The Dangers of Reckless Driving

Every year, car crashes kill or severely injure millions of Americans . In head injury and other serious injury cases, the medical bills alone often exceed $100,000. They could be 10 times that for a spinal injury or other catastrophic injury.

When events like these happen, victims need money to put their lives back together. That money should not just cover hospital bills, lost wages, property damage, and other economic losses. Victims also deserve compensation for their noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.

In reckless driving claims, an Albuquerque car accident lawyer is well-positioned to obtain this compensation.

What is Reckless Driving?

Legally, reckless driving is incredibly vague. New Mexico law prohibits any driving behavior which exhibits a willful and wanton disregard for persons or property. That broad definition could include almost any driving misbehavior.

Generally, officers issue reckless driving tickets when a driver commits two or more moving violations at the same time, or about the same time. The most common such infractions are speeding, making an illegal turn, tailgating, and making an unsafe lane change.

If a tortfeasor (negligent driver) causes a crash and officers issue a reckless driving citation, the negligence per se doctrine may apply. Under this rule, tortfeasors are liable for damages as a matter of law if:

Negligence per se claims require less time to present and less proof to establish. Therefore, Bernalillo County jurors usually award significant damages in these cases.

Reckless driving often does not come from nowhere, especially if road rage is involved. Often IED, or Intermittent Explosive Disorder, may have something to do with it. IED is not a made-up mental illness. It is a legitimate condition. Usually because of genetic factors, some people experience sudden fits of strong emotion over seemingly trivial matters. Since it lowers peoples’ inhibitions, alcohol often plays a role in IED events, even if the tortfeasor only had one drink.

Third Party Liability in Albuquerque

Especially in the aforementioned spinal injury cases, individual tortfeasors often do not have enough insurance coverage to provide fair compensation. Fortunately, New Mexico has some broad third-party liability rules. So, the tortfeasor may not be the only person responsible for damages. That gives many victims an additional source of recovery.

If alcohol was involved in the reckless driving crash , New Mexico’s dram shop law often comes into play. Many states, including nearby California, have recently limited their dram shop laws, or even eliminated them altogether. But the Land of Enchantment still has one of the broadest such laws in the country.

In brief, restaurants, grocery stores, bars, and other commercial alcohol providers are vicariously liable for damages if they sell alcohol to:

New Mexico is a modified joint and several liability state. So, if there are multiple responsible parties, the judge typically apportions damages among them based on their percentage of fault.

Contact an Aggressive Attorney

Reckless driving crashes cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque , contact the Law Offices of Edward Chavez, Jr. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.