Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C.
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Albuquerque, New Mexico, Personal Injury Blog

Wrongful death: boat accidents and their causes

The weather in Arizona is pleasant enough year-round to allow residents and tourists alike to enjoy the state's various rivers and lakes. This includes boating. Although cars and trucks seem to take most of the attention when it comes to reporting of accidents, boat accidents can be just as tragic. Individuals who are involved in these types of wrecks can suffer serious injuries, and far too often individuals die as a result.

So how common are boating accidents? More common than many think. In 2017 alone, there were more than 1,100 accidents involving boats colliding with one another. Accidents also occurred from boats running aground, colliding with fixed objects and individuals falling overboard. The number one contributing factor to these accidents is driver inattention, followed closely by individuals who fail to perform proper lookout and inexperienced drivers. Other factors contributing to boat accidents include speeding, intoxication and failure to follow the basic rules of boating and water navigation.

Woman sues city and school system after child's death

Unexpectedly losing a loved one is nothing short of traumatic. When that death involves a child who never had a chance to live the full life he or she deserved, surviving family members can be utterly devastated. At a time when these families are struggling to cope with the emotional damage that has been dealt to them, they oftentimes don't want to think about the legal action and the logistics involved. However, qualified legal professionals can help with this process in hopes of ensuring that accountability is found, justice is obtained, and compensation is recovered.

This is what one Albuquerque mother is hoping to do as she pursues a legal claim against the city of Albuquerque as well as Albuquerque Public Schools. Her son, a 12-year-old, was killed when he was struck in a crosswalk at his school by an SUV. According to police, the driver of that SUV claimed to have never seen the child. The car accident prompted immediate action by city leaders who promised to install specialized signals at the school.

6 thoughts people have right after an accident

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get in a car accident? Maybe you have had some close calls that left you clutching the steering wheel in a white-knuckled grip. Maybe you cannot imagine it at all, but you have seen the statistics and want to be ready.

To help you better understand these events, here are six thoughts people tend to have in the wake of a crash:

Trespassers may be able to succeed on premises liability claim

Those who are injured by a hazardous property condition after being invited onto the premises by its owner may be able to recover compensation for the harm they have suffered. These damages can be quite extensive, too, including hefty medical expenses and rehabilitation costs, as well as lost wages. One may also be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering. However, succeeding on a premises liability claim often requires showing that one was invited onto the property in question, a hazardous condition existed that caused the victim's injuries, and that condition should have been remedied or at least identified and warned of in a timely fashion.

But what about those who are harmed on the property of another when they were not invited onto the premises? Generally speaking, no duty of care is owed to trespassers, but even they may be able to recover compensation from a landowner if certain factors are present. First of all, even though no duty exists to protect trespassers, a landowner cannot willfully injure him or her by, say, setting traps.

Car accidents and the family car doctrine

Any driver on the road can be dangerous when they are inattentive, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent behind the wheel, but young people can pose risks based on their sheer inexperience. These drivers may quickly become overwhelmed by traffic, road, and weather conditions, which can cause their judgment to become muddled. These drivers may also engage in risky behaviors such as speeding.

As a result of their acts or inactions, these young motorists can cause serious car accidents that leave innocent individuals with severe injuries. These victims may suffer broken bones, torn ligaments, damaged muscles, and even brain and spine injuries. Permanent disfigurement and disability are very real possibilities, and the worst wrecks can result in death. In addition to these physical losses, victims can be hit with unexpected and unjustified emotional and financial losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

Personal injury lawsuits and the discovery process

Those individuals who have been injured in a car accident can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the accident if it is believed that negligence on that person's behalf caused the wreck in question and any resulting damages suffered by the victim. On its face, a personal injury lawsuit sounds relatively easy: a victim must merely show negligence and causation by a preponderance of the evidence. However, the reality is that many of these cases are hotly contested, which is why it is important to be fully prepared before moving forward with settlement negotiations and litigation.

The best way to do this is to be active in the discovery process. Discovery is where one side essentially gathers information that is held by the opposition. We previously discussed depositions as part of discovery, but this is only a part of all the discovery options open to an individual. In addition to depositions, an individual can issue interrogatories, which are questions that the other side must answer. These questions, which pertain to the case, can be as broad or narrow as one desires. He or she can also send the opposition requests for admission, which require the opposing party to admit or deny certain facts.

Things to consider before settling a wrongful death claim

Individuals who choose to file and pursue a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit often look forward to the opportunity to find accountability by imposing liability on a negligent individual or entity, but they also hope to recover compensation for the damages that have been unfairly thrust upon them. In their pursuit of closure and a favorable outcome, these individuals usually have a lot of questions. One of those questions often involves how much money may be recoverable. Of course, the circumstances of a case make all the difference, but so, too, can the way a case resolves itself.

Generally speaking, there are two ways that a case can come to an end: either the parties reach a settlement agreement or the case is litigated and a jury makes a decision. Many people question whether or not to settle their case, which is no small decision to make. Before deciding one way or the other, these individuals need to carefully consider a number of factors.

Questions to ask before pursuing a premises liability claim

New Mexico's residents shouldn't have to put their safety on the line when they enter a business or are invited onto the property of another. Unfortunately, though, many times these unsuspecting individuals are subjected to hazardous property conditions that can cause serious injuries. For example, such an incident may occur at a grocery store when spilled liquid isn't cleaned up quickly enough and customers are not warned of it. Here, a customer may slip and fall, getting hurt as a result.

Although victims of these incidences may be able to impose liability and recover compensation for their injuries, they must prove certain legal elements. Additionally, they need to ask themselves some questions to determine if their claim has been jeopardized. For example, did the property owner know that the victim was on the property? Was the victim invited onto the property? Also, would a reasonable person in the same position as the victim have taken any additional steps to identify the hazard and avoid the injurious incident? Were there any warnings about the hazard? Was the victim engaging in any other acts that would have contributed to his or her injuries?

Playground-related injuries more frequent than many realize

Summer break is just around the corner for New Mexico's children, which means people are likely to see many more children out and about. Many of these kids, oftentimes with their parents, can be found at local parks and playgrounds. These spaces can provide a great opportunity for children to interact with their friends, expend some energy, and give their parents a few minutes' worth of break. Although most of us don't think twice about the safety of playgrounds, New Mexico's parents need to take heed that they can oftentimes be places full of danger.

In fact, the CDC indicates that more than 200,000 kids aged 14 and younger report to the emergency room each year for injuries that are suffered on a playground. The types of injuries suffered can vary, but they often include broken bones, such as wrists and ankles. Sometimes children can even suffer serious head injuries. Although some injuries are caused by the acts of children themselves, many times the harm is the direct result of a defectively designed piece of playground equipment or an improperly maintained playground.

Car accidents and calculating lost wages

There are a number of ways in which a car accident can affect an individual. While one's car may suffer damage, an Albuquerque car accident victim may also suffer significant physical harm as well as emotional turmoil. In turn, these damages can result in financial losses, primarily in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. It is possible to recover compensation for these damages, provided that one is successful on a personal injury claim, but imposing liability and demonstrating the full extent of one's losses can be challenging.

As an example, take a look at lost wages. While it may be easy to determine how much one has lost in wages up until the point of litigation or settlement of a personal injury claim, it can be much more difficult to calculate future wages that may be lost as a result of the accident. Here, a victim will need to put forth evidence of the history of wage increases and promotions, as well as one's training, education, and the average wage for those employed in his or her field. These are often ripe for argument, but it must be aggressively addressed to ensure a victim receives the money to which he or she is entitled.

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