December 2007 Archives

December 16, 2007

New Mexico Drunk Drivers

Drunk driver accidents in New Mexico have consistently been a problem. However, upon closer examination, the nature of their influence has changed over time. In 1982 roughly 65% of all accidents in New Mexico, including Albuquerque, were caused by drunk drivers. Since that time there has been a fairly consistent drop in alcohol related accidents. In 2005 the percentage of accidents that were alcohol related had dropped to 39%.

Although drunk driving in New Mexico remains a social plague, its complexion has, and continues to change. The drunk driving accident fatality rate remains roughly .30% higher than the national average.

December 12, 2007

Government Liability: Maximum Limits

Generally when people are injured through the negligence of any government entity, they do not need to worry if there is enough insurance. However in certain situations, the government may not be responsible for the full value of someone’s injury.

The New Mexico state Legislature has imposed a limit on the amount of money that any branch of government would have to pay an injured victim. Only $300,000 can ever be awarded to cover medical expenses, and only $400,000 can cover the value of the injury itself including pain and suffering, lost wages, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. This means that, in New Mexico, somebody can die as a result of the New Mexico government’s gross negligence and still only recover $400,000. Throughout the legal community this is known as a cap, meaning that the New Mexico government’s exposure to pay somebody for their injury is capped at $400,000 for the injury itself.

December 8, 2007

Impairment Ratings

New Mexico Impairment Ratings

Serious injuries can occur via accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, government liability, product liability, or most any other form. Getting the highest possible recovery from a New Mexico injury case is the goal of many attorneys. Sometimes the combination of the injury and the policy limits can make it an easier task. However, there are certain situations in which the insurance companies are reluctant to pay full value despite a serious injury. When it becomes necessary to convince an insurance company or potentially a jury of the serious nature of an injury, an injury impairment rating may be useful. An impairment rating quantifies a decrease in body function or ability following an injury. Impairment ratings are determined by a visit with a medical examiner who usually interviews the patient and performs a series of tests. The impairment rating is typically read as a percentage which reflects the extent of the injury. For example, a 50% whole body impairment rating would reflect that the injury victim is suffering a loss of approximately half of his or her previous abilities. One benefit of an impairment rating is that it often provides a clear description of what an injury victim will have to live with for the rest of his or her life. Determining whether to get an impairment rating is important to an injury case and should be discussed carefully with an injury attorney.
December 6, 2007

Semi Truck Accidents

Semi truck accidents in often result in wrongful death cases. Wrongful death and truck accident lawyers will tell you that these cases often require immediate action to preserve important pieces of evidence. These cases typically involve commercial carrier insurance policies and have limits far in excess of many basic insurance policies. It is important to select an attorney familiar with Federal Trucking Laws, and State Trucking Laws.

Failure for trucking companies to comply with multiple laws and regulations may open the possibility of punitive damages that extent beyond the available insurance limits. Wrongful death cases the result from semi truck accidents require both immediate action and thorough exploration to maximize recovery.