pedestrian knockdown

Pedestrian Killed by Drugged Driver in Roswell: New Mexico Personal Injury Attorney Explains

- Mark Caruso

Drugged Driver Strikes and Kills Woman Walking on US 380 Outside Roswell, New Mexico

New outlets are reporting that a pedestrian who was walking along US Highway 380 in Lincoln, New Mexico was struck and killed by a drugged driver on July 12, 2017.  Beverly Bradburry Cline of Kilgore, Texas was walking in the shoulder of the highway when the vehicle driver by Margaret Cano-Sammis left the road and struck Cline causing fatal injuries.  First responders pronounced Cline deceased at the scene.  The driver, Cano-Sammis, admitted to using medicinal marijuana and methadone earlier in the day and was arrested for alleged vehicular homicide.

Cline’s death could have been avoided.  But unfortunately it was not, and many other people across New Mexico are injured or killed on highways, interstates, and other roads throughout the state.  Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we know that most motor vehicle crashes can be avoided.  Drugged driving accidents are on the rise and result in more fatal collisions than drunk driving.  If you or a loved one has been injured or killed, call our experienced Roswell car accident attorneys for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000.

This sad news story brings up many interesting legal issues to be discussed.  All parties are innocent until proven guilty, but this does not mean that there may not be liability to explain.

Pedestrian Collisions in New Mexico

Whenever a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian in New Mexico, it is very likely that the driver will be negligent as a matter of law.  This is because New Mexico Stat. 66-7-337 provides that “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway[.]”  This law is intended to protect pedestrians on or around the roadway from being struck by a motor vehicle.  When this occurs, it can result in serious personal injuries or death.  Victims can be permanently injured or killed in pedestrian knockdowns.

Therefore, under the doctrine of negligence per se the driver who strikes and injures a pedestrian will be found automatically negligent for violating this statute.  The driver may provide a rebuttable presumption that the pedestrian solely caused or contributed to the subject accident, but it is a difficult position to be in.

Also under the common law, or judge-made law, a pedestrian struck by a car will have the common law definition of negligence on their side.  This provides that a motorist must use reasonable care under the circumstances and in the use and operation of his or her vehicle to avoid striking a pedestrian.  If that occurs, the defendant is likely negligent under the common law standard for negligence as well.

Drugged Driving is a Serious Problem

Cline was killed by a driver who admitted to taking controlled substances earlier in the day, including marijuana.  Many people are under the impression that marijuana is not as dangerous as other drugs, and is safe to drive under the influence of.  However, medicinal marijuana is used to help relax an anxious person and fight certain ailments.  It can calm a person and slow down their alertness and ability to react.  This can obviously be dangerous when traveling on a highway such as US 380, or even an interstate such as I-40, I-25, or I-10.

A drugged driver be also be negligent per se.  This is because NM Stat. 66-8-102 provides that it is “illegal for a person who is under the influence of any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safety driving a vehicle to drive a vehicle in this state.”  Any drug in a driver’s system will result in liability.

Where to Commence an Action: New Mexico or Texas?

The victim was from Texas but killed due to the apparent negligence of a driver in New Mexico.  A common question is where should the victim’s family commence an action?  This is known as a conflict of law issue and a venue question.  There are classes in law school which cover just this topic because the area of law is complicated and very important.

However the simple answer is that the victim will likely best be protected by suing in New Mexico.  This is because the conflict of laws approach generally requires torts—civil wrongs such as negligence in a car accident—to be commenced in the state where the tort occurred.  This means that Cline’s family can commence an action in New Mexico for wrongful death.  While Cline’s family could commence an action in Texas, it is likely to be dismissed or transferred back to New Mexico.

And this happens a lot.  Truck drivers working for some of the largest trucking companies across the country such as Schneider, Estes, US Parcel, and McLane are usually from Upland, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, and other nearby cities in California.  This is a major trucking hub which uses New Mexico’s interstates such as I-10 to cut across the country.  When these drivers are injured in New Mexico trucking accidents but live in California, most of them choose to commence an action in New Mexico to protect their rights.

