The laws in New Mexico mandate drivers must stop at the scene of motor vehicle collisions they are involved in when property damage, injury, or death occurs in the crash. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers fail to stop at a crash scene. Briefs Santa Fe New Mexico recently reported on a collision which caused the death of an Albuquerque man. The other driver involved in the accident did not stop.
The incident occurred outside of a Chevron gas station. A 26-year-old man and woman were walking in the parking area of the gas station when the man became involved in an argument with the driver of a flatbed truck. The truck driver got into the car and when his female passenger returned, he drove away. He drove over landscaping, onto the sidewalk, and fatally injured the 26-year-old man who he had been arguing with. The truck subsequently drove away.
Police are trying to identify the truck driver via surveillance footage from the accident scene as well as surveillance footage showing the driver and the female passenger.
This hit-and-run accident is one of many which occur each year. While this incident may have been intentional, many other hit-and-runs happen when drivers are drunk and leave crash scenes, or simply occur when motorists flee accidents for any number of reasons. Regardless of why a driver leaves a crash scene, hit-and-run is a crime which can have profound consequences for both the victims of the crash and for the driver who flees.
What Happens After a Hit-and-Run Crash?
When a hit-and-run accident occurs, especially if it is a serious crash, police should be called to the scene as soon as possible. As much information as possible should be provided to law enforcement, including details about the vehicle and the drivers who left the scene. Police can use this information to investigate and try to find the driver who left the crash scene.
If the driver who left the scene of the accident is found, the driver can face criminal charges for leaving the site of an accident. The victims can also pursue a case against the driver for monetary compensation for crash losses if the victims are able to prove the other driver was to blame for causing the accident. The victims will need to show that the individual was actually driving a car at the time of the crash, that the driver was negligent or broke the rules of the road, and that the negligence was the direct cause of the motor vehicle accident.
If the driver is not found in a hit-and-run, crash victims may be able to make a claim on their uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is not required in New Mexico, so victims will be able to get compensation only if they have chosen to purchase optional coverage.