Every state has a law that details the repercussions for drivers who leave the scene of an accident without rendering assistance to others involved in it. Broadly speaking, an accident is characterized as a hit-and-run if a driver is involved in an accident with an object, another driver, or pedestrian and leaves the scene without rendering assistance or providing their identifying information. Interestingly, unlike many other statutes of this nature, there is no requirement of fault, meaning that even if a driver is not at fault for the accident, they can still be in violation of the law if they leave the scene.
There is a great range of criminal penalties for those who leave the scene of an accident. These penalties range from fines to incarceration. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the violation may be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. Additionally, the fleeing party may be civilly liable those who were injured by the driver’s decision to flee the scene. In many cases, allegations involve injuries that were worsened by the fact that the injured party did not receive timely medical attention.
Under New Mexico’s law, a driver should not leave the scene of the accident except if it is temporarily to get emergency assistance. It is crucial that anyone involved in an accident provide their identifying information, render a reasonable amount of assistance, and contact emergency personnel. Drivers must exchange information, including their name, address, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance details. The failure to do this may result in liability.
Proposed Bill for Stricter Penalties for New Mexico Hit-and-Run Drivers
According to a recent news source, New Mexico has seen an increase of car accidents and reckless drivers over the past few years. As a result, New Mexico lawmakers are devising ways to address the state’s dangerous drivers. An Albuquerque legislator has recently argued that the current law does not adequately punish hit-and-run drivers. Currently, New Mexico categorizes hit-and-run driving offenses as third-degree felonies. However, the legislator wants to change hit and run offenses to second-degree felonies. This change would result in a potential increase of jail time. Further, even damaging a car and leaving the scene would be considered a felony. The legislator acknowledges that these accidents are often not intentional but the decision to leave is one that is consciously made. Similarly, drunk drivers who leave will be looking at more serious charges as well.
Have You Been Injured by a New Mexico Hit-and-Run Driver?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a hit-and-run driver, you should contact the Fine Law Firm. These cases are particularly devastating as the damages in hit-and-run accidents are often worse than they otherwise would be. If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in obtaining this compensation. The attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have years of experience successfully advocating on behalf of their injured clients. Contact one of the Fine Law Firm attorneys at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Rules in Favor of School in Slip-and-Fall Case, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 7, 2017.
New Mexico Bill Targets Repeat DWI Offenders, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 18, 2017.