Recently in Auto Accidents Category

January 12, 2015

Midland County Accident Takes Life of One Man During Sleet Storm

Late last month, a Midland County, New Mexico man was killed after being involved in an accident in the County. Local New Mexican news reports indicate that the incident occurred about 20 miles south of the county line on New Year's Eve.

tress-with-ice-crystals-in-sunlight-1409549-m.jpgThe State Troopers indicated that a Ford F-350 was driving northbound on FM 1788. At some point, the driver of the Ford attempted to pass a semi-trailer. Unfortunately, in doing so, the man lost control of his vehicle. After losing control, the car began to roll and ended up in a ditch on its side. The 38-year-old driver of the truck was killed in the accident. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident. State officials explained that the road was quite icy, and it was sleeting at the time of the accident.

Driving in Hazardous Conditions in New Mexico

Driving always encompasses a certain amount of risk, but most often motorists are injured not by a stroke of bad luck but due to the negligence of another. In the above case, it is not indicated whether the semi-truck driver was injured or involved in the accident. However, in many cases when two vehicles are involved in the crash, one party has a higher level of culpability in the crash.

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January 6, 2015

Victim of Christmas Eve Crash in Santa Fe Was Not in Crosswalk at Time of Crash

On Christmas Eve in Santa Fe, an individual was hit by a car and killed as a result of the accident. A local Santa Fe news report indicated that the victim has finally been identified after his family was notified. The 33-year-old man was walking near Cerrillos Road and Siler Road. He was crossing the street when the accident occurred. Unfortunately, he passed away after being hit by the car. A preliminary investigation has revealed that the man was not in a proper crosswalk when he was hit by the car. Since the man was not in the crosswalk when he was crossing the road, the driver of the car that hit him is not currently being charged with any crime.

winter-road-1130317-m.jpgCivil Liability Without Criminal Liability in New Mexico

If an individual was injured by the negligence of another party, he or she may be able to bring a negligence claim against that party if he or she can establish the elements of negligence. To bring a claim of negligence in New Mexico, the plaintiff must be able to prove that he or she was injured by another individual who owed him or her a duty of care, that individual breached that duty, and as a result the plaintiff suffered injuries and damages. Many people believe that if no criminal charges were pressed against the wrongdoer, a civil claim will not be successful. However, that is not the case because the legal standards for criminal negligence and civil negligence differ. Although it is easier to prove negligence if criminal charges were pressed, the absence of them is not a bar to recovery.

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December 26, 2014

Two Fatalities in New Mexico Crash on U.S. 550

Late last week, a crash occurred on U.S. 550 that resulted in the deaths of two individuals. A local New Mexican station reported that the crash occurred around 6:45 p.m. on December 19. Apparently, Sandoval County police noticed a car driving north on U.S. 550 without its light on. The police officers attempted to stop the car, but the driver continued to keep driving.

crashed-car-1148745-m.jpgInstead of stopping, the car started swerving and veering across the northbound lanes. The car was weaving dangerously in and out of traffic. Eventually, a deputy began pursuing the driver, but even then the car continued on. The police stopped pursuing the car while the deputy was following the driver. Shortly after that pursuit, that car and another driver ended up in a head-on collision. The driver and her passenger were killed. The driver in the car was air-lifted and remains in critical condition as of the most recent reports.

Head-On Collisions in New Mexico

All car accidents have the potential to result in serious injuries, but head-on collisions can often be catastrophic. The above situation is a prime example of how head-on collisions often occur. Generally, one car will swerve across lanes and hit the front of another car.

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December 10, 2014

New Mexico Family Involved in Fatal Accident on U.S. 385

Late last week, a family was traveling on U.S. 385 when they were involved in a fatal accident. According to local news reports, a man was driving his Ford north on U.S. 385 in Texas when he crossed over the highway's center. The family was driving a Chevrolet in the southbound direction as the driver of the Ford was moving into their lane.

desert-road-1435468-m.jpgThe driver attempted to avoid the crash and began to brake, but he was unable to navigate the car to avoid the collision. The Ford hit the family's van on the left side, and that hit caused both cars to burst into flames. The family in the Chevrolet included a mother, father, two daughters, and a young son. Unfortunately, all but the young son were killed in the accident. According to the most recent reports, the teenager is in critical condition at a medical center in Texas. Additionally, the driver of the Ford was also pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

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December 4, 2014

University of New Mexico Students Hit and Killed in Accident

broken-glass-1006530-m.jpgTwo University of New Mexico students were killed late last month when their car was T-boned by an individual fleeing in a stolen car. According to a local news report, the man driving the stolen car was on Rio Grande Boulevard. Two students were hit and killed, and two others were seriously injured. Apparently, right after the accident the driver of the car and a passenger immediately left the scene. The driver was eventually arrested.

