Albuquerque pedestrian accident

The New Mexico Pedestrian Accident Epidemic


Pedestrian accidents are a major problem in New Mexico. In fact, we have the highest per capita rate of pedestrian accident fatalities out of any state in the U.S. Roughly around 575 pedestrians are hit by a car or other motor vehicle in New Mexico every year, some leading to severe injury and others resulting in death. A pedestrian accident isn’t just limited to a person being hit by a vehicle though, it includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, and even skateboarders. The pedestrian is a vulnerable victim because they are not protected by seat belts, airbags, etc, yet 4 out of 5 pedestrian accidents are caused by the negligence of a driver. This can lead to severe injuries that could include head trauma or bone fractures. Below is a list of driving negligence that can cause a pedestrian accident.

  • Running a red light- Streetlights are coordinated with crosswalks and if you have a red light, the pedestrian might have the right-of-way to walk, causing you to collide with them. 

  • Driving carelessly- Sidewalks are usually right next to roadways, so it is possible that if someone is driving carelessly (texting, eating, or not paying attention while at the wheel) they could merge onto the sidewalk and hit an unsuspecting pedestrian. 

  • Driving under the influence- Drugs, and alcohol compromise your senses and make it unsafe to drive. 

  • Speeding- The speed limits are there for a multitude of different reasons, They could be alerting the driver of construction, nearby pedestrians, or a potentially dangerous road ahead. 

  • School zones and bus stops- Failing to follow the implemented rules of school zones and bus stops can result in hitting a pedestrian who may be crossing to get on or off the bus. 


What to do after a pedestrian accident in New Mexico?

The Center for disease control and prevention reported that a pedestrian dies in an accident every 88 minutes. It is so often that pedestrian accidents can become fatal so it is of the utmost importance to call and report the accident immediately. When the officials come to the scene of the accident they can file a police report as well as provide medical attention to anybody injured. After the initial medical attention you received on the day of the pedestrian accident, you must follow up and seek additional attention just to make sure none of your injuries have become worse through not treating them properly over time. It is also important that both parties of the accident document the events that occurred if possible. Documenting the accident could entail getting the other person’s contact information, taking pictures of injuries, the scene, and or damaged property. It might be a good idea to also write down specific details about what happened immediately after so you do not forget important aspects of the case. When people experience a traumatic event, the brain tends to want to forget anything associated with the accident to protect itself. Mental, physical, and financial health are all at risk when getting into a pedestrian accident. That is why it is very important to seek justice and compensation for your pain and suffering. The last important thing that you should do the day the accident occurred or soon after is contacting a skilled New Mexico personal injury attorney to help you win your case. 


Being “at-fault” in a pedestrian accident in Albuquerque 

Although motor vehicles are usually to blame for a pedestrian accident, there are many times where a pedestrian can be at fault. If you have been in a pedestrian accident, comparative negligence still applies. Comparative negligence is a law that determines who is responsible for the accident and how the compensation is distributed. When opening a claim for a pedestrian accident, the statute of limitations is 3 years. Within that time the court will determine the percentage of negligence that falls upon you and the defendant.


 Listed below are some instances where the pedestrian was at fault.

  • Jaywalking- The cars are not looking out for a pedestrian on the road in these areas and they have the right of way. If a person is Jaywalking and they get hit, then they could be 40% to blame. 

  • Crossing the street or road without a walk signal. 

  • Crossing too slowly or quickly.

  • Looking at their phone while crossing the road. 

  • Standing in the road without moving.

  • Walking in areas that are not meant for pedestrians (like freeways).

  • Walking at night in black clothing and not being visible to drivers. 


There are other instances where it is more difficult to find comparative negligence. For instance, if a child gets hit. It is harder to spot a child on the road because of their smaller size and their lack of comprehension of the road rules. Find out what your NM lawsuit is worth today by calling an Albuquerque personal injury attorney. 


Punitive damage compensation in New Mexico

When fighting for a settlement, the compensation usually covers medical bills, property damages, and reimbursement from lost wages due to lack of work from an injury. Those are all considered economic compensation, but in some instances, you may qualify for non-economic compensation. Non- economic damages could include compensation for pain and suffering and emotional trauma/ damage. The non-economic payout will increase the worse the injuries are. Then the third compensation you may be able to receive is called punitive damages. Punitive damages only apply if the defendant was grossly negligent or displayed intentional misconduct during the accident. The punitive damages are a way to award the plaintiff and punish the defendant so this behavior doesn’t continue resulting in future accidents. 


If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian-related accident and you want to file a lawsuit/ injury claim to win justice and compensation, then you need to seek help from a specialized personal injury attorney. Genus Law Group’s Albuquerque personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the insurance companies and claim adjusters who will try every tactic to award you less than your case is worth. Let Genus Law Group handle the legal aspects of your case so everything runs smoothly and you can focus on recovering from your accident. Call us today for a FREE consultation or chat with a live representative on our website. 

Anthony Spratley
Connect with me
Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond