Car Accident Lawyers Serving Nearby The Hobbs Area
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that there are 1,449,711 licensed drivers in New Mexico and New Mexico Motor Vehicle Registration Statistics show 197,300 passenger car license plates in the state. People all over New Mexico rely on motor vehicles to get them to and from various destinations, but accidents are common occurrences, and any person who suffers injuries in a car crash will want to be quick to seek the help of a Hobbs car accident lawyer.
The most recent statistics from the University of New Mexico demonstrate that a motor vehicle crash happens every 14 minutes, and a person suffers injuries in a crash every 34 minutes. Reports show that the 470 traffic fatalities made 2021 the deadliest year on New Mexico roads.
Types of Car Accidents in New Mexico
The Hobbs area sees considerable traffic because New Mexico State Road 18 (NM 18) and Unites States Route 62 (US 62) criss-cross in downtown Hobbs and Unites States Route 64 (US 64) also passes through town. It is possible for people to be involved in any one of many different kinds of crashes.
The KRQE story noted that while the 110 fatalities in alcohol-involved crashes were the lowest point in 20 years for such accidents, there was still an increase of 18 percent in total fatalities on New Mexico roads. New Mexico makes driving under the influence (DUI) of intoxicating liquor or drugs a criminal offense, and the crime is also known as driving while impaired or intoxicated (DWI).
Another common kind of accident can be the hit and run accident in which another driver causes a wreck but leaves the scene of the crash. Any person involved in such a collision will want to get law enforcement involved as soon as possible to help apprehend the negligent party.
Other kinds of car accidents in Hobbs may include:
- Head-On Collisions
- Rear-End Collisions
- Side Impact or T-Bone Accidents
- Sideswipe Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Multiple-Vehicle Accidents
- Left or Right Turn Accidents
- Lane Change or Merging Accidents
- Fatal Car Crashes
- Low-Speed Car Accidents
- Uninsured or Underinsured Accidents
- Uber, Lyft, or Rideshare Accidents
- Work Zone or Highway Construction Crashes
- Highway Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Intersection Accidents
- Blind Spot Accidents
Causes of Car Accidents in Hobbs
When you have concerns about how much you were to blame for the cause of a motor vehicle crash in New Mexico, you should not let such concerns dissuade you from taking legal action. This is because New Mexico Statute § 41-3A-1 makes New Mexico a pure comparative negligence state.
Pure comparative negligence means that when any person establishes that the fault of another party is a proximate cause of their injuries, the other party is only liable for the portion of any total amount awarded as damages to a victim equal to the ratio of their fault. Victims can thus be entitled to compensation even when they were primarily at fault, such that a victim who receives $100,000 in a car accident claim but is 70 percent responsible for the accident would see their award reduced by $70,000 and receive $30,000.
Many car crashes can stem from other New Mexico licensed drivers performing improper lane changes or turns. Such negligence can often be satisfactory for helping victims obtain financial compensation in such cases.
Another common cause of car accidents can be vehicle defects, which means that other drivers may not be liable for damages. Instead, a victim could have a claim to file against a part manufacturer or possibly a mechanic if there was no proper installation of a part.
Other common causes of car crashes in Hobbs may include, but are not limited to:
- Distracted Driving
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- Driver Fatigue or Drowsy Driving
- Failure to Yield Right of Way
- Tire Blowouts
- Running Stop Signs or Stop Lights
- Wrong-Way Driving
- Road Rage
- Inclement Weather Conditions
- Potholes or Other Dangerous Road Conditions
Car Accident Injuries
Depending on the severity of a collision, car crashes have the potential to cause a wide range of possible injuries. Some victims could sustain multiple injuries in a single accident, and all victims will want to be sure to quickly seek medical attention because a proper diagnosis will be important not just for ensuring long-term health but also for creating a medical record that will be very important for any injury claim.
A very serious type of injury in these cases can be internal organ injuries, which could include brain bleeds, pneumothorax involving a rib puncturing a lung, abdominal aorta aneurysms, ruptured spleens, and other forms of internal bleeding or internal organ damage. Internal injuries can occur even in lower-speed accidents.