Pedestrian Collisions Caused by Drugged Drivers Brings Serious Liability Issues

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Worst Intersections in Albuquerque, NM: Albuquerque Car Accident Attorney Explains

- Mark Caruso

All Intersections are Deadly, but These are the Worst Intersections in Albuquerque, NM which Result in Many Serious and Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

Intersections are the most dangerous portions of a roadway.  This is because motor vehicle traveling from one direction directly cross over the path of roadway crossing in another direction.    Uncontrolled intersections are the most dangerous, followed by intersections with more than four routes or paths.  When lights malfunction or weather conditions obscure or make visibility difficult, intersections just become more dangerous and likely to result in very serious or fatal Albuquerque trucking accidents.

New Mexico Statutory Law Warns of Dangerous Intersections

In fact, New Mexico statutory law even imposes special requirements on vehicles approaching or in intersections.  Vehicles approaching an intersection is governed by NM Stat. 66-7-328, which establishes the right of way for vehicles in intersections requiring all vehicles approaching the intersection to yield to other vehicles already in the intersection.

NM Stat. 66-7-329 governs vehicles turning left at intersections, and requires all vehicle turning left to yield to all other vehicles to not constitute an immediate hazard when turning.  Similarly under.  NM Stat. 66-7-330, vehicles governs vehicles entering an intersection from a stop or yield sign, such driver must slow down to a speed reasonable and yield to the right of way of all vehicles in the intersection or approaching which constitute an immediate hazard.

Violating these statutes can result in very serious and deadly car accidents.  This can result in liability for the victims, as these statutes are intended to prevent against those harms at intersections.  When they occur, the defendant violating the statute will likely be liable under the theory of negligence per se.  This means that the violator could be found automatically negligent for violating the statute and causing your harm.

Top Five Most Dangerous Intersections in Albuquerque, New Mexico

While all intersections are deadly and dangerous, here at the top five most dangerous and deadly intersections in New Mexico:

  1. Coors Blvd NW and Paseo del Norte Blvd NW – in a three year period approximately 380 motor vehicle accidents were reported with 29% being fatal or causing serious personal injuries.
  2. Jefferson St NE & Paseo del Norte Blvd NE – in a three year period approximately 365 crashes occurred, with 27% resulting in fatal or serious personal injuries.
  3. Montgomery Blvd NE and San Mateo Blvd NE – in a three year period approximately 260 accidents were reported with 25% being fatal or causing serious personal injury.
  4. Central Ave E & San Mateo Blvd – in three years, there were 145 total motor vehicle accidents with 48 resulting in serious personal injuries or a fatality.  What makes this intersection more dangerous is the number of pedestrian collisions which were the highest surveyed at 12 pedestrian knockdowns.
  5. Coors Blvd & Montano Rd. NW – overall ranked the 6th most dangerous in a three year study with 242 crashes and 25% being fatal or resulting in injury, this intersection remained higher on the list for not decreasing and improving its crashes while the other intersections all did.

Victims of Albuquerque Car Accident in the Top Five Dangerous Intersections in New Mexico Require Strong Legal Advocacy

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Fractured Hip in Albuquerque Hit by Car Accident

- Mark Caruso

When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car in an Albuquerque Car Accident, A Fractured Hip is a Common Injury and Very Serious Potentially Devastating

A lot of people fear getting hit with a car, and for good reason.  A pedestrian is not protected with airbags, a seatbelt, side curtains, or in a steel shell of a car to protect them.  Many times a pedestrian may not even see the car coming which can result in even worse injuries, particularly to the neck or back.  Fractured bones are very common, no matter what age the victim is.  A common bone which is fractured in an Albuquerque car accident hitting a pedestrian is the pelvis or hip.  This is because the hip is at the level his is commonly first impacted by the car, thus it is an area of trauma.  But the hip and pelvis is also an area of the body which is usually thrown to the ground and absorbs the impact of falling.  As a result, this very strong and sturdy bone become injured and breaks.

If you or a loved one have been injured after being hit by a car in an Albuquerque car accident, call the experienced Albuquerque car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000.  We offer a FREE case evaluation for all injured in New Mexico accidents, and we can help protect your rights to compensation.  We understand how painful the injuries for a fracture hip can be, and we know what is reasonable compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, future medical expenses, and we can calculate your lost earnings and income.  Learn how we can help you today by calling our experienced team today.

