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How to File an Accident Injury Claim in New Mexico

In 2021 alone, state authorities and traffic analysts officially recorded 470 traffic deaths on New Mexico highways. This is a considerable surge compared to our state’s 2019 total of 425 road fatalities. Adding insult to injury, speeding, aggressive or careless driving, and driver distraction were the most prevalent causes of these deadly New Mexico accidents.

Thankfully, if you’ve sustained injuries in a vehicle accident caused by another motorist’s reckless or negligent actions, the other driver may be liable for your medical expenses and other damages.

Victims of vehicle collisions 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. If you’ve suffered damages caused by another driver’s negligence in New Mexico, it’s important to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Auto Insurance Requirements in New Mexico

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:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury (BI) or fatality
  • $50,000 for the death or injury of two individuals or more in a single incident.
  • $10,000 in property damage (PD) per accident.

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:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: This covers losses not caused by an auto accident, such as those caused by inclement weather, theft, and vandalism.
  • Gap Coverage: For those with auto loans, this type of coverage stipulates that insurance pay the difference between a car’s market value and the remaining loan balance.
  • Medical Coverage: Also known as med pay, this coverage pays for medical expenditures and funeral costs, regardless of fault.
  • Rental Coverage and Roadside Support: This allows you to take advantage of rental vehicle reimbursement in the event that your vehicle is out of commission. Roadside support provides access to towing, tire repair, jump starts, or other types of comparable assistance.

Uninsured/Underinsured Drivers in New Mexico

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.

What’s more, considering an estimated 1 in 5 drivers is uninsured in New Mexico, securing UIM coverage is recommended for drivers in our state.

Is New Mexico a Fault State?

How to File an Accident Injury Claim in New Mexico

The state of New Mexico is a fault state, meaning that a driver who caused a vehicle accident must pay for the damages. The state also applies a criterion of pure comparative negligence to claims. Hence, legally, 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. 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:

  • The driver making a claim was not the at-fault party.
  • The driver can provide proof of fault with documentation.
  • Fewer than four years have passed since the crash.

How is Accident Compensation Determined?

The majority of an automobile accident damage claim’s value is determined by pain and suffering, the severity of the injuries a victim suffered, and any other damages.

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 vehicle repairs.

Non-economic damages are more subjective but equally valid and include pain and suffering, as well as loss of consortium or companionship.

What is Loss of Consortium?

Loss of consortium is the deprivation or loss of advantages provided by a personal relationship, whether familial or intimate.

After an auto accident, a victim’s injuries or death may mean that their family, friends, or partners suffer from loss of companionship, comfort, or affection. You may be entitled to file a claim for loss of consortium if your spouse, partner, or other close family member has been wounded or killed due to another driver.

Making an Insurance Claim After a Crash

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 can be difficult or nearly impossible for victims, which is why contacting an attorney after an accident is so important.

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 in New Mexico, you have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim. This includes claims for car accidents, slip-and-falls, dog attacks, medical malpractice, and more.

Contact a New Mexico Auto Accident Lawyer

Motor vehicle collisions are devastating, and facing the aftermath is daunting 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 driver, 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 car accident today.

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    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
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    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

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