Poor weather, unsafe lane changes, tailgating – these can all contribute to serious car crashes. But there’s one danger that’s more deadly than all of these: drunk driving.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 9,967 people killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2014. That’s an average of one drunk-driving death every hour.
In New Mexico, it is illegal for motorists aged 21 and older to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. Drivers who are younger than 21 cannot drive with a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher, and commercial vehicle drivers cannot have a BAC that exceeds 0.04.
These laws are in place for a reason. It is never safe to drive after consuming alcohol because:
- Your muscle coordination, such as vision and reaction time, becomes poor;
- You find it harder to detect danger;
- And your judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired.
Unfortunately, even the most careful driver can become involved in a drunk-driving accident. If you or your family suffered an injury in a crash with an intoxicated motorist, contact an Albuquerque injury lawyer from The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income and noneconomic damages.
Our attorneys have been representing the injured since 1997. Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also learn about drunk-driving accident lawsuits by visiting USAttorneys.com.
Let’s take a look at the four elements that you or your injury lawyer will have to prove for your injury claim to be successful:
- The Duty of Care
You or your personal-injury attorney will have to prove that the defendant had a duty of care toward you. This simply requires proving that the defendant was in fact driving, because all motorists have a duty of care toward other road users to behave in a way that does not put them at risk of suffering injuries. The police report may be sufficient evidence for proving the duty of care.
- A Breach of Duty
Proving that the defendant breached the duty of care requires that you demonstrate that the defendant’s unreasonable action or inaction put you at a serious risk of injuries. The act of driving under the influence of alcohol is a breach of duty because impaired driving is illegal and puts other road users at a serious risk of injury.
This is a crucial point in any drunk-driving injury claim. In order for your claim to be successful, you will have to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty – the act of driving under the influence – caused your injuries.
If you or your personal-injury attorney can prove that the defendant breached his or her duty toward you, and that the breach of duty caused your injuries, you will then have to prove damages. These are the economic and noneconomic losses that you incurred due to the defendant’s breach of duty.
Examples of damages that might be available in a drunk-driving injury claim include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage and punitive damages.
If you were injured by a drunk driver in New Mexico, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. An Albuquerque injury attorney will evaluate your case, gather evidence, interview witnesses and help you pursue the maximum compensation. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling 505-207-4401.