Last week, an Albuquerque man was killed in a head-on collision with a man suspected of driving while intoxicated. 43-year-old Salvador Garcia died on New Mexico Highway 337 in Tijeras after a pick-up truck driven by 56-year-old Randy Curry reportedly crossed the center line into oncoming traffic. According to police, Curry, who was also injured in the collision, is expected to be charged with vehicular homicide in connection with the accident.
When the crash occurred, Garcia was returning to Albuquerque after taking his son to his ex-wife’s home. When the man did not return home for dinner, Garcia’s fiancée called his former spouse to inquire regarding his whereabouts. Both women then attempted to retrace Garcia’s path until they reached a roadblock near the scene of the fatal accident. Both women waited at the roadblock for more than four hours before learning Garcia was killed.
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury claims filed in the State of New Mexico each year. Motor vehicle crashes are often the result of inattentive, reckless, drunk, or otherwise impaired drivers. Additionally, automobile collisions may be caused by vehicle defects, dangerous street conditions, and a range of other factors. Although many car crashes will be minor, they can also result in tragic fatalities as was the case last week. Individuals who are hurt or the relatives of those killed by a drunk driver may be awarded compensation for their medical costs, suffering, pain, permanent or temporary disability, and punitive damages.
Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents are all too common. In New Mexico, drunk or impaired driving cases consist of a criminal phase where charges are brought against an intoxicated driver and a civil phase where a victim may seek compensation. Oftentimes, an impaired driver’s automobile insurance policy limits are insufficient to fully compensate an accident victim for his or her injuries. Where a driver’s liability or uninsured motorist insurance limits are insufficient, a victim may seek to file a claim against a restaurant or bar where the inebriated driver was served alcohol prior to an accident. This is referred to as a dram shop case. A qualified car accident lawyer can explain the claim process in more detail.