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Were you or a loved one injured in a drunk driving accident? New Mexico's dram shop act may be able to help. This law allows injury victims and their loved ones to hold licensed establishments accountable for illegal alcohol service, in the event that a drunken patron goes on to cause an accident.
How To File A Dram Shop Lawsuit In New Mexico
After a severe accident, it only seems natural to begin considering a lawsuit against the crash's direct perpetrator, but you may also be able to sue the bar, restaurant or nightclub that served the perpetrator alcohol. Dram shop lawsuits must be based in violations of New Mexico's liquor code.
Only licensed establishments who have broken the law can be held liable in this way. In this regard, the dram shop law only specifies one applicable legal violation: serving alcohol to someone who is already visibly intoxicated.
It is a requirement that the bartender or liquor store clerk was aware (or should have been aware) of the patron's intoxication at the time of service. If you were injured by an intoxicated person's drunken actions, you may be able to make use of this law in prosecuting a case against the licensed establishment.
Limited Social Host Liability
In some circumstances, New Mexico's dram shop liability laws even extend to cover social hosts, people who serve alcohol or make it available at their private parties. When social hosts provide alcohol "recklessly in disregard of the rights of others," they can be held accountable by anyone who suffers injuries as a result.
New Mexico strictly limits the amount of damages that are available in a dram shop lawsuit. The current limit for bodily injury claims is set at $50,000 per person or $100,000 per single accident. For property damage, the limit is $20,000 per accident.
Statute Of Limitations
Like every type of injury claim, dram shop lawsuits are governed by a strict statute of limitations in New Mexico. This state law serves as a time limit; file your case after the statute of limitations has run its course and your lawsuit will almost certainly be thrown out. The statute of limitations in New Mexico for dram shop liability claims is 3 years, beginning on the date of injury.