Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Pedestrian Accident Takes Life of Young Woman

- Samuel Kane

An accident in Las Cruces involving two separate vehicles has resulted in the death of a young woman. Members of the city government are calling for changes to be made to the intersection to prevent future such accidents.

Fatal pedestrian accident on Del Rey Boulevard

The recent local accident occurred on the 4200 block of Del Rey Boulevard, a busy stretch of the road that many locals have described as dangerous to pedestrians. A 19-year-old woman and student at New Mexico State University was crossing the street at about an hour after sunset when she was struck by a Las Cruces city bus traveling north on Del Rey Boulevard. The woman collided with the bottom left corner of the bus, which forced the victim into the opposing lane of traffic. A Buick Century headed south on Del Rey then struck the young woman. She was transported to MountainView Regional Medical Center, where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. The accident remains under investigation. The bus driver has been placed on administrative leave as authorities investigate the accident and determine whether the driver was negligent or reckless in causing the accident.

Municipalities must plan streets with pedestrian safety in mind

As law enforcement investigates the incident, some city officials are asking whether the layout of Del Rey Boulevard in the area of the accident is partly to blame. The section of street lacks street lights or sidewalks, despite being home to a large call center which many employees must enter and exit on foot. Additionally, many of the call center’s employees must walk to a bus stop that is across the street from the call center, but no signal or protected crosswalk exists to prevent them from getting hurt while doing so. With no signal, crosswalk, or street lighting, these pedestrians can be difficult for drivers to see. When unsafe streets or poor intersection design result in injuries to drivers or pedestrians, developers and city governments may bear financial liability to accident victims for failing to provide adequate safety protections for roadway users.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a New Mexico pedestrian accident, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the knowledgeable and seasoned Las Cruces personal injury attorney Samuel L. Kane for a free consultation on your case, at 575-526-5263.

Police Settle Wrongful Death Suit Based on Las Cruces High-Speed Crash for $850k

- Samuel Kane

The surviving spouse of a man killed in a high-speed police car crash will receive $850,000 as a settlement of her claim that a reckless police officer caused her husband’s death. Learn more about the case below, and contact a knowledgeable New Mexico personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in a collision with an emergency vehicle.

Man injured when traveling through intersection on a green light

The settlement stems from an accident that occurred in July of 2015. Wayne Myers, 73, was driving a 2003 Toyota across the intersection of West Picacho Avenue and North Motel Boulevard in Las Cruces at the time of the accident. His wife, Barbara, was in the passenger seat of the car. The couple had just left an appointment with an oncologist, where Wayne learned that his cancer was in remission. Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Richards was traveling in a marked law enforcement vehicle north on Motel Boulevard. He asserts that his sirens were on and emergency lights flashing as he responded to a call for backup at an incident where a fellow deputy was allegedly being held at gunpoint. Richards asserted that he stopped his vehicle before traveling through the intersection, and some witnesses agreed with this account. In any event, Richards collided with the rear of the Toyota carrying Wayne and Barbara. Wayne suffered a shoulder injury and was hospitalized. While at first the injury seemed to have been successfully treated, eventually complications developed which caused his death on August 14, 2015.

Lawsuit filed against county

Barbara Myers filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Doña Ana County, arguing that Deputy Richards had negligently caused the auto accident which resulted in her husband’s passing. The county argued that Richards had not been negligent on the day of the crash, pointing out that an investigating prosecutor had failed to file charges against the deputy. Nevertheless, the county agreed to settle the widow’s claims for $850,000. Her attorney stated, “We hope this case will be used by both DASO and LCPD to critically review their policies and procedures when crossing red lights against traffic and take this as an opportunity to provide further training to our law enforcement personnel to implement more training in this area and to better ensure the safety of not only the driving public, but also our police officers.”

Liability for reckless emergency vehicle drivers

Emergency vehicles using their flashing lights and sirens have the right-of-way on New Mexico roads, even when traveling against a red light or speeding. However, this does not mean that emergency vehicle drivers have no duty to ensure that it is safe to proceed. Under New Mexico law, emergency vehicles must still have “due regard for the safety of all persons” and can face liability for reckless disregard of others’ safety. Additionally, if these emergency vehicles are not using their flashing lights or sirens, New Mexico law does not permit them to travel at excessive speeds or through intersections against the signal. Drivers who fail to follow these laws can face consequences in the form of a personal injury lawsuit filed by accident victims.

If you need a skilled and experienced attorney to help you get the damages you’re owed after a serious crash in New Mexico, contact a Las Cruces personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane for a consultation, at 575-526-5263.

