A car accident is something that drivers tend to try to avoid, but unfortunately, many will still find themselves in one.
The sad truth is that there are also plenty of accidents that are avoidable that occur due to someone’s negligence. In fact, the cause of an accident in some states can determine if someone is able to receive compensation or not.
Our legal team at the Harmonson Law Firm can help you navigate all the ins and outs of a car accident. This blog will cover the basics of knowing about fault laws in New Mexico and what that can mean regarding car accidents and compensation.
A Claim in an At-Fault State like New Mexico
New Mexico is an at-fault state.
That means the driver who causes an accident uses their insurance to pay for the other driver’s bills from the collision. If more than one driver is determined to be at fault, they will share the blame, and their insurance companies will divide the responsibility percentage.
For example, one driver could be 30% at-fault, while another driver is 60% at-fault, and a third is at 10% at-fault. That will be the percentage their insurance companies will pay. Being at-fault also means that the other drivers can sue you for damages if you were at fault for causing an accident.
You will need to open a claim with the at-fault person’s insurance company to pursue damage recovery. As long as the at-fault driver has adequate car insurance, the company should offer a settlement that pays for your medical expenses and property damage repairs.
However, if you suffered severe injuries or the insurance company is not offering enough, you may pursue compensation through the courts instead. A personal injury lawyer can help you build a strong case and deal with the insurance companies.
Insurance Requirements in New Mexico
Every driver in New Mexico must maintain a certain amount of auto insurance.
These insurance minimums allow the at-fault system to work and ensure that every driver has the means to take financial responsibility for their actions.
New Mexico uses a 25/50/10 insurance setup, requiring three main types of insurance to operate a vehicle:
- $25,000 in bodily injury insurance per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury insurance per accident
- $10,000 in property damage insurance
If you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, he or she may be unable to pay for your losses. In these situations, a claim with your insurance company may provide compensation instead. New Mexico has one of the highest uninsured motorist rates in the country. More than 1 in 5 drivers on Mexico roads are uninsured. It pays to carry uninsured motorist protection.
Determining the fault of a car accident can be tricky, and a lot of this is done at the accident site.
That is why documenting as much as possible at the scene of the accident or immediately after is essential. Make sure you also have as many facts as possible because sometimes the police reports can be wrong, and if so, you will want to be able to contest them.
Some other things that can help you to prove that you are not at-fault to present to your insurance company include:
- A police report that says who was at-fault
- A statement from the other driver’s insurance company accepting fault
- A legal document showing that you were reimbursed for the damage
- A driver’s written statement, under penalty of perjury, attesting to their fault
Hire a New Mexico Car Accident Attorney
Having someone in New Mexico who is on your side and looking out for you can significantly improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Car accidents are tricky to navigate in the aftermath, but an attorney can help you with everything from preparing documents to talking to insurance companies and reducing uncertainty about your case.
When you call the Harmonson Law Firm’s Las Cruces office for help, you take the first step toward navigating this process and dealing with insurance companies. Call (575) 208-2572, so we can get started working together.