Many local roads and city streets in New Mexico are shared by automobiles, truckers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, joggers, and pedestrians. People on foot, however, are particularly vulnerable to moving vehicles in New Mexico, which has one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the United States. If you or a loved one has been struck by a distracted driver, for example, or by a driver who was acting carelessly in a different way, you may seek recovery of your medical expenses, lost income, and other damages in a civil claim. Albuquerque pedestrian accident lawyer Matthew Vance has the dedication and experience needed to help victims take legal action. Mr. Vance understands the importance of personalized representation and takes the time to address the concerns of each client regarding their case.Taking Legal Action After a Pedestrian Accident
A driver can be held liable to others injured by their negligent conduct. To succeed in a personal injury claim based on negligence, the plaintiff has the burden to establish the elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages. In a personal injury claim arising from a pedestrian accident, therefore, the fundamental issue is whether the driver was negligent, resulting in the pedestrian’s injuries. Negligence is a legal term, defined as the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use under the circumstances. Accordingly, the plaintiff in a pedestrian accident case must show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others while driving. Generally, a New Mexico personal injury action must be filed within three years from the date of the injury, although there are exceptions that extend that deadline in certain situations.
Liability could be established, for example, through evidence that the defendant was driving drunk, texting and driving, or failing to obey the rules of the road by speeding or violating traffic signals, among other infractions. There are also specific traffic laws enacted to protect pedestrians. In New Mexico, drivers are required to yield the right of way to a pedestrian who is lawfully within a crosswalk. In addition, drivers must use due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian on a roadway without a crosswalk, and if necessary, they need to give a warning honk. For more specific information regarding these rules, you should consult a pedestrian accident attorney in the Albuquerque area who can explain how they may apply to your situation.
People who have been struck by vehicles often suffer severe injuries with lengthy recovery times, lifelong disabilities, or even death. Compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and loss of consortium are some of the damages that may be awarded in a successful personal injury or wrongful death claim, depending on the circumstances of the case.
In some cases, the defendant or their insurer may argue that an injured pedestrian actually contributed to the dangerous situation. If there is evidence that they were not using a crosswalk or not watching out for their own safety as they crossed the street, the pedestrian may have failed to exercise ordinary care. Negligence on the part of a pedestrian, however, is not an absolute bar to success in a personal injury lawsuit. New Mexico adheres to a theory of comparative negligence, in which both the driver and the pedestrian are held responsible for any carelessness. As long as the pedestrian was not solely at fault for causing the accident, they can still bring suit against a careless or reckless driver, and any damages that are awarded will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them.Seek Guidance from an Albuquerque Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Accident victims should explore their legal options with an experienced attorney who can investigate the facts of their case. Motor vehicle collision lawyer Matthew Vance is based in Albuquerque and serves the New Mexico communities that he has known for his entire life. He can assist injured people in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Taos, Raton, Gallup, Grants, Belen, and many other areas. To arrange a free consultation with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Albuquerque, call the Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. at (505) 242-6267 or submit our contact form online.