If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you need a seasoned and dedicated Albuquerque drunk driving accident lawyer to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call (505) 207-4401 or reach Davis Kelin online to arrange a free consultation today.
Our legal team has over 50 years of combined experience successfully handling injury cases and achieving favorable case results for our clients.
We aggressively pursue maximum compensation for our clients.
We understand the emotional toll that drunk driving accidents can take on victims and their families. Our Albuquerque car accident lawyers provide compassionate support throughout the legal process.
Why Drunk Driving Accident Victims Need a Lawyer
An experienced Albuquerque drunk driving accident lawyer possesses a deep understanding of the complex legal landscape surrounding DUI incidents, including regulations, procedures, and potential defenses. This knowledge is invaluable in building a strong case on your behalf. Drunk driving accident lawyers have the resources and connections to conduct thorough investigations to ensure the drunk driver is held accountable and you recover compensation that covers the full extent of your losses.
Dealing with insurance companies after a collision can be unnecessarily stressful. A lawyer can handle all communications, advocating for your rights and protecting you from being taken advantage of during the claims process. In the event that your case goes to trial, having an Albuquerque lawyer with trial experience is crucial. They can skillfully present your case in court, cross-examine witnesses, and navigate the legal proceedings to secure the best possible outcome for you.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident in Albuquerque?
Although the majority of the blame for a drunk driving accident will fall on the intoxicated driver and their insurance company, there may be other parties who are liable. Here are a few examples of other parties that you may be able to hold accountable if their negligence played a role in your collision:
Bar / Restaurant Owners or Managers
Servers and Bartenders
Liquor Store Attendants or Owners
New Mexico has a dram shop law that allows for liability to extend to establishments that serve or sell alcohol. If an establishment knowingly serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person who later causes an accident, they may share liability for the damages.
Social Host Liability
In some cases, liability may extend to social hosts who provide alcohol to guests. For example, If a person hosts a gathering, serves alcohol to an individual who is visibly intoxicated, and that person later causes a drunk driving accident, the social host may be partially liable for the resulting damages.
Types of Compensation Available
Victims of drunk driving accidents may be eligible for various types of compensation, such as the following:
Compensation to cover current and future medical costs related to injuries sustained in the accident—such as hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment.
Compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any other property damaged in the collision.
Compensation for income lost due to time away from work during recovery. This includes both past and future lost earnings if the injuries result in a reduced capacity to work.
Pain and Suffering
Non-economic damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish, are often considered in settlements or verdicts. The impact of the injuries on the victim’s overall quality of life is taken into account.
Loss of Consortium
This type of compensation addresses the impact the injuries have on the victim’s relationship with their spouse, including loss of companionship, support, and intimacy.
Wrongful Death Damages
In cases where a drunk driving accident leads to the death of a victim, surviving family members may be eligible for compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional impact of losing a loved one. Our Albuquerque wrongful death lawyer can assist in these cases.
In cases of extreme negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded. These are designed to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.
Civil vs. Criminal Drunk Driving Cases
In a civil case, you, as the victim, have the opportunity to pursue compensation for damages such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. This legal action is directed at holding the responsible party financially accountable for the harm caused.
On the other hand, a criminal case is initiated by the state to punish the drunk driver for their criminal actions. While you may be called upon as a witness in the criminal proceedings, the primary goal is the offender’s punishment, which may include fines, probation, or incarceration.
Both civil and criminal cases can run concurrently, each addressing different aspects of the incident.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Hit by a Drunk Driver?
After an accident involving a drunk driver, it is critical to try and remain calm and take the following steps to protect your health and right to compensation:
Prioritize Safety. Ensure your safety and the safety of others at the scene. Move to a safe location away from traffic if possible.
Call Emergency Services. Dial 911 to report the accident. Request both police and medical assistance to the scene.
Do Not Confront the Driver. Avoid confrontations with the drunk driver. Wait for law enforcement to handle the situation.
Document the Scene. Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, damages, license plates, and any visible injuries. These photos can be crucial evidence later.
Obtain Information. Once police arrive, you can ask an officer if it is safe to exchange information with the other driver, including names, addresses, insurance details, and vehicle registration information. If not, the police report will contain this information.
Identify Witnesses. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information. Their statements may be valuable during insurance claims or legal proceedings.
Cooperate with Law Enforcement. Provide a detailed statement to the police. Mention any signs of the other driver’s intoxication that you observed.
Seek Medical Attention. Even if you feel fine, seek medical attention as soon as you leave the scene. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical examination documents your condition.
Report to Your Insurance. Report the accident to your insurance company. Provide accurate information and inform them of the other driver’s suspected intoxication.
Consult an Attorney. Contact an Albuquerque personal injury attorney experienced in drunk driving accidents. They can provide guidance on legal options, help you navigate the process, and advocate for your rights.
Keep Records. Keep a record of all documents related to the accident, including medical bills, repair estimates, and correspondence with insurance companies.
Remember that your well-being and safety are the top priorities. By taking these steps, you can protect yourself, document the incident, and increase the likelihood of a successful insurance claim or legal action against the drunk driver.
Get Expert Representation from Davis Kelin Law Firm
If a drunk driver in Albuquerque has severely injured you or a loved one, reach out to Davis Kelin. We offer free consultations; call (505) 207-4401 or message us online today.
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