Wrong-Way Crash Kills Local Driver

- Samuel Kane

A recent crash on Interstate 10 has taken the life of a local man. The recent crash was a head-on collision, which is one of the deadliest types of collisions. Learn more about the recent crash and what often causes these types of collisions, below.

Wrong-way crash on I-10

The crash occurred just south of Las Cruces on Interstate 10. An 85-year-old man driving a 2000 Oldsmobile sedan was driving near mile post 150, close to the Mesquite exit, at approximately 10:30pm on Sunday, October 29, 2017. The car was traveling in the eastbound lanes, but was headed west, when it collided with a 2016 Chevrolet coupe. Law enforcement responded to find that the driver of the Oldsmobile had died at the scene of the crash. The driver of the Chevrolet was not injured in the collision.

Head-on collisions are deadly more often than other crash types

Head-on crashes are some of the most dangerous forms of motor vehicle accident. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that head-on crashes are the form of traffic accident that is most likely to result in fatal injuries. While only about 2% of all accidents are considered head-on crashes, roughly 7% of all fatal crashes in urban areas and 13% of fatal crashes in rural areas are classified as head-on collisions. These crashes are typically deadlier than other types of accidents, due to the fact that the force of both colliding vehicles combines when the cars strike one another head-on, resulting in a greater impact than other types of crashes.

Head-on crashes often result from a wrong-way driver becoming confused when entering a highway or turning onto a street. These accidents are more likely to occur at night, when visibility is low for drivers. A common cause of head-on collision is driver impairment from drugs or alcohol. This intoxication by many drivers who are involved in a head-on crash also tends to make these collisions deadlier, since drunk drivers are less likely to brake or otherwise try to avoid a crash before it occurs. Additionally, elderly drivers with impaired vision or who are prone to confusion are more likely to be involved in head-on collisions. Victims of head-on crashes may be entitled to money damages through a personal injury suit for their medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a head-on collision in New Mexico, find out if you have a right to money damages for your injuries by contacting the knowledgeable and skilled Las Cruces personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane for a consultation, at 575-449-3644.

Causes of Auto Accidents in the Fall

- Samuel Kane

The sweltering days of summer are officially over and cooler days of fall have arrived. As welcome as this reprieve may be, this season also presents a number of unique issues which can increase the chances of being involved in a car wreck.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Slippery Conditions

Our average rainfall may be at its highest during the summer, but we still see a fair amount of rain throughout the Fall months here in New Mexico. Rain creates slippery, dangerous surfaces for cars, motorcycles and trucks, and it can cause vehicles to skid or spin out of control when braking.

Ice and snow can also become a factor, particularly if you are traveling through some of the higher passages in our state. Beware of black ice and be properly prepared if you plan on driving through any areas which may have snow (have snow tires, snow chains, drive slowly, etc.).

Decreased Visibility

The days are becoming progressively shorter during the Fall which means a decrease in visibility. Statistics have shown that driving during the nighttime almost doubles your risk of being involved in a car crash because you cannot see what is ahead of you.

Fog is another issue which can increase your chances of being in an auto wreck. Foggy conditions can make it difficult for drivers to see more than one car length ahead of them. The best way to travel through the fog is to use your headlights (not your high beams) and to drive with caution.

Animal Crossings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reported that approximately 1.5 million car accidents each year in the United States involve deer or other large animals. October through to December is considered to be “deer season” which increases your risk of being involved in a deer-related car accident.

Whenever possible, try to avoid hitting the animal to prevent personal injury and damage to your vehicle. If possible, hit the animal at an angle while staying in your lane. This increases the likelihood of the animal spinning out of your car’s path so that you can avoid being impaled by a deer’s sharp antlers.

The Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane Can Help with Your Car Crash Claim

If the negligence of another while on the road has caused you injury, The Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane can help. Our team of legal experts are experienced in handling both insurance settlements and car crash personal injury claims, and we will work diligently to ensure that you are compensated for your pain and injuries.

We invite you to call to arrange a free consultation today at (575) 526-5263.

Top Three Las Cruces Personal Injury Mistakes

- Samuel Kane

Being injured because of the negligence of another can be traumatizing and shocking to anyone. But there are important steps to be taken if you want to maximize the results of your personal injury claim.

The Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. has witnessed far too many injured individuals suffer losses simply because they made mistakes prior to and during their personal injury claim. We want to make sure that you can get the most out of your case by avoiding these top three personal injury claim mistakes below.

