Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Roswell, New Mexico

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Many people enjoy drinking alcohol while out with friends, family, or colleagues. While it is perfectly permissible to drink in moderation, it becomes a serious problem when someone who is intoxicated gets behind the wheel of a vehicle. The odds of a drunk driver causing a serious accident increase substantially as they are less able to properly control their vehicle. Our Roswell drunk driving accident lawyers are here to help.

Furthermore, Zinda Law Group knows that when a drunk driving accident occurs, it can be traumatizing and frustrating for the victim and their family. We cannot stop such accidents from happening, but we have helped many families recover afterwards.

If you have been the victim of a drunk driver in Roswell and you are wondering, “Is there a trustworthy injury lawyer near me?” then rest assured, there is. Call the Zinda Law Group Roswell drunk driving accident lawyers at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation.

How Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen?

Drunk driving accidents can happen in a multitude of ways. These are the most common ones:

Head-on Collision

When a driver has been drinking, they struggle to stay in the correct lane. If a driver is unable to remain in their lane, there is a strong possibility that the driver will have a head-on collision with another driver traveling in the opposite direction. Head-on collisions are usually the most dangerous accidents, as the momentum of two cars heading in different directions can cause life-threatening injuries.

Rear-end Collision

When intoxicated, a driver’s ability to judge how close another vehicle is to them becomes challenging. Further, while impaired, a driver’s reaction time slows down, which can lead to the driver not being able to stop or slow down their car in time to avoid a collision.

Pedestrian

When a driver has been drinking, they may not be able to see any pedestrians crossing the street. In that scenario, if the driver’s reaction is too slow, there is a higher chance of the driver striking the pedestrian and causing a serious, potentially fatal injury.

Driving the Wrong Direction on a One-Way Street

When intoxicated, a driver may struggle to comprehend traffic signs indicating where they are allowed to drive. Sometimes traffic signs indicate that a particular road is a one-way street. If a driver is not paying attention, they could find themselves traveling down a one-way street and strike a person, another driver, or a stationary object, like a telephone pole.

Drunk Driving Statistics

Every day, approximately 28 people die in drunk driving accidents. In 2019 alone, over 10,000 people in the U.S. lost their lives due to preventable drunk driving.

For 2019, relevant drunk driving statistics for New Mexico include:

  • 129 people died as a result of a drunk driving accident.
  • Over 30% of driving fatalities were from alcohol impaired drivers.
  • From 2010–2019, there was a 6.7% increase in drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 people of the population.

Common Injuries Seen by Roswell Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

Similar to other car accidents, injuries can range from minor to fatal. Common types of injuries suffered by victims of drunk driver crashes in or near Roswell, New Mexico, include:

  • broken bones
  • fractures
  • internal bleeding
  • neck pain
  • psychological trauma
  • road rash
  • traumatic brain injuries such as concussions
  • whiplash

Roswell Drunk Driving Laws

In Roswell, the laws against drinking while driving are strict. An individual is intoxicated if they are over the 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) legal limit. The number is 0.04 BAC if the individual is operating a commercial vehicle.

For a first Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) conviction, an individual can face a fine of

  • up to $500,
  • up to 90 days in jail, and
  • a 6 month-to-1-year license revocation.

For a second DWI conviction, an individual will face a fine

  • between $500-1,000,
  • up to a year in jail, and
  • a 2 year driver’s license revocation.

A Roswell DWI lawyer can help determine what charges an individual is likely to face depending on their previous DWI history. When they review your case, one of the first things they will ask is, “What was the driver’s BAC level?”

What To Do After An Accident

After an accident involving a drunk driver, there are important steps to take in order to improve your claim and strengthen your odds of recovering maximum compensation.

Evaluate Your Medical Condition

The first, and most important, step is to evaluate yourself and any passengers to determine the extent of your injuries. If you are critically injured, get to the emergency room as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine after an accident, you should still seek medical attention, as symptoms may not show until days later.

Report the Accident

After evaluating your health, contact the Roswell police to report the accident. A police officer will arrive on the scene shortly to evaluate the accident as well as obtain information from you, the other driver, and any potential witnesses. Make sure to ask the police officer for a copy of the report after the officer completes their evaluation because it will help if you decide to pursue a lawsuit against the driver.

Document Evidence

If it is safe, take photos of the accident scene, including any injuries, the driver who hit you, and the vehicle that the driver was operating. If there are any witnesses, obtain their name and contact information, as they will be helpful in proving your side of the case in the event that you pursue a claim.

Due to the fact that memories fade, it is important to document as much relevant information as you can while the event is fresh in your mind. Furthermore, it is recommended that you document any and all medical expenses you received while treating your injuries.

Contact An Injury Attorney

Your next step should be to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in Roswell who can navigate through the relevant laws. The lawyer will know how to investigate and present your claim in the best way so that you can obtain maximum compensation. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience investigating who the responsible driver was, what type of vehicle they were driving, and whether any third parties—such as a restaurant or bar—could be responsible for the accident.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If the accident is serious, you will want to retain an attorney before contacting your insurer. There are several reasons why this is your preferred method:

You May Not Be Able to Think Clearly

In the aftermath of a traumatic accident, you may feel stress, confusion, and uncertain of what your next steps should be. If you contact the insurer prior to obtaining an attorney, you may end up coerced by the insurer to admit something about the accident that is not true or make a contradictory statement. To do so would hurt your chances of recovering compensation if your claim later goes to trial.

You May Not Know How Hurt You Really Are

The extent of your injuries after an accident may not visibly appear until days later. A minor headache can turn into a serious concussion while an achy back could require extensive rehabilitation.

If you contact the insurer before your injuries become pronounced and report to them that you are feeling fine without any symptoms, you may have a hard time obtaining maximum compensation if your health worsens. It is best to contact an injury attorney before making a statement to any insurance company. You need time to monitor your health.

You May Be Pressured to Settle by the Insurer

An insurer wants to deal with your situation as quickly as possible. If you do not have an attorney representing you, the insurer may try to exert pressure on you to settle your claim for a value that is unlikely to be what your actual claim is worth. An experienced attorney can fight back against the insurance companies and make sure that you are getting a proper deal.

Settlement or trial?

After you have retained an experienced injury attorney, he or she will reach out to the responsible party and their insurer. The attorney will negotiate on your behalf to obtain a favorable settlement.

At Zinda Law Group, our Roswell attorneys have the experience and expertise to properly negotiate with insurance companies. Our team ensures that the insurance companies are not taking advantage of you in your time of need.

If the other party is unwilling to meet your negotiation demands, your Roswell attorney will prepare for trial before a judge and jury. Our attorneys have helped many people in Roswell, and we have the ability necessary to successfully litigate your claim. If we cannot secure a successful settlement during negotiations, we will put our full effort into advocating for you at trial.

Who Is At Fault?

After an accident involving drunk driving, it is important to find out who may be liable for your injury. Typically it will be the driver, but sometimes it can also be the establishment that served the driver alcohol.

The Driver

In most accidents involving drunk driving, the intoxicated driver is solely responsible. If you are able to introduce proof demonstrating that the driver consumed alcohol and got behind the wheel with an illegal BAC, the driver will be liable for your damages and expenses.

The Bar or Restaurant that Served the Driver

New Mexico has a dram shop law. This means that an injured person may hold a licensed liquor vendor liable if the bar or restaurant continued to serve alcohol to the drunk driver when the driver’s intoxication was plainly clear.

For example, if prior to causing an accident, a driver had been consuming drinks at a nearby restaurant and began to display signs of intoxication, the restaurant can be held liable under state law for continuing to serve alcoholic beverages to the driver. Witnesses in the establishment may be willing to testify that they saw that person exhibiting signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, red eyes, and difficulty walking.

What May I Receive For Compensation?

After a drunk driving accident, you are likely wondering what you can receive for damages. The answer is not as simple or straightforward as you may think.

New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that any party involved in the claim could be assigned a percentage of the overall fault.

For example, let’s assume your damages from the accident total $100,000 and the driver is found responsible for 90%. Meanwhile, the establishment who continued serving them alcohol is 10% responsible. In this case, the driver or their insurer will provide you with $90,000 while the establishment owes you $10,000.

If you have any responsibility in the accident, your compensation will lessen by whatever portion you are responsible for. For a personal injury lawsuit under New Mexico law, you have the ability to obtain economic damages, non-economic damages, and potentially punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages is compensation for monetary losses such as medical expenses (past and future), loss of earnings, loss of use of property, and loss of future employment. To ensure you receive accurate compensation for your economic damages, keep documents which demonstrate your medical expenses, property damages, and missed work.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages is compensation for non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, and loss of companionship. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify than economic damages; however, your experienced Zinda Law Group attorney can efficiently help you determine the value of your non-monetary losses.

Punitive Damages

Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages punish the responsible party rather than making the victim “whole again” financially. A court may award punitive damages in addition to economic damages in a situation where the responsible party was particularly reckless or acted intentionally.

You must meet a very high standard to obtain punitive damages; they are rarely awarded. Consult with your Roswell injury lawyer to determine if punitive damages may be possible for you.

How Long Will It Take To Resolve A Claim?

There is no clear answer as to how long it will take to resolve your claim. It will depend on a number of factors including the extent of your injuries, if you received any medical services, whether the responsible party has insurance, and how negotiations go.

What Are The Statutes of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is the time you have to file a claim. New Mexico’s statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is 3 years, and the statute of limitations for damage to personal property is 4 years. This means you have 3 years from the time of the drunk driving accident to file a claim to recover for your injuries and 4 years to recover for damages to your personal property, like your car.

There is an exception if the victim of the drunk driving accident is a child. If a drunk driver injures a child, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the child turns 18. For example, if a drunk driver injures a 10-year old child, the child will be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver until the child turns 21 years old.

Zinda Law Group’s Roswell drunk driving accident lawyers are Here To Help

If you were involved in a drunk driving accident in the Roswell area, you should focus on your health, rehabilitation, and getting back to where you were prior to the accident. Your personal injury lawyer should be able to take care of the legal aspect of the accident.

At Zinda Law Group, our Roswell drunk driving accident lawyers have the experience and knowledge to ensure that you are best prepared to pursue the maximum compensation that you are entitled to for your injury. We are available to schedule your first meeting for a free case evaluation; just call (800) 863-5312.

You will not owe us any money unless we win your case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.