New Mexico like other states has cracked down over the years on DWI. In fact, each and every year, new legislation is introduced for harsher and harsher penalties. However, DWI remains a significant problem for the state.
With DWI Comes DWI Accidents
New Mexico, in fact, has a DWI problem that is worse than most states. The DWI problem spans the state from the largest cities to the most remote rural areas. Unfortunately, with DWI comes DWI accidents.
These accidents are often catastrophic for innocent drivers and families who cross paths with these DWI drivers. Often times, it is the passengers in the DWI driver’s vehicle who are gravely injured or killed.
Criminal Prosecution Does Little to Help the Families
DWI drivers who injure or kill anyone obviously should be punished. They should be subject to criminal charges and prevented from future harm. However, punishment of the DWI driver, however gratifying emotionally for the victims, does not in any way compensate the victims for the injuries and other damages that they have suffered.
The only way for a victim and/or family to come close to full and fair compensation is through a personal injury claim. Fortunately, there are numerous possible options for compensation there.
Possible Sources of Compensation for DWI Accidents
DWI accidents are treated for the most part like any other car accident. The key to compensation is in identifying possible insurance coverage. The available insurance coverage will parallel that of other accidents.
First, the driver is obviously liable as is his insurance carrier. Second, the injured parties’ underinsured coverage will come into play if they have it. Depending on the defendant, there may be other insurance from the DWI driver such as a PLUP (Personal Liability Insurance Policy). Finally, if the DWI driver is on the job, the employer’s insurance will come into play. There are many ways this could occur. Two fairly common are late night business meetings conducted in bars or after hour work functions involving alcohol.
Keep in mind that passengers in the DWI driver’s vehicle can make the same claim. This includes family members and children. Many times, families are reluctant to make these claims. However, they pay for the insurance and the insurance covers these types of accidents. It is the insurance company’s responsibility to cover these accidents when they occur.
Third Party Liability in DWI Accidents
Unlike other car accidents, third parties may also be responsible. This responsibility comes under the Dram Shop laws. These relate to the over-service of alcohol.
These cases are not terribly common but they occur with regularity. There have in fact been numerous high profile dram shop cases in New Mexico over recent years. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help!
It is important to seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. These issues can become fairly complex. Identifying all possible avenues for fair compensation is essential. To do this, you have to know where to look.
The Albuquerque attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. have extensive experience with car accidents with a proven track record of success. We can be reached at (505) 242-5958.