Three Personal Injury Claim Mistakes

Failing to Receive Medical Treatment

Your injury may seem minor at first, but the after-effects of your injury can show up hours or days after the event.

Seeking medical treatment is important for two critical reasons:

  • You can receive proper prescribed treatment quickly, reducing your recovery time
  • Your medical documents provide third party evidence of your injuries, pain and suffering, lost time from work, etc.
  • Whenever you are hurt, make an appointment with your family doctor or pay a visit to the emergency room. Your doctor will run diagnostic tests to see if you do or do not have any further injuries or ailments resulting from the injury

Providing a Statement to an Insurance Company

While you should contact your own insurance company in the event of an accident, you are by no means obligated to speak to the insurance company of any other party involved in an accident.

Before speaking to the insurance company of the individual who caused the accident, consult with an expert personal injury lawyer in Las Cruces. Your lawyer will likely advise you not to provide a recorded statement and will handle the other party’s insurance company so that you do not have to.

Settling Your Case without an Attorney

Far too often injured individuals settle when they do not know if their injuries are temporary or permanent, what sort of future treatment they will require, and what compensation they are entitled to.

Speak to an Expert Las Cruces Personal Injury Lawyer

The Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. is an award-winning firm with a team of accomplished legal attorneys who are known throughout Las Cruces for fighting relentlessly for the rights of their clients. We commit ourselves to every case to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.

At The Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. we offer a free consultation to anyone who wants to learn more about their legal rights after suffering a personal injury. Schedule your consultation with us today at (575) 526-5263.

Wrongful Death Claimed As Man Ejected from Girlfriend’s Car

- Samuel Kane

Drunk drivers whose actions cause the wrongful death of others can face serious criminal charges ranging from financial penalties to community service and even time in jail. It is possible, however, for them to also face civil liability if a victim sues them, or if certain survivors sue those victims.

  • Criminal proceedings: Criminal proceedings are in place to protect the public from any future harm which may be caused by the alleged drunk driver. It is also used as a way to punish a drunk driver for his or her negligence and recklessness
  • Civil proceedings: Civil proceedings only occur if someone is suing the alleged drunk driver. With this type of lawsuit you can recover a number of damages, including medical costs and treatment, damaged property, lost wages, and other economic damages you may have suffered

Drunk drivers can receive criminal and civil charges.

A Recent Example

A girlfriend has been sued for wrongful death after her alleged negligence resulted in the death of her boyfriend.

In May 2017 the young woman and her boyfriend entered the Cerrillos Road exit near the I-25 southbound in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their car collided with another vehicle, forcing the boyfriend to be ejected from the vehicle. He was transported to a hospital and placed on life support, but after a week his family decided to take him off life support.

Girlfriend Allegedly Drunk When Incident Occurred

The girlfriend was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident. She was also charged with careless driving and great bodily harm by vehicle.

The victim’s family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and her parents based on her being allowed to drive a vehicle that was registered to them and because the parents were aware of their daughters’ previous unspecified minor traffic charges.

Wrongful Death Suits Ensure Economic Stability for Families

When a loved one loses his or her life because of a drunk driver, it has a significant emotional and economic impact on family members. Filing a wrongful death suit ensures that everyone negatively affected by a negligent driver are at least financially compensated for their losses, and they are able to secure a more steady and stable financial future.

The Law Office of Samuel I. Kane P.A. in Las Cruces and surrounding New Mexico communities is committed to helping families recover from the untimely loss of a loved one, and we invite you call us today at (575) 526-5263.

Police Suspect DUI Caused Fatal Truck Accident on New Mexico Freeway

- Samuel Kane

In the wake of a fatal freeway collision between a Freightliner truck and a SUV transporting a young family, authorities have found increased evidence that alcohol played a role in the accident, including statements from surviving passengers.

According to the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office, three passengers of the commercial truck who survived the incident admitted that they had been consuming alcohol before fatal crash. The group of men had been traveling home from work and were hauling large landscaping equipment at the time of the wreck.

Although toxicology results are pending to confirm whether or not the driver of the truck had been drinking, authorities indicated that current investigations currently point to the young family being the victims.

Court records also revealed that the driver of the truck had a history of DUI-related offenses, including a charge for driving under the influence while operating an off-highway vehicle. At the time of that incident, the man was also carrying a firearm, a violation of a previous felony drug conviction.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Because commercial trucks dwarf typical automobiles in size and weight, trucking accidents often carry severe, if not fatal, consequences. That’s why the trucking industry is so closely regulated, and why drivers are typically held to a much higher standard of care than other motorists.

