Gallup, NM asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI, Personal Injury and Car Accidents for New Mexico

Q: Hit by drunk driver, both vehicles totaled. Other driver charged with DUI and off to jail. Injuries, maybe long term.

We have her insurance info and filed a claim. Our insurance paid our vehicle off and offered us an extra almost $4500 (This does not replace the vehicle). We are still waiting, 6 days now for police report. We have lost work time, scared kids, no vehicle, and anguish to know end. We want to go after this person and her insurance.

2 Lawyer Answers
Mark Caruso
Mark Caruso
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Licensed in New Mexico

A: I am so sorry to hear of your recent crash which was caused by a drunk driver. DWI's continue to be a real problem in our state. You can bring a personal injury claim against the driver and insurance company for all injuries suffered by you and your family. Each of you have an individual claim. Your claim would be for past and future medical bills, past and future pain and suffering, past and future lost wages or loss of income, partial permanent injury and disability and punitive damages.

You have three years from the date of the crash in which to settle your case or file a lawsuit. Your goal should be to settle only you have fully resolved your injuries, even if it takes time and continued treatment to do so. As a former insurance company attorney I know that the insurance company will do all it can to settle with you as low as possible.

The goal of the insurance company--especially when a DWI is involved--is to get you to sign a Release and pay you a few dollars to go away as quickly as possible.

You should treat for all of your injuries. If you don't have health insurance or even if your own health insurance won't see you for your crash injuries or even if you don't want to pay a deductible or co-pay, then we can refer you to NM doctors who will wait to get paid. For instance, there is a doctor in Carlsbad that we have worked with before with other clients who will wait to get paid from the auto insurance.

You will need an attorney specializing in car crashes to help you with your case. You don't want to hire a general practice attorney when dealing with an insurance company. It's best to find a law firm that deals with these types of cases all day--every day. You also need to make sure that you hire a New Mexico attorney who deals with car accidents.

Caruso Law Offices exclusively handles car and truck accidents. It's the only kind of cases our attorneys and staff handle 24/7. We handle cases throughout New Mexico. We are based in Albuquerque and have a satellite office in Rio Rancho. Please feel free to call me for a free consultation at 505-883-5000

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: I agree with Mr. Caruso. You need to focus on where you hurt. The anguish etc. can be important if you have some Post Traumatic Stress reaction resulting in something that you need to see a counselor about, such as fear or anxiety attacks when driving.

However the person having messed with your lives doesn't , in and of itself , merit a claim unless it is tied to medical injuries. You should consult an experienced injury attorney, They give free consultations and you should get one.

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