Fractured Hip After Being Hit by a Car

A fractured hip is a very serious type of fracture.  This type of injury is no joke, no matter how old the victim is.  For young children, a fractured hip and lead to a life-long complication with the child’s legs.  It can lead to early arthritis and limit a child’s athletic ability.  It can even damage growth plates slowly a child’s development or permanent cause imbalances.

For an elderly victim, unfortunately a fractured hip can be the beginning of the end.  This type of injury can greatly impact an elderly victim’s life and mobility, and greatly effect a victim’s emotional well-being.  Infections from surgeries to repair the damage are common, and if a hip replacement is required, it can seriously cause life-threatening complications.

But for all patients, a fractured hip can result in very complicated surgeries.  This can be surgery with painful hardware being installed which includes rods, pins, screws, and plates.  This type of surgery is invasive, painful, and may result in future surgeries to adjust what was done.  It will also cause very large scars and injuries.  For very bad fractured hips, a partial or total hip replacement may be required.  It goes without saying that this is a very bad injury which can be a life-long problem.

Liability in Albuquerque Car Accidents After Being Hit by a Car

Drivers owe a duty of care to use reasonable care in the use and operation of their motor vehicle.  This includes a duty to see what there is to be seen.  This does not just include other motor vehicles, but also pedestrians in and around the roadway.  Even if a pedestrian is cutting out into the street between two cars, drivers must guard against this if a reasonable driver would have.  That is, a driver must prevent hitting a pedestrian in a car accident.

When a driver fails to exercise reasonable care, and such failure causes personal injuries, the driver can be liable for all personal injuries caused by the car accident.  This includes not only past medical expenses, such as the emergency room bill and the surgery to repair, but also future medical expenses such as future surgeries which may need to be completed.  If the victim of a car accident is killed, the defendant may be liable for lost wages, income, and consortium to an entire family.

Hit by a Car and Fractured Your Hip?  Get Represented TODAY!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Albuquerque Motor Vehicle Accidents

- Mark Caruso

Albuquerque Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys Explain How Easily Motor Vehicles can Cause Serious Injuries 

Any motor vehicle accident can cause a traumatic brain injury, no matter how small the vehicles involved are or how low the speed of the impact.  This is particularly true of tractor trailer truck accidents on the interstate, where these large, bulky vehicle have significant weight and speed to them.  Pedestrians hit by motor vehicles are also very vulnerable to sustaining brain injuries, particularly because they have no protection around them to protect their heads in the form of a vehicle shell or a helmet.  Similarly, bicyclists and motorcyclists are also vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries even if they are wearing a helmet because they are not protected by airbags or enclosed in a steel shell like other motorists.

Even a mild traumatic brain injury can have significant ramifications and cause debilitating conditions affecting an entire family.  These traumatic brain injuries can take months if not years to heal, and sometimes they never do heal.  Traumatic brain injuries are also difficult to treat and diagnose, and often cost a lot of money out of pocket to help the victim.

Here are the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced Albuquerque traumatic brain injury attorneys have the medical and legal knowledge necessary to protect the rights of a traumatic brain injury victim.  Contact us today for a FREE case evaluation by calling (505) 883-5000!

Common Types of Brain Injuries Sustained

There are many different types of traumatic brain injuries which could be caused by a motor vehicle accident.  These injuries vary widely in severity, but all can cause significant and debilitating effects on a victim.  These include the following:

Concussions – These may be the most common type of traumatic brain injury from a motor vehicle accident, but one of the least predictable in how it will affect a victim.  This is because the symptoms greatly vary and the impairments can range in duration from just temporary to an entire lifetime.  A concussion is simply when the brain receivers trauma from an impact, sudden movement change, or change in momentum or acceleration.  Concussions can be caused by whiplash injuries, shaking of the head, or a direct blow to the head.  They can be difficult to diagnose because no visible physical injury may be present on the brain, i.e., no fracture, bleeding, or swelling.