Two of the young students were killed, and the other two are currently recovering in the hospital. The University has organized a vigil for the students who passed. Court documents indicate that the driver admitted to smoking marijuana just a few hours before the incident occurred, and an investigation revealed marijuana on his person. The investigation is still on-going, but one of the accused individuals did appear in court.

Incidents such as these are devastating and no matter who the wrongful death lawyer is, or what the result of the case may be, it is never enough, and is certainly never justice. At times our civil legal system excels at "making things right" and "compensating a victim" however, when faced with an accident like the one the shook Albuquerque, no legal system can ever be prepared or capable of coming close to addressing the loss that family and loved ones are left with after such an event.

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November 9, 2014

Sleeping Driver Responsible for Fatal Lea County Accident

It appears from the preliminary investigation into a tragic two-vehicle crash that occurred last month that the effects of drowsy driving have taken the lives of two more New Mexicans. The drivers of the two vehicles, which collided head-on, were both killed. Passengers in each vehicle were airlifted to a Texas hospital with serious injuries. According to a local news source, the crash occurred at around 6:40 AM near milepost 60 on State Road 18 in Lea County, between Lovington and Hobbs.

road-and-windmills-1434948-m.jpgThe article indicates that the driver of the southbound vehicle, a 24-year-old man from Lovington, fell asleep while driving and drifted into the northbound lane of traffic, crashing head on into the other vehicle, which was being driven by a 30-year-old man from Los Lunas, New Mexico.

Inattentive and drowsy driving remain among the most concerning dangers for drivers today, and the dangerous decision by a driver not to pull over to rest all too often results in a deadly New Mexico auto accident, as happened last month. Drowsy driving accidents are the most common on rural highways with little to no nighttime lighting and high speed limits, and they often involve vehicles colliding with each other head-on. These factors unfortunately help to explain why accidents involving sleeping drivers have a comparatively high chance of resulting in serious injury or death. Because of this danger, drivers must know to always stop and rest if they are feeling drowsy behind the wheel. Rest stops and expanded shoulders are available for drivers to pull over, and it is always better to be late than to be responsible for a tragedy and potentially encounter significant civil and criminal liability.

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October 20, 2014

Collision with Rail Runner Train Kills Driver and Passenger after Driving Around Rail Crossing Gate

It appears that a driver's poor decision has resulted in two deaths from a collision with a Rail Runner passenger train near Albuquerque last week. According to articles from krqe.com and koat.com, New Mexico State Police have determined that the driver of the car that was hit drove around another car that was stopped at the railroad crossing and then around the arms that were down and into the path of the oncoming train. Both the driver, a 35-year-old man, and the passenger, a 34-year-old woman, were killed in the crash.

train-1433332-1-m.jpgAccording to the article, the victims were a couple who had two children whom they had dropped off shortly before the crash and fortunately were not in the car during the collision.

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September 5, 2014

Alcohol Related Crash in Albuquerque Kills Woman and Baby, Injures 10-Year-Old

A tragic single-vehicle accident in Albuquerque earlier this summer resulted in the death of two passengers, a 30-year-old woman and a 1½-year-old baby, and severely injured the driver's 10-year-old child. The driver of the car, a 41-year-old, was treated at the hospital for minor injuries and booked into an Albuquerque jail in the early morning of July 27 on charges of vehicular homicide. CBS partner KRQE reported that police believe that both alcohol and speed were factors in the saddening crash, and the driver of the car could face serious jail time if convicted of the charges against him.

bar-1-774291-m.jpgDrunk Driving Endangers More than Only the Drunk Driver

This accident demonstrates the unfortunate reality that New Mexico drunk drivers are not only putting themselves at risk when they get behind the wheel, but also other people on the road as well as any passengers in their vehicles. Perhaps the most tragic part of this accident is that one of the children of the suspected drunk driver is now dead and another seriously injured as a result of his alleged conduct. These children were too young to decide for themselves whether it was safe to be on the road with their father driving, and it appears that he was not in a position to make the right decision that night either.

Drunk and Impaired Driving Laws in New Mexico

The New Mexico state legislature has passed laws against drunk driving in an attempt to reduce the number of New Mexico drunk driving injuries and deaths on the roads. If a driver is in control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, he or she is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

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August 20, 2014

Fatigued New Mexico Driver Kills Family of Four in Head-On Collision

A tragic head-on collision earlier this month killed a Texas couple and their two children near Bloomfield, New Mexico. A 24-year-old man apparently became drowsy at the wheel and crossed over the center line on US 550, crashing his truck into a van being driven by the family. According to a CBS article, all four occupants in the van were killed immediately on impact, and the driver of the truck was hospitalized with minor injuries. Authorities say the investigation is ongoing, but it is not yet known how many, if any, of the family members were wearing safety belts at the time of the accident.

motorway-at-twilight-1308588-m.jpgThe Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Across the nation, countless accidents are caused by drowsy driving annually. Most of these accidents occur at high speeds on highways and interstates. Because of the speed that is often involved, accidents related to drowsy driving can be more dangerous than other crashes, and proving that a driver's fatigue caused a New Mexico car crash is not always as easy as it should be.