In addition to DUI, there are a variety of factors that can contribute to a trucking accident. Some of the most common include:

  • Driver Fatigue – long hours behind the wheel and/or insufficient periods of rest leave drivers unable to stay awake on the road. This is the most common cause of truck accidents.
  • Faulty Equipment – accidents can be caused by blown out tires, loose bolts, improperly fastened cargo or large parts flying off trucks. It’s important to be sure a truck has undergone the appropriate preventative maintenance to operate on the road.
  • Poor Weather – heavy rain, hail, dust storms and snowstorms can make it very difficult for drivers to safely operate large trucks.

The most important thing in any truck accident situation is to seek the appropriate medical attention at the earliest possible opportunity. Only a qualified medical professional can diagnose personal injuries and recommend the best course of treatment or rehabilitation.

If you or someone you love have been involved in a truck accident and have sustained personal injury, you may be eligible to file a legal claim against the individual or organization responsible for your injury.

Truck Accident Attorneys in New Mexico

In New Mexico, the dedicated attorneys at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane are proud to serve as legal advocates for victims of personal injury, including those who have been involved in accidents with large commercial trucks. Our firm has years of proven experience in personal injury litigation, at both the state and federal level, and is committed to supporting you and your case every step of the way.

To learn more about our personal injury representation, or to schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a member of our legal team, contact the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane at (575) 526-5263.

Keys to Winning a Slip and Fall Injury Case

- Samuel Kane

Slip and fall injuries can occur anytime, anywhere. That’s why the law requires property managers and owners to maintain a hazard-free environment for any patrons or tenants.

Where Slip and Fall Accidents Happen Most Often

Unfortunately, accidents do happen, including slip and falls involving:

  • Railways
  • Staircases
  • Sidewalks
  • Floors in commercial or residential premises

Generally, slip and fall injuries come down to some degree of negligence on behalf of the property owner or manager. However, proving negligence in personal injury cases can be complex. Even in cases where an injury occurred, the victim may not always be eligible to receive compensation.

In order to have a successful personal injury claim, the injured individual will need to prove that the property owner or manager was the negligent party, and that they themselves did not contribute to the injury-causing accident.

Chick-Fil-A Example

Recently, Georgia’s Court of Appeals announced an opinion that provided further insight on the factors necessary to win a slip and fall injury case:

  • Prove the proprietor or owner being sued knew or should have known about the hazard
  • Ensure the injured party’s testimony does not contradict an earlier deposition

In announcing the decision, the court ruled against an injured party, determining that her case failed to meet those two core criteria. The woman had suffered a back injury after slipping and falling on water in a ladies’ room at a Chick-fil-A restaurant.

According to the court’s decision, a property owner or proprietor is not necessarily liable for slip and fall injury even if the injured party can provide proof that a fall occurred. The court ruled that a plaintiff must show that the owner or proprietor had actual or constructive knowledge of the injury-causing hazard.

Have you or someone you know suffered personal injury as a result of a slip and fall incident? If so, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Only an attorney specializing in this area of law can assess your injury and current state laws to determine the best legal strategy.

The Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane

That’s where the highly skilled legal team at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane comes in. Our firm specializes in representing clients dealing with a wide variety of personal injury matters, including those who have been injured as a result of slip and fall. We can help sort through the legal issues surrounding your case and recommend a course of action for a civil claim and the full recovery of damages.

Do not delay – our attorneys are standing by, prepared to help you and your case today. To schedule your free initial consultation with a member of our legal team, contact at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane at (575) 526-5263.

Texas Woman Suffers Spinal Injury in Severe Three-Vehicle Collision

- Samuel Kane

A Texas woman suffered an upper spinal injury late last year after the vehicle in which she was a passenger collided with a semi-truck and a motor home on a busy Washington interstate.

According to police, the motor home was traveling southbound on the Interstate and swerved to avoid colliding with another car when it struck the passenger vehicle, propelling it it underneath a large box truck. Although the driver of the passenger vehicle escaped on his own, the Texas woman was pinned in the burning car until first responders were able to extinguish the flames.

After the victim was freed from the vehicle, she was airlifted to an area medical center, where she was classified as being in critical condition with a spinal injury.

Although authorities determined that alcohol did not play a role in the accident, a preliminary investigation indicated that the driver of the motor home was liable for the accident and any subsequent injuries.

