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What happens when a drunk driver doesn’t have insurance?

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2023 | Personal Injury |

The roads in New Mexico would probably be safer if everyone made crash prevention their top priority. Simply abiding by traffic laws consistently with likely go a long way toward the reduction of many types of wrecks. Unfortunately, people often take their safety for granted and ignore traffic laws in New Mexico. Some people ignore the speed limit or conduct rolling stops at busy intersections. Others get behind the wheel after drinking or let their insurance lapse so that they have no coverage if they cause a crash.

It is common for people to break more than one traffic statute at a time. Members of the public could end up hurt by someone under the influence of alcohol at the wheel who also doesn’t have proper insurance coverage. What happens after a crash caused by an impaired motorist without liability coverage?

The case may need to go to court

It is common for those hurt by drunk drivers to end up in civil court, as the collisions can be extreme enough to exceed what insurance would pay in many cases. When there is no insurance available whatsoever, the affected parties may have few options other than taking the drunk driver to court in pursuit of compensation.

Of course, someone who couldn’t afford insurance coverage and who may soon serve a sentence in state facilities because of their impaired driving may not have the resources or income necessary to properly compensate others. Those unsure of how they will cover hospital bills and lost wages after a drunk driving crash in New Mexico may have a second option for a personal injury lawsuit.

The state’s dram shop law permits a  lawsuit brought against a licensed bar or restaurant that violates liquor statutes by providing alcohol to someone who is under the age of 21 or visibly intoxicated at the time of service. If there were liquor law violations immediately preceding the crash, then it may be possible to bring an insurance claim or lawsuit against the bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver instead of simply against the motorist at fault for the crash.

Exploring every option for compensation is often necessary when a drunk driver causes a crash that results in significant consequences for others in New Mexico. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.