from the driver. An investigation is still underway, but it seems that the driver was driving on the sidewalk when the accident occurred. Police are still determining where exactly the businessman was when the accident occurred. Unfortunately, the 59-year-old accident victim died at the hospital later that day.
Establishing Negligence in New Mexico by Statute Violation
As the above case sadly illustrates, drunk or impaired driving can have disastrous consequences. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that thousands of deaths occur per year due to impaired driving. In New Mexico, the latest statistics report that upwards of 25 percent of all fatalities involve drunk driving.
When someone has been injured or killed as a result of a drunk or impaired driver, they may consider bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the culpable party. In many personal injury cases, the plaintiff must establish all of the elements of a negligence claim. However, in drunk driving cases a plaintiff may be successful based on negligence per se.
Negligence per se is the theory that certain laws are established to protect certain injuries and certain classes of accident victims. When a culpable party participates in those forbidden activities and an injury results, they can more easily be found negligent. The plaintiff would need to establish that the statute was intended to protect individuals in the same situation. This includes that they were a member of the protected class, and their injuries were those that the law was intending to guard against.
Have You Been Injured By a Drunk Driver in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI accident, you may consider bringing a negligence suit against the wrongdoer. In many cases, the drunk driver has been found guilty in a criminal case. However, this is not the case in all circumstances. In either event, an attorney at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in developing a strong case. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary damages related to the injuries you suffered. Contact the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE today to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Three Killed in Accident Between Two Semi-Trucks and a Tourist Bus, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 11, 2015.
New Mexico Woman Arrested after Arriving at Husband’s DUI Stop Drunk, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2015.