Two 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.
Negligence and Hit-and-Run Accidents in New Mexico
In New Mexico, to bring a negligence action against another individual there are certain elements that must be established to have the case heard by a judge or jury. First, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant owed him or her a standard duty of care and that the defendant breached that duty. In automobile accidents, the first prong is usually easily met if the defendant was driving recklessly or dangerously because all drivers have the duty to drive safely. The,n the plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant’s actions were the actual or proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
If the plaintiff is successful, he or she may be entitled to monetary compensation for his or her injuries. However, in a case where the defendant acted in a particularly egregious or dangerous manner, the plaintiff also may be entitled to punitive damages. The most prominent example is when the other driver is drunk.
In New Mexico, if the wrongdoer was drunk, the plaintiff may be entitled to extra damages because the state wants to punish the driver for acting in an especially reckless manner. Furthermore, in some instances, attorneys may be able to argue that hit-and-run accidents are also malicious and reckless, and therefore punitive damages may be awarded in those types of cases as well.
Contacting a New Mexico Attorney for Personal Injury Representation
The Fine Law Firm is comprised of personal injury attorneys who have several years of experience in settling, negotiating, and litigating complex accident cases. Personal injury cases involve a significant amount of preparation and investigation. An attorney is crucial in increasing your chances of success. The Fine Law Firm is experienced at dealing with adverse parties and difficult insurance companies. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of an automobile accident, you may be entitled to past medical bills, future medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and other damages related to the injuries you incurred. These cases are often complex, but you can contact one of our attorneys at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Sleeping Driver Responsible for Fatal Lea County Accident, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 9, 2014.
Investigation Continues into Semi-Truck Crash that Killed Four Texas Student Athletes, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 13, 2014.