Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Mexico Drunk Driving Accidents Get You Punitive Damages!

Drunk Driving Is More Than a Mistake — Victims Deserve Justice Under New Mexico Law!

By: Mark Caruso, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney (Albuquerque, NM)

Despite public education and strict laws against drunk driving, there were thousands of drunk driving accidents in New Mexico in 2012, according to the New Mexico  Department of Transportation.

At Caruso Law Offices in Albuquerque we have worked with many families whose lives have been forever changed by drunk driving accidents. Our drunk driving accident attorneys meticulously examine all of the facts and circumstances surrounding every accident, including the actions of the responsible driver and factors such as the road conditions and whether the driver was served alcohol when he or she was visibly intoxicated.

We sympathize with the outrage of drunk driving victims and their families

We use every legal and negotiation skill at our disposal to obtain justice as well as financial compensation after serious drunk driving accidents. Drunk drivers put all of us at risk, including our families and loved ones. DRUNK  DRIVING MUST BE STOPPED!! 

Our job as drunk driving accident attorneys is to make sure that those responsible pay the consequences, and that their victims are compensated to the fullest extent permitted by law.

If you were seriously hurt or a family member was killed in a fatal accident, contact our Albuquerque law firm for an immediate and confidential consultation about your legal rights. Our drunk driving accident lawyers can help you or your family get the financial compensation to which you are entitled.

Mark Caruso is a member of the Attorney Advisory Board for New Mexico Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).  He has handled many wrongful death cases resulting from drunk drivers.

Punishing Drunk Drivers in Civil Courts

DUI and DWI accidents that cause serious personal injury or wrongful death will be prosecuted in New Mexico's criminal courts, where drivers face possible fines, driver’s license suspension and jail time.

Drunk drivers must also answer for their actions in civil court or through insurance claims against them.  These civil claims are where we come in. Insurance claims involving drunk driving accidents are different from other types of motor vehicle accidents because the injury victims or surviving families may be entitled to punitive damages in addition to compensation for the economic, personal, and other losses suffered.

The purpose of punitive damages is punishment, to hurt drunk drivers financially to enforce the seriousness of their actions. Punitive damages are available in drunk driving accidents because drunk driving is more than a mistake. It’s close to an intentional act like assault because a person who has had too much to drink and who gets behind the wheel of a car knows there’s a good chance of an accident. Depending upon the circumstances, punitive damages may far exceed the financial damages suffered in an accident. Because of this possibility, we must carefully examine all of the factors regarding the accident, such as whether the driver had a history of driving drunk.

Advocating for Families in the Criminal DUI Case

Drunk driving victims and their families also need advocacy in the criminal proceedings against the drunk driver who caused the accident.  Because of strong support of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) we explain the criminal process to our personal injury clients more clearly and plainly. When we represent drunk driving accident victims in civil claims, we also represent their interests in the criminal proceedings. We present the victims’ view of events to the prosecuting attorneys and help prepare victims to testify at trials about the accidents’ effects on their lives and families.

Drunk Driving Victims and Their Families are Entitled to Compensation in Criminal Proceedings

Under New Mexico law, drunk driving victims have the right to seek compensation through the criminal process for any costs associated with the accident that are not covered by insurance. This is called restitution. Through both the civil litigation to recover damages and the criminal process and restitution, we are with drunk driving accident victims and their families every step of the way to see that justice is done and that they are compensated to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Discuss Your Questions With Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

Drunk driving cases are serious — often resulting in life-changing injury such as brain injury, spinal cord injury or wrongful death. Each case deserves serious attention from knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers. Mark Caruso has 31 years legal experience in personal injury. We know how to get compensation for those injured from those responsible for causing the injury.

To schedule a free and private consultation with Mark Caruso or one of the attorneys at Caruso Law Offices, call 505-883-5000, or contact us at   We will meet with you and provide a free evaluation of your case. You’ll be able to meet our entire team that will represent your interests and be there with your every step of the way.

Call us. We can help.


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