Many drowsy driving accidents are caused by commercial drivers, who are supposed to keep a log of the hours they spend driving and sleeping every day. These logs can be used in a New Mexico personal injury lawsuit as evidence that the driver was dangerously tired at the time of the accident. Most accidents are caused by private drivers however, and it can be difficult to demonstrate that a private driver was not adequately rested leading up to an accident.

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July 20, 2014

Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office Cracking Down on Illegal Weekend Drag Racing

Residents of Bernalillo County may have noticed an increase in the amount and frequency of illegal drag racing that has been occurring in northeast Albuquerque during the summer of 2014, and the Bernalillo County Sherriff's Office is starting to take action. According to a report by Albuquerque CBS partner KRQE, the Sheriff's office has began to stake out the popular drag racing spots during the peak times for racing, and arrested 10 people for drag racing last weekend alone.

pro-street-169731-m.jpgThe Dangers of Illegal Racing on Public Roads

Car racing is an inherently dangerous activity, and people who choose to race usually make a conscious choice to put themselves at risk when they decide to participate in a race. Unfortunately, there are often passengers or bystanders that have no choice but to suffer the tragic consequences of a driver's choice to race; a resident interviewed for the article knew a person who was recently killed as a result of speeding on Montgomery road, one of the most popular drag racing spots. In last week's stakeout, sheriff's officers arrested one racer who had children in the car with him, and he was charged with child abuse. It is clear that the drag-racing trend endangers more than just the drivers who choose to race.

Legal Liability for Injuries Sustained in a Race-Related Accident

If someone is injured or killed in a car accident that is caused or worsened by drag racing, holding the responsible parties accountable can be difficult. There may be multiple parties at fault, and all of the insurance companies involved will be trying to divert liability from themselves and their clients. Because the racing (and the speeding that goes along with it) is illegal, making a case against a driver who is racing and causes an accident resulting in injury or death may not be difficult in every case. If the injury victim was involved or complicit in the decision to race, the case can be more complicated though the drivers may still be held accountable. Because of the various factors affecting potential liability for damages, when someone is injured or killed in an accident related to drag racing it is important for a complete and thorough investigation to be done at the scene of the accident and afterwards. It is best for anyone affected by a race-related accident to consult with legal counsel as soon as possible after any injury occurs.

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June 19, 2014

Naked Man "Surfing" atop Pickup Truck Falls onto Road, Causes Multi-Vehicle Accident

A New Mexico man was charged with indecent exposure, leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to wear a seatbelt after an accident that occurred when he fell off a Ford pickup truck near Taos, New Mexico earlier this month. The man was completely naked and standing on top of the truck as it travelled on State Road 522 on June 6. The man apparently fell off the truck, and a motorcycle behind him stopped quickly to avoid running him over. A woman who was in a car behind the motorcyclist was unable to stop in time and rear-ended the motorcycle. Witnesses helped the man into the pickup truck he was riding on, and the driver sped off. Police pulled over the pickup truck a few minutes later and booked both the man who fell and the driver of the truck on various charges. The man was moderately injured and hospitalized, but he was released the following day.

yelling-for-joy-1076678-m.jpgThe Laws against "Naked Truck-Surfing"

Not surprisingly, New Mexico does not have a specific criminal provision that forbids someone from riding naked on top of a truck on the highway. The police were still able to charge the man with indecent exposure and failure to wear a seat belt, but his behavior appears too strange to fit cleanly within the criminal code. Any injuries or damage suffered by the other drivers involved will most likely not be addressed by the criminal proceedings against the man, and if the other drivers want to be paid back for the damage that the man's behavior caused, they will most likely need to file a New Mexico auto accident lawsuit. If the injured victims can show that the man was acting negligently when he decided to ride naked on top of the truck, a civil court will have the ability to order the man to pay the victims to compensate them for their injury.

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June 5, 2014

Distracted Driver Causes Crash on Interstate 25 That Leaves One Dead

A heartbreaking accident occurred on I-25 neat Los Lunas, New Mexico last Wednesday when a 97 year old man was killed in a crash that caused his car to roll several times. According to a report and article by Albuquerque ABC affiliate KOAT, the man's car was clipped by another vehicle. After investigating, local authorities stated that the driver of the other vehicle could face criminal charges, as she may have been distracted at the time and at fault for the accident as well as the death. It appears the authorities suspect the woman may have been texting when she caused the crash, as police from Belen, New Mexico obtained a search warrant for the woman's phone records.

cell-phone-437046-m.jpgThe Dangers of Texting and Driving

Today more than ever, many drivers have access to cell phones or smart phones while driving. Although phones in the car make it easier to get directions and communicate while away from home, it is dangerous for the driver of a car to use a phone while driving. It is difficult for a driver to keep his or her eyes on the road when using a cell phone, and texting while driving is even more dangerous than making a call. If someone causes an accident while texting, they are subject to criminal prosecution under New Mexico law, and can possibly be found guilty of manslaughter.

