In New Mexico, car accidents occur all too frequently. In fact, state authorities and traffic analysts officially recorded 470 traffic deaths on New Mexico highways over the previous year alone. The majority of people in New Mexico will actually experience one or more car accidents over the course of their lives.
But although auto accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim, they aren't the only type of injury-causing event that could lead to damages and other losses for victims. Thankfully, if you've sustained injuries in an accident caused by another party's reckless or negligent actions, that individual may be liable for your medical expenses and other damages.
Injured victims may find that they're entitled to recompense for accident-related expenses, such as hospital bills and other medical expenses, lost wages and earnings, pain and suffering, and much more. However, navigating negotiations with insurance companies and dealing with insurance adjusters can be daunting after any personal injury in New Mexico, particularly when it comes to auto accidents.
If you've suffered damages caused by another person's negligence in New Mexico, it's important to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer will help you navigate the process for making a claim after a personal injury caused by another party's careless actions, regardless of the details of your accident.
To lawfully operate a motor vehicle in New Mexico, drivers must retain liability auto insurance or make a $60,000 cash deposit or surety bond with the state's treasury. Thus, if you are wounded in an accident caused by someone else, that person's insurance should cover your medical expenses up to the policy's maximum.
What's more, there are certain requirements for auto insurance in New Mexico. Also referred to as 25/50/10 coverage, this is the minimum coverage required.
Still, accident damages typically exceed the minimum insurance coverage. Drivers in New Mexico should protect themselves with more robust coverage. Optional coverage includes the following:
As far as premises liability claims go, homeowners insurance is not required by law in New Mexico. That said, most lenders insist that you get homeowners insurance if you are financing your house or another property. Finally, for medical malpractice cases, a minimum level of medical malpractice insurance is required for providers in order to be eligible for New Mexico's state liability reforms. Thus, most doctors and other healthcare providers elect to carry this coverage.
Another, more distinct type of accident insurance coverage, uninsured or underinsured driver (UM and UIM) coverage, protects motorists when they're involved in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
For instance, if a driver causes an auto accident and has insufficient or no auto insurance, a victim's UM/UIM coverage kicks in and pays their medical expenses. This is particularly applicable and essential in hit-and-run wrecks. Plus, considering an estimated 1 in 5 drivers is uninsured in New Mexico, securing UIM coverage is highly recommended for drivers in our state.
The state of New Mexico is a fault state, meaning that a driver who caused an accident must pay for the damages. The state also applies a criterion of pure comparative negligence to claims. Hence, even if a motorist was 90% at fault in an accident, they could still make a claim for compensation, despite being limited to a maximum 10% share of the total settlement.
Diminished value also comes into play for auto accident claims. New Mexico permits accident victims to submit a claim for a vehicle's lost value with the other driver's insurance company.
This is due to the fact that, even after a vehicle undergoes repairs, its resale value will be lower than comparable models that have not been involved in accidents.
For this to apply, the following conditions must be met:
Most of a claim's value is determined by overall economic damages and medical expenses, the severity of the injuries a victim suffered, and any other losses.
Moreover, injured parties can seek both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are often quantifiable expenditures with provable or verifiable costs, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage (such as vehicle repairs). Non-economic damages are more subjective but equally valid and include pain and suffering, as well as loss of consortium or companionship.
Generally, accident victims must make two claims with the at-fault driver's insurance company: one for injuries and another for property damage. Individuals carrying optional coverages such as UIM or collision may also submit a claim with their insurer.
Unfortunately, getting fair, full recompense for your damages from insurance adjusters, regardless of the type of personal injury you've suffered, can be difficult or nearly impossible for victims, which is why contacting an attorney after an accident is so important.
First and foremost, always remember to never accept an insurance settlement without first talking with a personal injury lawyer. An accident attorney will investigate the facts surrounding a crash, gather evidence, interview witnesses, construct a solid claim for compensation, determine your case's worth, and act as your liaison with third parties, like insurance companies.
Furthermore, accident victims should be aware of the statute of limitations in their respective states. If you suffered injuries in a car crash or other accident, you have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim under New Mexico civil statutes. This includes claims for car accidents, slip-and-falls, dog attacks, medical malpractice, and more.
Though making a claim with an at-fault party's insurer can be slightly different for other types of personal injury (such as a slip-and-fall accident or dog attack), the process is generally the same. For incidents outside of vehicle crashes, a victim would simply make a claim through another type of insurance policy versus their auto insurance.
As mentioned above, claims for premises liability, which typically comprises dog bites and injuries from falls or other accidents on another person's property, would be submitted through the negligent party's homeowner's insurance policy. For medical malpractice cases, a victim would go through the provider's liability insurance.
Any and all injury-causing accidents are devastating, and facing the aftermath is highly stressful for victims. To preserve your legal rights after an accident in the state of New Mexico, you should contact a skilled attorney right away.
If you or a loved one has been hurt at the hands of a careless or negligent individual, please visit the office of Will Ferguson & Associates for a free initial consultation. Call our car accident lawyers in Albuquerque at (505) 243-5566 to determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
If we find that you and yours are entitled to a potential settlement, we will handle every element of your legal claim. Don't wait to get seasoned legal counsel from our reputable accident attorney team. Reach out to us immediately for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your New Mexico personal injury today.
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