Contusion – A contusion is a bruise which is bleeding on the brain.  Contusions generally are the result of a direct impact to the brain causing the injury.  The larger the contusion, the more dangerous it is and it will likely need to be surgically removed to reduce pressure in the skull.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries – These types of injuries are caused by violent shaking or rotational forces which creates tears, rips, and other damage in the brain structure as the skull shears and rubs the edges of the brain.  These types of injuries are very common in severe motor vehicle accidents, particularly rollover accidents or tractor trailer truck accidents.  The damage done to the brain can cause severe and permanent brain damage, particularly when vital structures in the brain are torn and damaged.

Contact an Experienced Albuquerque Traumatic Brain Injury Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury in an Albuquerque motor vehicle accident, call the experienced Albuquerque traumatic brain injury attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000  You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

Pedestrians Hit by Vehicle: Albuquerque Pedestrian Knockdown Attorney Explains

- Mark Caruso

Albuquerque Pedestrian Hit by Vehicle Cases

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, almost 5,000 pedestrians are killed and 76,000 are injured in motor vehicle related accidents each year.  Most of these accidents occur at non-intersections, where pedestrians are attempting to cross the road without cross-walks.  Additionally, two-thirds (2/3) of pedestrian accidents occur at nighttime when visibility is difficult.

Unfortunately, children comprise a large percentage of pedestrians hit by cars, with almost twenty percent (20%) of all pedestrian injuries being caused to children.  In fact, children 15-years-old or less are twenty-two percent (22%) likely to be killed in a pedestrian collision with a vehicle, which is more than any other age group including the elderly (19% in age group 75-79 years old).

At the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we know that when a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle there can be very serious injuries.  This can cause a significant emotional and financial hardship on a family.  Our experienced Albuquerque pedestrian knockdown attorneys have the compassion and knowledge to help protect your rights while you are healing to help your family overcome these hardships.  If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Albuquerque pedestrian collisions, contact us today for a FREE case evaluation by calling (505) 384-6322.

Liability in Albuquerque Pedestrian Knockdowns

Under New Mexico law, a motor vehicle which strikes a pedestrians can be liable under a theory of negligence or negligence per se.  Both are very important and both may apply to your case at the same time, or only one may apply.

Under a theory of negligence, a motorist owes all individuals on or near the roadway (both pedestrians and other motorists) a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances to the degree that a prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances.  Generally, this means to drive just as safe and careful as any other person in the community would drive.  If a motorist breaches his or her duty to drive like a prudent person, and this breach causes injuries to another, the motorist may be liable for those damages.

Under a theory of negligence per se, a motorist may be automatically found negligent as a matter of law for violating a statute and causing damage is the statute is meant to protect the person who was harmed and prevent the harm that was done to such person.  A perfect example is NM STAT 66-7-334 which governs pedestrians’ right of way.  This section requires that, if a pedestrian is at a crosswalk, all motorists must yield to the pedestrian.  If a motorist in one lane does yield, but a motorist in another lane fails to yield and strikes the pedestrian, the non-yielding motorist may be liable under negligence per se.  Thus, the injured pedestrian may be able to collect compensation for his or her injuries.

If you are the victim of an Albuquerque pedestrian knockdown, contact us today for a FREE case evaluation and we can review what theory of liability may be applicable in your case.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Knockdowns

There are many causes of pedestrian knockdown accidents, and unfortunately many of these causes are preventable and should never occur.  For example, many common causes of pedestrian collisions include the following:

  • Distracted driving (cell phone calls, texting, radio, tablets);
  • Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions;
  • Following too closely or tailgating;
  • Tractor trailer or large trucks that cannot stop in time;
  • Not paying attention to the road (i.e., looking for a parking spot);
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI);
  • Weather conditions (heavy rain or fog);
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs (both prescribed medications and illegal narcotics);
  • Sunlight conditions (sun directly in eyes, or nighttime);
  • Driving while tired; and
  • Many other causes.

If a motor vehicle has struck you or a loved one for one of the reasons above or any other reason you think may be due to the negligence of the other driver, please contact our office today for a FREE case evaluation.

Contact an Experienced Albuquerque Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in an Albuquerque pedestrian knockdown accident, call the experienced pedestrian knockdown accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 384-6322  You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.