Other Types of Injuries in Hobbs Car Wreck Accidents
Another particularly concerning type of injury can be permanent nerve injuries that include pinched nerves, damage to the peripheral nervous system causing neuropathy, and radiculopathy that occurs in the spine. Some of the other types of injuries in Hobbs car accidents can include:
- Fractures or broken bones
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Leg injuries
- Arm injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Skull fractures
- Closed head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
When a loved one happens to die in a car accident, then you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. New Mexico Statute § 41-2-1 provides that whenever the death of a person is the result of a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party, then the party who would have been liable had death not ensued will be liable to an action for damages.
Whereas many other states allow for a deceased person’s surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit, New Mexico requires wrongful death claims to be filed by a personal representative or executor of the deceased person’s estate. When a personal representative cannot or will not serve, or if they left no estate plan, a court will appoint a person to serve.
Under New Mexico Statute § 41-2-2, the statute of limitations on a wrongful death lawsuit is only three years. The time limit will start to run on the date of a person’s death, which could end up being much later than the date of an actual accident.
Damages for Hobbs Car Accidents
Car crashes often result in victims receiving amounts known as compensatory damages, with the two most common forms of damages being economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are amounts that compensate people for their real and provable financial losses, while non-economic damages are far more subjective claims that compensate people for physical and mental injuries that do not have inherent financial value.
One of the more common kinds of economic damages can be medical expenses because most victims not only require immediate medical care but can also be regularly seeing doctors and other specialists for several months after an accident. Medical bills are typically one of the most prominent concerns that car accident victims have about coverage following a car accident.
Car Collision Economic Damages
Some of the other types of economic damages could include:
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
- Physical Therapy Costs
- Costs of Long-Term Care
- Rehabilitation Expenses
Non-economic damages are trickier to determine amounts for, and it is usually juries who will allocate certain amounts based on a victim’s statements about what they are experiencing. Physical limitations can be a common kind of economic damage when a person’s injuries effectively prevent them from partaking in their usual activities or otherwise enjoying life.
Car Collision Non-economic Damages
Other kinds of non-economic damages could include:
- Mental Anguish
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
New Mexico stock jury instructions for civil trials state that punitive damages are awarded for the limited purposes of both punishments and to deter others from the commission of similar offenses. In Bhasker v. Kemper Cas. Ins. Co., 361 F.Supp.3d 1045 (2019), the New Mexico United States District Court held that punitive damages serve two important policy objectives under state common law: to punish reprehensible conduct and to deter similar conduct in the future.
Car Accident Common Definitions
The court further stated that liability for punitive damages involves a wrongdoer having some culpable mental state, and their conduct needs to rise to a willful, wanton, malicious, reckless, oppressive, or fraudulent level. Definitions of some of these terms are as follows:
- Willfully — Willful conduct is a defendant’s intentional commission of an act with the knowledge that harm would likely result.
- Wantonly — Wanton conduct is a defendant’s commission of an act with indifference to or conscious disregard for a victim’s rights or safety.
- Maliciously — Malicious conduct is a defendant’s intentional commission of a wrongful act with the knowledge that the act is wrongful.
- Recklessly — Reckless conduct is a defendant’s intentional commission of an act with indifference to the possible consequences.
Uniform Jury Instruction § 13-1718 further provides that punitive damages can be awarded for conduct that is malicious, willful, reckless, wanton, fraudulent, or in bad faith. Those terms are defined as follows:
- Malicious Conduct — The intentional doing of a wrongful act with the knowledge that the act was wrongful.
- Willful Conduct — The intentional doing of a wrongful act with the knowledge that harm may result.
- Reckless Conduct — The intentional doing of an act with utter indifference to the consequences.
- Wanton Conduct — The doing of an act with utter indifference to or conscious disregard for a person’s rights.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Hobbs Car Accident Lawyer
If you sustain serious injuries or your loved one is killed in a car accident in the greater Hobbs area, you will want to make sure you retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Cesar Ornelas Injury Law can respond quickly to your call and take the immediate steps necessary to ensure that you will be able to recover full and fair financial compensation for all of your losses.
Our firm knows how many issues people can encounter when they try to handle their car crash claims on their own, and we will be with you every step of the way, so you never have to worry about handling anything by yourself.
You can call us at (888) 237-2794 or (210) 405-6503 or contact us online for a free consultation so we can thoroughly review your case and address every single concern you might be having so you can comfortably know that you have legal advocacy if your case happens to go all the way to court.