Las Cruces Legal Blog

Avoiding liabilities this holiday season

Homeowners in New Mexico are typically held liable for accidents that occur in their home. During the holidays, the chances of accidents increase, but there are precautions people can take to mitigate injuries.

According to the National Safety Council, holiday decorations can pose risk in multiple ways. Electric cords should be kept out of walkways to keep tripping to a minimum. Lit candles should be kept out of the way of flammable items and covered, if possible. Christmas trees should be stable so they cannot be knocked over, and sharp figurines and other objects should be kept out of reach.

Pursuing action after sexual abuse

The pain and suffering you face in the event of sexual abuse in New Mexico communities can be catastrophic. No matter if the abuse was a one-time incident or a series of repeated incidents, you may deal with repercussions impacting your mental and physical health, capacity and happiness for the rest of your life. At Almanzar & Youngers, PA, we want nothing more than to see you receive the justice you deserve for such a heinous incident.

In particular, the abuse perpetuated by authority figures can be especially atrocious. Authority figures use their position of power and trust in the home or community to gain access to victims. The act of abuse violates not only the victim's consent and body, but your trust. This breach of trust can deeply increase the impact of sexual abuse and trauma in both the long term and short term.

Suing multiple defendants for wrongful death

Losing a loved one is always tragic, most of all due to the negligence or another. In New Mexico, the law offers options for wrongful death suits in the event the death could have been prevented had appropriate actions taken place. While compensation cannot return a loved one to life, awards in a wrongful death claim may defray any costs from funeral arrangements, damages to property or lost family income. At Almanzar & Youngers, P.A., we are deeply sympathetic to the pain of your loss, and understand that making choices in a wrongful death suit can be extremely stressful and difficult.

When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may choose to file against an individual or individuals you feel are responsible for events leading to the death, against an organization, or both. For example, KRQE News 13 reports on a case in which a Santa Fe County Deputy was killed by a fellow deputy while both were intoxicated. The wife of the slain deputy has filed suit not only against her husband's killer, but against the establishment where the two deputies drank, employees of the establishment, the legal holder of the establishment's liquor license and the establishment's parent company.

New Mexico still ranks high for fatal pedestrian collisions

The number of fatal pedestrian accidents in New Mexico has been consistently high in recent years. In fact, when you consider the number of pedestrian deaths per capita, New Mexico ranks third in the nation for fatal pedestrian accidents.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year since 2011, between 50 and 75 pedestrians have lost their lives in New Mexico.

Factors involved in fatal traffic accidents in New Mexico

Driving takes a lot of concentration. Drivers in New Mexico should be aware of the most common factors that are involved in fatal accidents in the state. Knowing this data can help drivers take preventative action to keep themselves, other drivers and pedestrians safe on the road.

According to the University of New Mexico, 272 people have been killed in accidents so far this year. The majority of these accidents involved cars, with vans and SUVs coming in second and pedestrians coming in third. Alcohol was involved in 33.8 percent of the deaths, and the lack of seat belt usage was also involved 33.8 percent of the time. Another factor involved in some of the fatalities included the lack of helmet usage in the accidents involving motorcyclists.

Truck accidents involving deer

Truck drivers in New Mexico should pay closer attention to the road during the fall months in order to prevent collisions with deer. Although all vehicles are at risk during this time, big trucks pose additional safety issues due to their size. 

One of the reasons there are more deer around from September to November is because it is their mating season. The Insurance Information Institute also states that there has been a large increase in the deer population, and both rural and urban areas are seeing the effects. While these accidents result in vehicular damage, there is also the chance drivers and/or passengers will experience some type of injury due to the impact. If other vehicles are around, the presence of deer can also lead to collisions with another car or truck, significantly increasing the damage.

New Mexico's new phone app to teach kids about dangers of drunk driving

Keeping communities safe is an ongoing effort that requires multiple educational tools, and educating young people about particular dangers is a critical part of the puzzle.

Drunk driving remains a very serious problem among drivers young and old. Recently, the New Mexico Department of Transportation introduced a phone app that may be helpful to parents who want to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving.

Know your rights when it comes to on-premises security

Whether browsing the mall, entering an empty parking garage at night or visiting a bar or nightclub, or on other premises open to the public, you have a reasonable expectation of safety. In an ideal situation, the owner of a business or premises open to the public in New Mexico is responsible for maintaining the safety and security of persons on their property. But what happens when that responsibility falls short? At the law firm of Almanzar & Youngers, P.A., we understand the losses inherent when a dangerous or violent crime occurs due to inadequate on-site security. We have handled wrongful death and sexual assault (rape) cases that arose out of inadequate security. 

In New Mexico, inadequate security cases can be filed in the event that people are harmed from the failure to provide appropriate protective or preventative measures. Inadequate security can be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death claim in the event of robbery, physical or sexual assault, or other violent crimes on the property owner's premises.  

Understanding charges of elder abuse

Elder abuse charges can be levied against individuals or corporations, and FindLaw notes that this could involve charges of behavior that negatively impacts the health and well-being of senior citizens. This type of abuse takes many forms, including general or widespread neglect and abandonment.

Abuse can be physical or psychological, with effects ranging from injury to adverse emotional health brought on by verbal abuse and fear of their abuser. Vulnerable seniors can also be victims of sexual abuse, which can begin with unwanted sexual contact but could be as severe as repeated rape and molestation. Perpetrators may also financially and materially exploit the elderly for personal gain.

Wrongful death litigation options

In the event of a wrongful death suit, surviving family or other parties injured by the death in question may be entitled to compensation. While an award of money through settlement or trial can seem like an imperfect way to help a family who has lost a loved one, it is all that the civil justice system can provide.  An award of monetary damages can help the family by making up for economic losses resulting from the loss of a family member, can help to pay treatment bills and funeral expenses, and can also defer wrongdoers from committing the type of acts that resulted in the death.  It is an imperfect solution, but still can put the family in a better position than it would be absent the wrongful death litigation.

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