New Mexico Crash Victims Can Seek Compensation if the Injured Party is Partially Liable
September 13, 2019
Contributory Negligence & Comparative Negligence
Injured parties are not able to recover damages or compensation for injuries if they bear responsibility for a crash under the model of contributory negligence. In a state that utilizes this model, if a victim is just 1 or 2 percent liable, they cannot seek compensation. Luckily, New Mexico is a comparative negligence state, as established under New Mexico statute 41-3A-1. This means that the injured party’s amount of compensation is reduced by their proportion of liability. Simply put, if the plaintiff is 10% responsible, then the awarded compensation will be reduced by 10%.
Comparative negligence is organically preferable for plaintiffs. However, this does not mean assigned blame of parties in a crash is a trivial concern. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The percentage of fault assigned to a plaintiff or defendant is usually a crucial issue that can lead to disagreements during the negotiation process or in court. Obviously, a 60/40 apportionment has a very distinct financial outcome compared to an 80/20 or 90/10 apportionment, especially in cases involving catastrophic injuries.
In New Mexico, You Can Obtain Compensation Even if You Were Primarily at Fault
Some states that implement a model of comparative negligence are very different than New Mexico. In other states, plaintiffs are barred from recovering compensation if they are more than 50% liable for a collision. This concept is known as modified comparative negligence and is different from New Mexico’s pure comparative negligence model. In New Mexico, the law establishes that plaintiffs who are more than 50% liable for a crash are still able to seek compensation.
Because of this fact, it is often useful to discuss your case with a qualified Albuquerque car accident lawyer. Victims should do this even if they think they are primarily to blame for a car accident. For starters, they may not be completely at fault. A proper investigation of the accident could reveal some details -- such as faulty brakes or other factors that were previously unknown -- which caused the incident. If injuries are severe, you may be able to establish that you were not primarily responsible for the crash.
New Mexico Intersection Accidents
Intersections are a common site of car crashes in New Mexico. There are many drivers crossing paths at an intersection, and many types of crashes take place within the confines of a marked intersection. These include left-hand turns and other collisions, which can involve varying levels of liability.
Intersections are the location of 50% of all serious accidents across the country. As with any car crash, crashes within an intersection can be very severe. Victims may be able to seek financial damages with the help of a trained legal team.
The firm of Will Ferguson & Associates has an established record helping victims recover from injuries sustained in a car accident. We can help determine how the accident happened and who is at fault. Contact our offices today at 505-243-5566 if you think you have grounds for a personal injury claim.