Hit and run accidents are all too common. Most of the time they leave your car smashed up. But some of the time they leave you or others in your car injured. And if you were injured by a hit and run vehicle. your case is a little different than a garden variety car accident and here’s why:
- In a “normal” rear-end collision, often the driver was following too closely or not paying attention. When they hit the car in front of them, injuring someone, they are liable for the damages they caused. That includes damage to the vehicle, potentially any issues affecting the car’s market value, and damages (injury) to the person. But it also includes a more nebulous concept: pain and suffering. This is not a set dollar figure or worked out by a calculation or formula. It’s situation and fact-specific and has a very wide range.
- In a hit and run collision, lawyers like me will go after punitive damages on top of the other damages listed previously. That’s because New Mexico has determined that when conduct is reckless, or that the driver was behaving without regard for the safety of others so that he increases the likelihood someone will be hurt punitive damages may be appropriate.
- Punitive damages are meant to punish the driver for his reprehensible behavior beyond the damages for simple negligence. Punitive damages are also meant to deter others from doing the same reckless things.
- Finally, a hit and run driver can be said to have destroyed evidence (“spoliation of evidence”) when he removed his vehicle from the scene. Maybe he was drunk, maybe he had outstanding warrants, maybe there’s no way to know. What New Mexico lawyers do know is that hit and run drivers are dangerous and subject to punitive damages on top of everything else.
If you have been injured by a hit and run driver, call us today. We can help. Call us at (505) 433-1583 for a FREE consultation.