$16 Million Truck Accident
Buckingham & Vega obtained a $16 million settlement in a truck accident case. The truck driver was speeding and inattentive (texting) and crashed into the rear of a pickup truck stopped at a stoplight.
$14 Million Dram Shop Liability
Our team obtained a $14 million dram shop verdict on behalf of a client who was injured due to negligence.
13 Million Truck Accident
Our team secured a 13 million settlement in a truck accident case. An eighteen-wheeler made an unsafe turn in front of a car driven by a grandmother and her family. The grandmother was killed and the family suffered severe injuries.
How Criminal Proceedings Can Impact Your Drunk Driving Lawsuit in Farmington, NM
Criminal proceedings can in some instances significantly influence the outcome of your drunk driving accident claim. At the same time, it is important to recognize that criminal proceedings and civil lawsuits operate independently of each other. The outcome of a criminal case does not guarantee the result of a civil case, and vice versa.
Criminal charges for DUI are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future. They can result in penalties such as fines, probation, or even imprisonment. In a criminal trial, the burden of proof is higher than in a civil case. The prosecution must prove the defendant's guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is a considerably high standard. If the drunk driver is found guilty in the criminal trial, it can substantially support your civil claim, as the criminal conviction can serve as strong evidence of the defendant's negligence.
With that said, the outcome of criminal proceedings does not directly determine the success of your civil claim. Even if the defendant is acquitted in the criminal trial, you may still pursue a civil claim for damages. This is because the standard of proof in a civil case, a “preponderance of the evidence,” is lower. You need to demonstrate that it is more likely than not that the defendant's negligent behavior caused your injuries.
Our Farmington drunk driving attorneys are prepared for every possibility. Whether the negligent driver who injured you was convicted in criminal proceedings or never formally charged at all, we will fight to enforce your rights and get you the just compensation you deserve.
How Dram Shop Liability Works in Farmington, NM
In New Mexico, the law recognizes the concept of “dram shop liability,” which can play a pivotal role in drunk driving accidents. This law holds businesses, including bars, restaurants, or liquor stores, accountable when they improperly serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor who subsequently causes a drunk driving accident. (The term “dram shop” comes from a time when alcohol was traditionally sold by a unit of measure called a “dram.”)
The dram shop law aims to discourage establishments from serving alcohol to visibly inebriated individuals or underage patrons, thereby reducing the risk of alcohol-related accidents. If a business violates this duty and the overserved individual causes an accident, the injured party may bring a lawsuit against the establishment under the state’s dram shop law. This provides another avenue for victims to obtain compensation beyond the potential claim against the drunk driver themselves.
Successfully pursuing a dram shop liability claim requires demonstrating specific elements. First, you must show that the establishment served alcohol to an individual who was visibly intoxicated or underage. Second, you must prove a direct link between this act and the consequent accident that injured you. This entails demonstrating that the overserved person's intoxication was a significant factor in causing the accident.
At Buckingham & Vega Law Firm, we have extensive experience in handling these cases. Our attorneys are adept at investigating these incidents, identifying potential dram shop liability, and building persuasive cases against negligent establishments. By expanding the scope of liability, we aim to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries and losses.