Common Causes of Spinal Injury

A spinal injury can be caused by something as small as a trip, slip or call. However, most spinal injuries occur as a result of a more severe incident, such as a motor vehicle accident or an act of violence. Both continue to rank as leading causes of such injuries.

Negligence is also a key contributing factor in spinal injuries. When an individual or organization behaves in a negligent manner, it can cause devastating accidents, like those that result in severe personal injury.

What to Do If You Have Suffered a Spinal Injury

Due to the severe nature of these injuries, it is critical that, if you have suffered spinal trauma, you seek medical help immediately to assess the extent of your injury. Failure to seek medical assistance at the earliest possible opportunity can have negative consequences for any recovery, as well as reduce the chances that you can successfully recover compensation and other damages from a personal injury claim.

Once a doctor has assessed your injury, an attorney specializing in personal injury can evaluate your case and recommend a course of action that offers the best possible chance for recovering financial compensation and damages related to your injury. Such compensation is critical in helping to cover:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

Have you suffered a spinal injury due to an accident or another person’s negligence? If so, you should not delay seeking the wise legal guidance of a qualified attorney, as you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim.

Seeking Help at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane

For those residing in Las Cruces and the nearby areas of Doña Ana County, the legal team at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane can provide the legal expertise you need when dealing with severe personal injury. Our firm has a wealth of experience in representing clients dealing with severe personal injury, including spinal trauma, and can work with you to build a strong case that delivers the best possible results.

As a convenience to new clients, we are proud to offer a complimentary preliminary consultation to help assess your case as quickly as possible. Contact the dedicated personal injury team at the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane today – (575) 526-5263.

Celebrating the 4th of July in Elephant Butte, New Mexico

- Samuel Kane

There’s no better place to be over the 4th of July weekend than Elephant Butte, New Mexico. With crowds reaching over 100,000 people, and a stream of donations pouring in throughout the year for a fireworks’ show that tops the $20,000 mark, Elephant Butte is the place to be.

With beaches, campgrounds, boating and water sports at the disposal of guests, great times await as crowds arrive with family and friends throughout the long, holiday weekend. With so many people traveling and enjoying the festivities, July 4th also shares the weekend with injurious conditions and safety concerns.

Deadly Statistics

In fact, July 4th carries the unwanted designation of being the deadliest holiday of the year, surpassing New Year’s Eve in alcohol-related fatalities.

  • Over the past 25 years, 51% of all deadly crashes over the 4th of July weekend were alcohol related
  • Highway fatalities increase 37% over the 4th of July weekend
  • Independence weekend accounts for 41,200 injuries and 385 deaths throughout the US
  • Approximately eight deaths and 11,400 injuries are from fireworks accidents

Travel Safely This 4th of July Weekend

Getting to Elephant Butte, New Mexico is half the fun. Traveling by car allows passengers to take in the scenery and beauty of the area, but it is not without safety concerns. While traveling by car, safety should be a top priority.

  • Always buckle safety belts
  • Maintain proper speeds
  • Do not use cellphones while driving
  • Use proper child restraints, where applicable
  • Never drink and drive
  • Load and unload all towed items properly, including campers, trailers and boats

Boating Safety

Once you arrive at Elephant Butte, and are planning to go boating, be sure to:

  • Wear life jackets
  • Stay hydrated
  • Ensure all equipment is working properly
  • Be prepared for an emergency
  • Swim in designated areas
  • Maintain safe speeds
  • Keep a look out for other boats and people on and in the water
  • Never drink and drive a boat

Firework Safety

Finally, before enjoying the amazing Elephant Butte fireworks show at the end of the weekend, be sure to practice firework safety of your own by:

  • Ensuring an adult is supervising any child near fireworks
  • Wearing eye protection
  • Lighting fireworks in a clear area, away from debris, vehicles or buildings
  • Keeping a bucket of water nearby, in case of a spark or fire
  • Disposing of used fireworks properly, to avoid fires
  • Reading the directions carefully, to avoid injury

Maintain a Fun & Safe Environment

While enjoying the extended weekend, it is important to be aware of the dangers around you while traveling long distances, and sharing the road with other travelers. You oversee your well-being throughout the weekend, and even though you may practice safety as a priority, it is wise to assume that others may not.

Should you find yourself enduring injurious circumstances due to someone else’s negligence, please contact the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane for help. Our attorney group can help you understand your rights, and how you can hold another responsible for injuries suffered in an auto, boat, camping or fireworks accident. The 4th of July is a weekend you want to remember, but not for the wrong reasons. Contact us today at (575) 526-5263 to discuss your injuries, and learn how we can help.