Every vehicle operator has a duty to drive carefully in order to avoid accidents, and failure to do so may be considered reckless driving. In New Mexico, motorists may be convicted of reckless driving when they display a wanton disregard for the safety of others, while endangering another person or property. According to a study conducted by WalletHub, New Mexico ranks third among states with the most stringent reckless driving penalties.
Criminal Penalties for Reckless Driving
While criminal charges can vary depending on the circumstances, reckless driving is a misdemeanor that carries the following penalties:
- 5 to 90 days in jail, and $25 to $100 in fines for the first offense.
- 10 days to 6 months in jail, and $50 to $1,000 in fines for a subsequent offense.
- Six demerit points added to a motorist’s driving record.
- License suspension for a period of up to 90 days.
Civil Damages for Reckless Driving Accidents
There are two types of damages that a reckless driving vehicle accident victim may be entitled to:
- Compensatory damages. These damages are intended to compensate the collision victim for any losses incurred due to the accident, such as medical bills and missed time from work. Compensatory damages may also provide compensation for pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages. These damages go beyond simply paying bills. They are intended to punish a reckless or aggressive driver, while deterring others from engaging in similar behavior. Therefore, even cases providing minimal compensatory benefits may still result in a substantial award of punitive damages.
Receiving Compensation After a Reckless or Aggressive Vehicle Accident
If you’ve been injured in a collision caused by a reckless driver, you may be entitled to receive both compensatory and punitive damages for the harm you’ve suffered. An experienced attorney can use evidence uncovered during a reckless driving criminal case to support your claim and help you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the Injury & Disability Law Center by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.