New Mexico Dram Shop Attorney
Alcohol-impaired driving is dangerous behavior, and it is not uncommon for drunk drivers to cause severe accidents throughout New Mexico. While the drunk driver will undoubtedly face liability in these situations, a third party such as a bartender, server, cashier, or even a social host may also face legal responsibility for the accident.
New Mexico is one of several states that allow victims of drunk driving accidents to pursue specific third parties for monetary damages in personal injury lawsuits. The legal statutes allowing such suits are known as dram shop laws.
If you or your loved one suffered harm due to a drunk driver’s negligence, you might be entitled to file a claim against the party who sold or served them alcohol. The dram shop attorneys at Liles White are skilled in determining liability in these cases and seeking full compensation for those injured by impaired drivers.
Why Choose Liles White for Your Case?
At Liles White, we focus on providing a client-centered approach to every case. Our New Mexico personal injury lawyers take the time needed to get to know you, your legal goals, and your expectations. At our law firm, you are an individual, not a case or file.
Liles White has a reputation for treating clients with compassion and empathy without sacrificing the aggressive pursuit of wrongdoers through litigation. Our New Mexico personal injury attorneys devote our legal resources and knowledge to fighting for maximum compensation for the injured.
Our team of attorneys take New Mexico dram shop law cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not pay any legal fees until we obtain compensation on your behalf.
Reach out to Liles White today for a complete evaluation of your dram shop claim. There is no risk to you, and your consultation is complimentary.
How Will an Attorney Help a Dram Shop Claim in New Mexico?
Dram shop injury claims in New Mexico can be complicated. It can be challenging to prove that a vendor knowingly sold or served alcohol to an impaired driver or that a social host acted recklessly when providing alcoholic beverages to guests. However, your New Mexico dram shop attorney from Liles White has extensive resources and legal expertise at hand to build a trial-ready case for dram shop liability.
At Liles White, our New Mexico dram shop attorneys can do the following and more when preparing your claim:
- Gather video and photo surveillance related to the incident;
- Speak to eyewitnesses of the accident;
- Analyze police accident reports;
- Research past misconduct of the seller;
- Assess your damages along with future accident-related needs;
- Negotiate with insurance carriers and liable parties; and
- Take your case to trial if no appropriate settlement is forthcoming.
However, a skilled New Mexico personal injury attorney can use their resources and legal expertise to build a strong case for dram shop liability. They can gather video and photo surveillance related to the incident, speak to eyewitnesses, and analyze police reports in an effort to paint a picture of what happened. A dram shop lawyer in New Mexico will be an effective advocate when negotiating with insurance carriers and at-fault parties and will have no problem taking a case to trial, if necessary. Our experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys are knowledgeable with dram shop laws and will work to secure the best possible results for your case.
Our New Mexico dram shop lawyers will work tirelessly to secure the best possible results for your case. Call Liles White now to learn more about New Mexico’s dram shop liability laws and their effect on your personal injury claim.
What is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop is an outdated term used to describe an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. The goal of dram shop liability laws is to discourage sellers of alcohol from over-serving patrons to make money and encourage patrons to drink responsibly.
Dram shop liability laws hold establishments liable for negligently serving alcohol to minors or already intoxicated individuals who proceed to injure or kill another as a direct result of that negligent alcohol service.
Dram Shop Laws in New Mexico
New Mexico’s dram shop laws can be found in Section 41-11-1 of the New Mexico Statutes Annotated. The dram shop statute states that a person who is injured due to the actions of a drunk driver can hold a licensed alcohol vendor responsible for negligently serving or selling alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person.
In addition, establishments that over-serve alcohol may receive the following citations:
- The first citation in 12 months will result in a one-day closure and a fine of $1,000 to $2,000;
- The second citation in 12 months will result in a seven-day closure and a fine of $2,000 to $3,000; and
- The third citation in 12 months will result in the liquor license revocation and a fine of $10,000.
Who are Licensed Alcohol Vendors?
In a New Mexico dram shop case, a licensed alcohol vendors can include:
- Store cashiers;
- Servers at a restaurant; and
For a licensed alcohol vendor to be held liable, state law requires they:
- Sell or serve alcohol to an intoxicated patron; and
- The person’s intoxication was “reasonably apparent”; or
- The establishment already knew the person was intoxicated.
Can Social Hosts be Sued?
There are certain circumstances where social hosts are liable for the actions of intoxicated guests. New Mexico’s social host liability law states that the host could be held liable if alcoholic beverages were provided “recklessly in disregard of the rights of others, including the social guest.”
Case Law Regarding Dram Shop Liability
Since the New Mexico Supreme Court case Gutierrez v. Meteor Monument, New Mexico has allowed circumstantial evidence as proof of “reasonably apparent” intoxication.
According to the New Mexico Supreme Court, such circumstantial evidence might include any of the following:
- Testimony of other witnesses;
- The driver’s testimony of how many drinks they had;
- How long the drunk driver was at the place that served them the alcohol;
- Observations of police at the scene;
- The results of breathalyzer tests;
- The drinking history of the drunk driver; and
- The time since the drunk driver’s last drink at the bar.
To find out more about circumstantial evidence in dram shop liability and how it applies to a particular case, consult an experienced New Mexico personal injury attorney.
Compensation in Dram Shop Liability Cases
There is no set amount of monetary damages in dram shop liability cases. The compensation varies and is highly dependent upon the severity of the victim’s injuries and their prognosis for recovery.
Typically dram shop damages will include:
- All accident-related medical, current and anticipated;
- Rehabilitation or occupational therapy;
- Loss of income;
- Lost earning potential;
- Property damage;
- Pain and suffering; and
- In fatalities, any wrongful death costs.
It is important to note that New Mexico requires dram shop liability claims to be filed within three years of the accident. Otherwise, any right to receive damages will be lost.
Limitations on Compensation in Dram Shop Cases
New Mexico limits damages for personal injuries in dram shop and social host liability cases to $50,000 per person or up to $100,000 for two or more people. Personal property damages are limited to $20,000.
These amounts are in addition to any liability on the part of the intoxicated driver.
Call Our New Mexico Dram Shop Lawyer Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the actions of an alcohol-impaired driver in New Mexico, contact the team at Liles White as soon as possible. We have extensive experience handling drunk driving accident cases, and we know what it takes to determine the liability of all parties involved. This includes not only the driver but also those who may have served them alcohol.
Our New Mexico drunk driving accident lawyers work to ensure that drunk driving accident victims secure the compensation they are entitled to. When you need to hold a social host liable for your injury in a drunk driving accident, contact our New Mexico dram shop law attorney for a free consultation of your case or by calling (361) 826-0100.