Drunk drivers never think that their actions will have consequences. Unfortunately, they do. Drunk driving costs thousands of lives every year and causes countless more injuries. Almost every drunk driving accident is preventable and causes needless harm and death to innocent people.
If you were in a drunk driving crash, you likely feel anger toward the other driver, as well as worried about your own future. At Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our Albuquerque drunk driver accident lawyers understand what you’re going through. That is why we will do everything in our power to secure the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. We have served many clients throughout New Mexico. We hope to serve you as well.
We offer free consultations for all prospective clients. Give us a call. No obligation.
Recovering from a car crash while simultaneously dealing with law enforcement and insurance companies is no easy thing. We work hard to lift the legal burden from your shoulders so that you can focus on getting well. With our Albuquerque drunk driver accident lawyers negotiating on your behalf, you will have the best chance of obtaining maximum compensation, which you will need to cover medical bills and stay financially stable.
We can also help you find medical treatment if you don’t already have a primary doctor. The physicians we work with are experienced with car accident injuries. Not only will they give you excellent care, but also they will produce the thorough documentation necessary for the insurance claim.
Because many drunk drivers are going far over the speed limit, injuries can be more serious than other kinds of car crashes. These injuries can include:
These injuries cost tens of thousands of dollars—often much more—in medical care. For example, someone with a spinal cord injury could require months or years of rehabilitation after having expensive surgery. This care adds up. If your injuries are so bad that you need at-home help, then that is another expense that a victim should not have to pay.
Serious injuries also cause victims to miss out on the ability to work. Consequently, they suffer a steep drop in their income at the exact moment when medical bills are flooding their mailbox. Many drunk driver accidents leave victims with significant financial losses, and drunk drivers should have to compensate them to make them whole.
Our founding attorney, Mark Caruso has legal experience on both sides of personal injury cases, so we know the exact strategies that the defense will likely use against you. By anticipating these in advance, we can maximize your chances for a favorable outcome.
When an injured victim sues, they are bringing a civil lawsuit, not a criminal one. The prosecutor charges crimes, but victims can sue for compensation in a “tort” action. As a result, a civil suit involving a drunk driver shares many similarities with a criminal case—but also some differences.
One difference is the burden of proof. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must show a driver was impaired under the letter of the law by proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is a high standard, which is required to help protect the innocent.
In a civil case, the burden of proof is lower, i.e., “preponderance of the evidence.” This basically means it is more likely than not that the drunk driver was at fault. Still, this does not mean it is easy to win a civil case.
Fault is also a little different. In a criminal case, the prosecutor needs to show that the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or that drugs or alcohol impaired his ability to operate the vehicle. In a civil case, we need to prove negligence. This means the driver did not operate his vehicle with reasonable care or as careful as an ordinarily prudent person would. Although we can certainly introduce evidence of the driver’s BAC, it is less crucial in civil cases.
Our Albuquerque drunk driver accident attorneys can use any blood, urine, or breath test collected by the police. We can also use your memories of the accident and the testimony of eyewitnesses who might have seen the driver act intoxicated. The sooner we can get started on your case, the more helpful evidence we can collect.
In the typical car accident case, our lawyers are focused on making a victim “whole.” This means obtaining compensation to cover all his or her economic losses, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Being made whole also includes a fair amount of compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
But when a driver is drunk, then victims can also seek punitive damages, sometimes called “exemplary damages.” Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not orientated to making a victim whole. Instead, they have a different focus: punishing the defendant for wrongful conduct.
Not all car accident victims receive punitive damages. Instead, we need clear and convincing evidence that the defendant engaged in reckless conduct, malicious conduct, dishonest judgment, or willful or wanton conduct. Fortunately, driving while intoxicated often qualifies.
Drunk driving accidents cause more than just injuries and medical bills — they are also a moral wrong that needs to be righted. We can help you with both of these. By securing a favorable outcome for yourself, you increase the likelihood that another person won’t suffer the same fate.