Civil Liability for Accidents Caused by Texting Drivers

When a driver is distracted by texting and causes an accident, they can be subject to civil liability as well. A victim can file a New Mexico personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for their injury. In New Mexico, it is necessary to prove that a driver negligently caused an accident that led to injury for a plaintiff to collect damages. Negligence can be difficult to prove, but if it can be shown that a driver was texting and distracted at the time of the accident, it is easier for a good New Mexico accident attorney to show that the driver was negligent. When a driver is issued a ticket or criminal charges are sought against them because of texting, the case for damages can become even stronger.

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May 6, 2014

New Mexico Court of Appeals Allows Faulty Crosswalk Case to Proceed

A recent decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals reversed a prior judgment, allowing a woman's product liability and negligence lawsuit against the manufacturer of a crosswalk lighting system and the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico to proceed toward trial.

The Accident

On October 9, 2008 the plaintiff was crossing at a marked crosswalk in Las Cruces, New Mexico, when she was struck by a car and seriously injured. The woman claimed that she pushed the button at the crosswalk, but the flashing lights did not function properly to alert the driver of the car that ultimately hit her. The woman filed suit against the manufacturer of the lighting system and the city of Las Cruces, alleging that the company supplied a defective product, which was negligently employed by the city and caused her to be injured.

The Lower Court's Ruling

The Defendants argued that the woman's claim was invalid based on her own testimony taken in a deposition. The woman said that she would have crossed the street regardless of whether the warning lights were flashing. Based on the fact that the woman suggested the defective lights were not a cause of the accident, the New Mexico district Court ruled that the plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence for a jury to decide that the city nor the manufacturers were liable for her injuries.

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April 13, 2014

New Mexico Man Killed by Collision with Sleeping Driver's Truck

A man from Odessa, New Mexico was killed while travelling in a vehicle that was struck by Ford pickup truck in Lea County earlier this month. According to a report, it was around 11:45 PM on Sunday, April 6 when a 2012 Ford pickup truck veered into oncoming traffic on State Road 128 and crashed head on into another truck, killing a passenger in the second truck and seriously injuring the driver. The driver of the 2012 Ford, who had reportedly fallen asleep while driving, suffered only minor cuts and bruises.

yawn-1077072-m.jpgThe Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Police reported that they did not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, and the driver of the truck had simply fallen asleep behind the wheel. On roads and highways away from cities, especially at night, it can be more difficult to see and worse yet, easier to fall asleep. Some drivers try to listen to loud music or drink caffeinated beverages to stay awake, but once a driver thinks to get a coffee they are usually already too drowsy to safely be driving on the road. Unlike drunk or impaired driving, there is no test for drowsiness, and when someone falls asleep and causes an accident, the authorities will not know they were sleeping unless the driver volunteers that information. Because of this, drowsy driving probably causes even more accidents and injuries than are reported each year.

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March 8, 2014

New Mexico Driver Collides With Another Vehicle and Crashes into a Light Pole, Killing One and Injuring Three

In a tragic accident last month, one woman was killed and three others were injured when their car clipped another vehicle and smashed head-on into a light pole. According to a report by a Fox affiliate KFOX15, the driver was speeding and drove through a red light at an intersection in Anthony, New Mexico, when he struck a car that was stopped at the traffic light and veered into a light pole. None of the occupants had their seat belts on, and the front seat passenger was ejected from the car and died on the scene. The other occupants were severely injured and airlifted to a hospital in El Paso, Texas.

According to the report, the car was speeding by at least 15 miles an hour when it entered the intersection, and there was no evidence that the driver applied the brakes before crashing. Police believe that the driver was drunk at the time, and that his intoxication played a role in the accident.

old-power-1306782-m.jpgDrunk, Negligent, and Reckless Driving in New Mexico

In New Mexico, drivers face various penalties for driving recklessly and causing injury, death or property damage. The driver from last month's accident can face criminal penalties for drunk or reckless driving, battery, and manslaughter. Additionally, the driver may be financially liable to the injured passengers and the family of the deceased woman. If the driver of the car had auto insurance, his insurance company could also be liable for damages. Accidents caused by drunk or reckless driving result in significant costs, and unfortunately the victims of these accidents can rarely afford the expense.

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