May 2012 Archives

May 24, 2012

New Mexico Has the Highest Rate of Injury Deaths in the Nation

185442_with_a_church_and_buses_2%20sxchu.jpgA new report published by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says that New Mexico has the highest death rate from injuries in the United States. According to the report, The Facts Hurt: A State-by-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, accidental injuries are the third leading cause of death in the nation and the number one cause for Americans between the ages of one and 44. Men reportedly account for over two-thirds of all injury-related deaths throughout the country. An estimated 50 million Americans are treated by health care professionals for a wide variety of injuries every year. Additionally, more than 2.8 million people are hospitalized and approximately 12,000 children die as a result of serious injuries each year.

According to the research report, which focused on state laws and policies designed to reduce injuries, thousands of injury deaths every year are completely preventable. Common causes of injury such as texting and driving, concussions, falls, drowning, car accidents, and others were examined in the report. According to Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director at the Trust for America's Health, the report is focused on scientifically supported steps that can potentially increase safety for millions of families in the U.S.

The report ranked each state on a scale of 1 to 10 using specified criteria related to safety laws such as seat belt and helmet use. Although about half of states scored five or lower, New York and California tied for top honors with a 9 out of 10 ranking. Ohio and Montana secured the lowest score of only 2 out of 10 and New Mexico’s injury prevention policies reportedly scored 7 out of 10. Despite the state’s better than average injury prevention ranking, the report found the number of injury-related deaths in New Mexico between 2007 and 2009 was 97.8 per 100,000 residents, the highest of any state. The national average was 57.9 deaths per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, New Jersey was the safest state with only 36.1 deaths per 100,000 residents. It is important to note, however, the injuries analyzed in the report included both accidental and intentional deaths from violence or suicide.

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May 21, 2012

Doña Ana County Car Accident Kills Three, Injures Two

285433_car_accident%20sxchu%20website.jpgOn Wednesday morning, a Doña Ana County automobile accident near the New Mexico state line killed three people. According to police, 22-year-old Andrew Valenzuela of Anthony, New Mexico ran a stop sign and crashed his two-door Honda into a Ford pick-up truck at the intersection of Westside Drive and Vinton Road. The unidentified driver of the pick-up truck stated after he saw the Honda run the stop sign he veered left in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the accident.

Although Valenzuela died at the scene of the crash, his passengers were taken by helicopter to an El Paso hospital. His pregnant girlfriend, 21-year-old Karla Diaz, delivered a baby girl shortly after her arrival at the hospital. Unfortunately, both mother and baby later died. The couple’s two-year-old child was also taken to the hospital in critical condition. The child reportedly suffered life threatening injuries including severe trauma to his head. The driver of the truck was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for cuts to his head and face.

Despite that alcohol was not a suspected factor in the crash, Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office deputies stated an autopsy will be conducted on Valenzuela to be sure. According to law enforcement officers, neither Valenzuela nor Diaz was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Although the couple’s two-year-old child was strapped in a child safety seat, the seat was not securely fastened to the vehicle.

An unexpected collision with an inattentive driver can happen at any time. The injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision are often severe and can be disabling. If you were hurt by an inattentive or impaired driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain, suffering, and a variety of other damages. If you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury or other disabling wound in an automobile collision, you are advised to contact a capable New Mexico car accident lawyer as soon as possible following the crash.

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May 15, 2012

Santa Fe Cyclist Injured While Riding in Dedicated Bike Lane

823923_its_been_a_long_road%20sxchu.jpgOn April 25th, 59-year-old Frank Witwol was struck while riding his bicycle in a dedicated bike lane on Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe. Although the lane he was riding in is devoted solely to bicycles, it is also situated between two motorized vehicle lanes. Witwol was reportedly struck from behind by 83-year-old Jeannine Smith as she allegedly crossed the bike lane in order to navigate her automobile into the right-hand turn lane. Although Smith claimed Witwol rear-ended her vehicle, her car was damaged on the front passenger side. Despite that Witwol’s bicycle was destroyed and he spent three nights in the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center with broken ribs and a collapsed lung, Smith was only ticketed by local police. Because alcohol was not a suspected factor in the crash, Smith was cited for inattentive driving.

Witwol stated he has no recollection of the accident that hospitalized him. Still, he is unsure whether he feels confident enough to use similar dedicated bike lanes in the future. He feels his safety may have been placed at risk by using a bicycle lane that is situated between two lanes of vehicle traffic. Despite that such lanes reportedly meet the best practice requirements of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, some cyclists claim bike lanes like those on Old Pecos Trail foster a false and dangerous sense of protection from motorized traffic.

Whether you are traveling in an automobile, riding a bicycle, or merely walking on a sidewalk, an unexpected collision with an inattentive driver can happen anywhere. According to Section 66-3-702 of New Mexico's Motor Vehicle Code, all bicyclists on the roadway should be afforded the same rights as cars. The injuries that a bicyclist may sustain as a result of a crash are often severe and disabling. If you were hurt by an inattentive driver while riding in your car or on your bicycle, you may be eligible to receive compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages, and other damages. If you tragically lost a family member or other loved one in a crash, you may also have a New Mexico wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the collision. You should contact an experienced Roswell bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after any accident with an automobile.

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May 8, 2012

Motorcyclist Killed in Albuquerque Collision

1191472_lost_in_romes_streets%20sxchu.jpgA motorcyclist was recently killed in a crash with a Cadillac on Central Avenue in Albuquerque. According to police, 31-year-old Erminio Gonzalez reportedly drove his Cadillac onto Central Avenue at Rio Grande Boulevard SW and struck a motorcycle driven by 44-year-old Ronald Queen. Queen was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He later died as a result of his injuries.

According to accident witnesses, Gonzalez allegedly attempted to run away from the scene of the crash. One witness claimed he physically dragged Gonzalez back to the location of the accident. A spokesperson for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office stated Gonzalez was arrested on charges of failing to render aid and fleeing the scene of an accident that resulted in death. At the time of the accident, Gonzalez was reportedly on both probation and parole related to drug-trafficking charges. He was released from prison about two months before the collision occurred.

Whether riding your motorcycle, in your automobile, or simply walking down the street, an unexpected crash with an inattentive driver can occur at any time. The resulting injuries are frequently disabling. If you were hurt by an inattentive driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages, and a variety of other damages. If you lost a family member in a fatal motorcycle crash, you may also have a New Mexico wrongful death claim against a negligent driver.

Motorcycle accidents in New Mexico are frequently caused by an automobile driver’s inattention or negligence. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained by the victim of a motorcycle accident are often much more severe than if the same accident had involved the driver of a car or truck. Sadly, motorcycle crashes are more likely to result in serious or catastrophic injuries and death.

New Mexico is a comparative fault accident state. This means even where a motorcycle driver is partially responsible for a crash the motorcyclist may be eligible to receive financial compensation for his or her injuries. After any injury accident, it is a good idea to contact an experienced New Mexico motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you are able.

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