While December in New Mexico does not mean piles of snow and ice like in the northeast, it does mean that the weather will drop into potentially freezing weather. This is particularly true of the next week’s forecast, where the overnight temperatures will drop below freezing and even into the low 20s. This has the potential to cause a sheen of ice, which could create serious New Mexico auto accidents. While snow and ice car crashes are rarer in New Mexico, they still occur and they can result in horrific personal injuries.
Here at the Mark Caruso, our experienced Albuquerque auto accident lawyer knows that snow and ice in New Mexico can result in deadly car crashes. While there are a lot less snow and ice motor vehicle accidents in New Mexico than in other states like New York, liability is similar and victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries. To learn more how we can help you and your family, please call (505) 883-5000 to schedule a FREE appointment.
No matter what the weather conditions are, the general rule is that the operator of a motor vehicle must use reasonable care under the circumstances in the use and operation of his or her motor vehicle. This means that motorists need to exercise a reasonable degree of care that a reasonably prudent person under like circumstances would. This standard may sound a little nebulous, and it is quite broad, but it is very important and flexible because it applies to cases on almost a case-by-case basis.
This standard is what has evolved from judge-made law known as common law, and is reflected of the societal values and beliefs at the time it is made. This also reflects what a jury comprised of citizens would do. Thus, when a driver has not exercised reasonable care on a roadway covered by snow and ice which results in a motor vehicle accident, it could be due to negligence.
In addition to the common law, there is legislatively made law which exists in the statutory code. If a motorist violates a statute which is meant to protect the victim, it could make the violator automatically liable under the doctrine of negligence per se. This means that the violation of a statute is an automatic finding of negligence.
Specifically with snow and ice on the roadway, NM Stat. section 66-7-301 (B) (1) provides that “[i]n every event, speed shall be so controlled by the driver as may be necessary to avoid colliding with a person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway.” This section has been interpreted to usurp or otherwise control the speed limits posted by law. Meaning that if the speed limit is 45 mph but the roadway is very slippery due to snow and ice, that motorist must slow down as necessary to avoid a collision.
While rare, snow and ice auto accidents can result in serious personal injuries or wrongful death. Victims should call our Albuquerque auto accident lawyer to learn how we can help. We handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Lordsburg, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, or anywhere else. Call the Mark Caruso by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.