Albuquerque Dram Shop Liability Lawyer
A frustrating element pertaining to car accidents is that most could have been prevented, which is especially true when it comes to drunk driving mishaps. A drunk driving accident results from someone making a deliberate choice that negatively impacts someone going about their day. Nothing could ever make up for the impact of a drunk driving accident, especially one that ends in severe or even fatal injuries. However, victims and their families can hold the responsible parties accountable.
While it is the individual’s responsibility to know their limits in New Mexico, establishments that sell alcohol, along with hosts that provide alcohol to their guests, are also responsible for ensuring that no one is over-served. This responsibility is known as “dram shop” liability, and it means that hosts and businesses can be held liable for selling or serving alcohol to a person who then caused harm to someone else. The dram shop liability attorneys at Dominguez Law may be able to help you achieve the best possible results based on the circumstances of your injuries.
What Are New Mexico’s Dram Shop Laws?
In New Mexico, dram shop law allows an injured person to hold a licensed alcohol vendor liable if the vendor served or sold alcohol to a person who reasonably appeared to be intoxicated.
For instance, if a person has had several drinks and has begun to show signs of intoxication to the point that a reasonable person would conclude they are drunk, the bartender should stop serving them alcohol. Otherwise, the intoxicated person may end up causing an accident. The bar can then be considered liable for the accident and subsequent damages if the bartender kept serving them.
Who Is Considered a Licensed Alcohol Vendor?
In New Mexico, a licensed alcohol vendor includes:
- Store cashiers
- Servers at restaurants
Venders can be held liable for damages caused by a drunk patron if the following apply:
- The establishment sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron
- It was reasonably apparent that the patron was intoxicated
- The vendor knew from the circumstances that the patron buying or receiving the alcohol was already intoxicated
If the injured person can establish the elements above in their case, they can work to recover compensation from the alcohol vendor for the damages they have incurred.
Can Social Hosts Be Liable for a Drunk Guest?
New Mexico law allows social hosts to be held legally responsible for the actions of intoxicated guests. The social host liability law states that an injured person can sue for compensation if the alcoholic beverages were provided recklessly with little to no regard for the rights and safety of others. Social host liability does not extend to any guest who consumed alcohol at the party; it refers to private party hosts.
Suppose a person goes to a friend’s party and the host keeps serving them drinks despite seeing signs of apparent intoxication. In that case, if the person drives off and gets into an accident, the host may be liable for any damages incurred in the accident by the injured person. An injured person can recover compensation from the host if they can prove that the host continued to serve the drunk guest drinks recklessly with no regard for the rights and safety of others.
Compensation in Dram Shop Liability Cases
There is no set amount of compensation in dram shop liability cases. The compensation depends upon the severity of the victim’s injuries and their prognosis for recovery. Typically, dram shop damages include:
- All accident-related medical expenses (present and future)
- Rehabilitation or occupational therapy
- Loss of income or wage-earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- In cases of fatalities, wrongful death damages
New Mexico requires dram shop liability claims to be filed within three years of the accident. If the statute of limitations expires, victims lose the right to recover compensation. It is also important to note that New Mexico limits damages for personal injuries in social hosts and dram shop liability cases to $50,000 per person or up to $100,000 for two or more people. Personal property damages are capped at $20,000. However, these amounts are often in addition to any compensation recovered through a claim against the intoxicated driver.
How A Shop Liability Attorney Can Help with a Dram Shop Claim
Dram shop injury claims are complicated. It can be challenging to prove a vendor knowingly served or sold alcohol to an already intoxicated patron or that a social host recklessly provided alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated guest. However, at Dominguez Law, our shop liability attorneys have extensive resources and legal expertise at hand to build a strong case that proves the vendor or social host liable. Our dram shop attorneys can help with the following:
- Gather physical evidence related to the incident (video or photo surveillance)
- Speak to eyewitnesses
- Analyze police accident reports
- Research the history of the vendor or social host for any past misconduct
- Assess the damages along with future accident-related needs
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters and liable parties
- Take your case to court if no appropriate settlement is reached
At Dominguez Law, we will go the extra mile to ensure our shop liability lawyers have the necessary evidence to support your claim. Our shop liability lawyers also have no problem taking a case to trial if it means reaching the best outcome for our clients.
Call Our Experienced Albuquerque Dram Shop Liability Lawyer Today
When you have suffered at the hands of negligent and reckless individuals, it is critical to secure a compassionate and aggressive shop liability attorney that can ensure your rights and best interests are protected. Contact Dominguez Law today to ensure that you have a strong advocate at your disposal. Our Spanish-speaking attorneys have represented clients with a wide range of personal injury and car accident claims. We understand how to tackle dram shop cases to ensure our clients reach favorable outcomes.
At Dominguez Law, our shop liability attorneys will help you achieve the best possible results based on the circumstances of your case. Schedule a free consultation with us by reaching us through our online contact form or calling (505) 850-5854.