Pedestrian Accidents: Navigating the Legal Landscape in New Mexico

Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) paints an alarming picture of New Mexico's pedestrian incidents. In fact, since 1980, 2022 was the deadliest year for pedestrians on a national scale, and our state was no exception to these sobering statistics.

New Mexico has the greatest fatality rate from pedestrian traffic accidents among all states. Unfortunately, 4.4 per 100,000 New Mexico residents were killed in pedestrian incidents in 2022.

Thankfully, you have the right to compensation for accident-related financial losses, such as medical expenses and lost income if your injuries from a pedestrian accident require you to miss work temporarily or permanently. The driver who struck you while you were crossing at a crosswalk or another location where pedestrians have the right-of-way may be held fully liable for the collision. In the case of grievous injuries, it may be necessary for you to initiate the proceedings of a personal injury lawsuit.

Pedestrian Rights and Accident Claims in New Mexico

When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle, an accident occurs, which leads to severe injuries or fatalities. Diverse factors, including distracted driving, acceleration, failure to yield, impaired driving, and poor road conditions, can contribute to these collisions.

To prevail in a claim involving a pedestrian accident, it is essential to establish the following elements:

  • The driver was obliged to exercise caution and ensure their vehicle's safe and responsible operation, particularly in areas where pedestrians are anticipated to cross.
  • By acting negligently or recklessly—such as speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk—the motorist breached that duty.
  • The collision and the subsequent harm inflicted upon the pedestrian were directly attributable to the driver's negligence. It is critical to establish a direct correlation between the actions of the motorist and the injuries sustained by the pedestrian.
  • Actual damages sustained by the pedestrian may have included medical expenses, lost wages, physical and mental anguish, or emotional distress. These damages must be documented for the claim.

Pedestrian laws in New Mexico delineate the rights and obligations of individuals who are traversing the state by foot. The following are several pivotal components:

  • At intersections, pedestrians are granted the right of way in both marked and unregistered crosswalks. Passengers are required to defer to vehicles in these designated areas.
  • When available, pedestrians are required to utilize crosswalks and to abide by pedestrian control devices and traffic signals (e.g., "walk" and "don't walk" signals). Pedestrians should also defer to vehicles when crossing in the absence of a crosswalk unless they are at an intersection or a clearly marked crossing point.
  • When available, pedestrians are strongly encouraged to utilize the sidewalks. Pedestrians should stroll on the left side of the road, opposite traffic, in the absence of a sidewalk.

Are Pedestrians Ever at Fault in a Crash?

Pedestrian Accidents: Navigating the Legal Landscape in New MexicoJaywalking, traversing highways without designated crossings, or neglecting to yield to vehicles when instructed can all result in liability (at least partially) shifting to the pedestrian in question. New Mexico uses the pure comparative negligence standard for evaluating these claims. Thus, under this comparative fault rule, a person who was 90% at fault for an accident might still file a claim for compensation but would only be eligible to receive a maximum of 10% of the entire settlement.

Pedestrians and motorists each bear a portion of the responsibility for ensuring safety. For instance, maintaining visibility and being cognizant of their circumstances are essential duties of pedestrians. Pedestrians in New Mexico are also required to abide by traffic signals, though motorists are expected to make way for pedestrians who are legally traversing signalized intersections or crosswalks.

Particular emphasis is placed on safety in school zones and crossings, where reduced speed limits and heightened care on the part of drivers are implemented in order to safeguard the well-being of children.

All in all, the objective of pedestrian laws in New Mexico is to reduce the likelihood of pedestrian accidents and increase the safety of individuals who travel on foot. Both motorists and pedestrians must understand and abide by these regulations in order to avoid collisions and guarantee secure interactions on the road.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Pedestrians, in contrast to the occupants of most motor vehicles, do not have protection. They are not protected from severe injury in the event of a collision by large vehicles, doors, windows, seatbelts, or airbags. Injuries that are grievous and potentially life-altering result from collisions with automobiles, trucks, and other motor vehicles.

The following are some of the most frequent categories of injuries sustained in pedestrian-vehicle collisions:

  • Brain, neck, and head trauma
  • Injuries to the spinal cord, including paralysis
  • Bruises and fractures
  • Rashes from road friction or road rash
  • Abrasions, wounds, and severe lacerations
  • Internal hemorrhaging and damage to organs
  • Amputations caused by trauma and impact injuries
  • Soft tissue and nerve damage

The repercussions of these and other catastrophic injuries on victims and their families can be life-altering and devastation-inducing. Many pedestrian accident injuries, sadly, prove to be fatal in the end.

A pedestrian plaintiff in New Mexico who suffers injuries or damages as a result of a defendant's negligence or other wrongdoing is entitled to reasonable compensation for such damages under the state's personal injury laws. As a "fault" state, New Mexico law requires the at-fault party to cover the cost of any injuries or property damage they cause.

Call a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Albuquerque

A pedestrian who sustains injuries in a motor vehicle collision in the state of New Mexico might be eligible to submit a claim for personal injury. With the assistance of a proficient group of New Mexico auto accident attorneys, you can safeguard your legal rights and obtain justice.

Will Ferguson & Associates's staff has decades of experience assisting victims of negligent drivers-caused collisions who have sustained life-threatening injuries in safeguarding their legal rights. In the event of a car accident caused by another party, our proficient legal representatives will vigorously advocate for your rights to hold the responsible party accountable and secure equitable compensation for the harm inflicted.

Our New Mexico personal injury lawyers at Will Ferguson & Associates will do everything it takes to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. With our help, you can embark on the path to a quick and easy recovery by contacting (505) 243-5566 to talk about your case and go through the losses you've incurred. If our investigation determines that you and your loved ones have a valid claim for compensation, we will manage every step of the claims process for you. If you've been hurt and need legal representation, don't hesitate to call our Albuquerque personal injury lawyers and set up a no-risk first appointment.

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

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

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

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM