Vehicle Accidents in New Mexico

Driving has become a daily routine for most of us. We think little of taking a trip on the highway or driving through a crowded New Mexico city, sometimes even trying to multitask while we do so. Too often, someone allows familiarity to progress to carelessness, and causes an accident. There are some instances in which an accident can’t be avoided—for example, when nature intervenes—but in most cases, driver error is the cause. Here are some common factors in road accidents:

  • Distraction by cell phone, radio, map, or written materials
  • Distraction by passengers in the car
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Reckless behavior such as street racing or “showing off”
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel

The accident itself is traumatic for all involved, but afterward, the victims have a long road of recovery. If injuries are permanent, the effects will follow the victim, causing loss of quality of life and great expense for years to come. Wrongful death is the most tragic consequence of roadway accidents, especially when simple negligence is to blame.

Assigning Responsibility for Traffic Accidents

In an ideal situation, the insurance company responsible for the negligent driver would immediately offer the victim of an accident a generous amount of money, enough to cover medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing needs. Of course, this is hardly ever what happens—instead, the insurance company does its best to minimize the amount it pays out, leaving the victim with little if any financial help. An important part of your personal injury lawyer’s job is to convince the responsible insurance company to pay a fair settlement by:

  • Showing that there is enough evidence to prove the negligent driver’s sole responsibility for the accident
  • Compiling an accurate prediction about how much it will cost for you to recover from your physical and emotional injuries
  • Negotiating a payment that will meet your needs

Meeting these goals is a very complex process. Many car accident victims make the mistake of hiring a discount lawyer without enough experience to do the job right, or of accepting the first offer that the insurance company makes. While these may seem like affordable choices at the moment, it doesn’t take long before these people realize that they missed the opportunity to get compensated fully.

Compensation for Accident Victims

Whether your accident was caused by a drunk driver, a trucker who fell asleep at the wheel, or someone who was trying to text and drive at the same time, you deserve to be paid a fair settlement. At Killian Davis Richter & Mayle, our goal is to win you enough money to pay for:

  • Hospital, rehabilitation, and other medical bills
  • Expenses incurred in addition to medical procedures
  • The money you would have made at work during your recovery period
  • The mental and emotional trauma caused by the accident
  • Other costs related to getting back on your feet

How Slip and Fall Injuries Occur

We can all remember times that we’ve stumbled over something, missed a stair, failed to notice a puddle, or simply lost our balance. Hopefully those memories are more embarrassing than painful, but many falls result in serious injury. Particularly for the elderly and those who are already handicapped, slipping and falling is a major cause of injury in New Mexico, often even requiring hospitalization. Here are a few of the most common causes of falls:

  • Uneven flooring or outdoor surfaces
  • Water or other slippery substances underfoot
  • Items carelessly left where people normally walk
  • Damaged staircases and ramps

Inside our own homes, we do our best to prevent these dangerous conditions from developing. When we travel in public, we expect business owners and city/county maintenance officials to do the same. Occasionally, however, carelessness creates a hazard and someone slips. Hospital bills aren’t the only costs that face a fall victim; there may also be extended rehabilitation, missed work, and strain on the entire family. If your fall was a result of negligence on someone else’s part, you should get help with your bills and other costs from them.

Who’s Responsible for Slip and Fall Injuries?

In any particular situation, it can be a complex process to try to decide who is responsible for an injury caused by a fall. Should you have been paying more attention to the conditions under foot, or did a store fail to keep customers safe by leaving dangerous surfaces untended? A personal injury lawyer is in the best position to evaluate your case, but in general, a business owner is liable if he:

  • Fails to make repairs to damaged walking surfaces. Broken steps, loose tile, and missing handrails are some common examples of dangerous surfaces.
  • Knows or should have known about dangerous conditions but did not address them.
  • Did not respond to severe weather in an appropriate manner.

If you are a guest at a business and the owner has failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent falls, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you experience as a result.

Getting Paid for Slip and Fall Injuries

Insurance companies are never enthusiastic about paying claims for injuries, and usually the amount that victims receive only covers a small fraction of the actual recovery costs. A personal injury attorney who is familiar with New Mexico law can:

  • Gather evidence of responsibility
  • Present your demands to the responsible party
  • Negotiate a settlement that is fair for you
  • Take the case to court if necessary

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your case is clear enough to avoid getting lawyers involved, and don’t assume that your injury was your own fault. If a private company, or even city maintenance, failed to protect you from dangerous conditions, they have an obligation to help pay for your recovery.