In both Texas and New Mexico, drunk driving remains a major problem.
New Mexico remains one of the highest states in the nation for drug and alcohol-related accidents. It has some of the worst substance abuse issues of any state in the country.
Texas, despite some very hefty penalties for drunk driving, still hasn’t managed to curb the problem. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, someone is killed or injured by a drunk driver every 20 minutes.
If you’re a victim of a drunk driving accident, understand that the driver who caused the accident is going to get hit on three levels.
So if you’re wondering “I was hit by a drunk driver, can I sue?” You can.
Firstly, the driver faces criminal penalties for driving while intoxicated.
Secondly, they face administrative penalties including a license suspension or revocation.
Lastly, they face civil penalties; you can sue them for your injuries.
Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway can help.
Texas Drunk Driving Accident Laws
Texas law is very specific on what happens when a negligent driver causes a car accident.
Their insurance is liable up to the policy limit and any other damages beyond that are to be paid out of pocket directly to the victim. A drunk driving accident lawyer can help you litigate your case against a drunk and negligent driver.
New Mexico Drunk Driving Accident Laws
If you are in a car accident in New Mexico and the at-fault driver is drunk, you can sue the driver directly.
The driver will likely carry an auto insurance policy, but depending on the extent of your injuries or your jury award, their insurance policy may not be enough to cover your damages.
In that case, you will have to initiate a lawsuit against the driver in order to recover more than the insurance policy limit.
Civil and Criminal Law Regarding Drunk Drivers
Individual penalties for driving under the influence differ in New Mexico and Texas, but the general rights of victims remain the same. So do most of the procedures for handling DUI and personal injury lawsuits.
In both states, the standard of proof in a drunk driving criminal claim is beyond a reasonable doubt. There are a number of reasons why a drunk driving charge may be tossed out or beaten in court.
On the other hand, the standard of proof in civil cases is much lower. Instead of the “reasonable doubt standard”, civil cases are based on a “preponderance of the evidence”. In other words, it only has to be more likely than not.
This means that even if the drunk driver was not convicted or even charged with drunk driving, you can still recover damages for the accident.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney Today
The attorneys at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway will launch an investigation against the at-fault driver on your behalf.
If they were convicted of drunk driving, that will serve as evidence against them in a civil trial. If you’ve been injured, let us help you. Give us a call or contact us online for a free consultation.
Discuss your legal options with our drunk driving accident attorneys today during a free consultation.