New Mexico Auto Accident Laws
New Mexico may be the Land of Enchantment, but there is nothing enchanting about being in a car accident. If you do find yourself in a car crash, as a resident or a traveler, it will benefit you to know a few New Mexico auto accident laws.
After a car crash in New Mexico, you may have an easy claim to submit. Or, you may have a more complex situation that could result in negotiations or a lawsuit. If you need help understanding theses laws and regulations, or you need someone by your side for a legal battle, Lawsuit Info Center can help. A New Mexico car accident attorney is within reach to help you receive compensation for damages and injuries.
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New Mexico Auto Insurance Laws And Regulations
Like all states, New Mexico has laws that say you need to have a minimum amount of car insurance. If you lack auto insurance in this state, you can face fines and even get jail time. The minimum insurance requirements in New Mexico are:
- $25,000 per person per accident for bodily injury
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability
You are not required to have uninsured and underinsured insurance, but it is a good idea to have this coverage if an underinsured or uninsured driver hits you. There are thousands of uninsured drivers in New Mexico, so you should have this coverage.
Also, note that many severe car accidents have injuries that cost more than $15,000. If you have to have surgery or require a hospital stay, you may need much more money. So, you should have more insurance coverage in case you are in a serious New Mexico car accident.
Is New Mexico A No-Fault State For Car Accidents?
No, New Mexico is not a no-fault state. Alternately, New Mexico is a fault state when it comes to car accidents. An “at-fault” state means you’re financially responsible for any accidents you may cause. So in the event that you cause a car crash, you or your insurance company is on the hook. You (or your insurance) are liable for covering the cost of injuries and damages to the other party.
New Mexico also has a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that fault can be divided among those involved in the car accident. Your settlement will reduce by the percentage of fault that you hold for the crash. So, if you are deemed 40% responsible for the accident, your $10,000 settlement becomes a $6,000 payout.
Even if you are more than 50% responsible for the car accident, you can still recover damages in the form of a settlement. However, the other party involved can also seek damages from you.
Because of how complex these rulings can become, it is wise to have a New Mexico car accident attorney by your side. There is always a risk that the other insurance company involved may try to place more or full blame on you. Protect your rights and your settlement payout with the help of a New Mexico personal injury lawyer.
Proving Accident Liability In New Mexico
To determine a settlement, liability and fault must first be determined. In New Mexico, proof of negligence is needed to prove that the other driver holds liability for the crash. This means the drivers actions caused you to suffer injuries and damages to your property. In order to prove negligence, the following must be considered:
- A duty of care: Everyone who drives in the state of New Mexico has an obligation to protect everyone around them by driving safely.
- A neglect of the duty of care: The at-fault driver acted in a way that goes against the duty of care, putting others in danger.
- The neglect caused the car crash: This means that the choices or actions of the liable driver caused the accident.
- The car crash inflicted damage or injuries: As the victim, you will have to prove that damages and injuries that you suffered were a direct result of the neglect of duty of care and the resulting accident.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations In New Mexico For A Car Accident?
A statute of limitations is a law that limits how much time you have to file a claim or lawsuit. If you are filing a claim in the state of New Mexico, there is not a limit. However, it is generally wise to file in a timely. Either right after an accident or once you confidently know how the crash affects your health and wellbeing.
As far as filing a lawsuit, you will have to do that within three years of your New Mexico car crash if you are seeking compensation for injuries. If your lawsuit is strictly to cover property damage, you have four years to file.
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This is not much time to take legal action. Therefore, it’s vital that you talk to an attorney as soon as you can after the accident. Especially if you don’t get a good settlement offer from the insurance company.
You also have four years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Mexico, and the clock on that starts from the date your loved one died. One source of compensation in this lawsuit is damages for your loved one’s pain and suffering before they died. You can also sue for your mental anguish, lost future earnings, and loss of companionship, as well as medical and funeral expenses.
Usually, you are eligible for these types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit in this state. :
- Medical bills
- Lost earnings
- Out of pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
What Happens If You Get In An Accident In New Mexico?
New Mexico auto accident laws state that you do not have to call the police for a minor accident with little damage. But you must report a car accident that caused death, property damage, or personal injury above $500.
If the police show up at the crash scene, they’ll take a report that fulfills your requirements for reporting the crash. But if the police don’t appear, you still should go to the closest police station and file the report. That way, you’re covered if you need proof of the accident for insurance or lawsuit purposes. If you need to get a copy of a police report for an accident in New Mexico, you can visit the Department of Public Safety and make a request online.
Also, you should always get the contact information of every driver at the accident scene if the police don’t appear. You want to be sure that you don’t get accused of a hit and run, so you should make sure that a police report gets filed in all circumstances.
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New Mexico Dram Shop Law
New Mexico has a Dram Shop Law. This means you can file a lawsuit against a social host, bar or restaurant. That person or business may have provided alcohol to someone whose intoxication level was ‘reasonably apparent’. If that intoxicated driver got in an auto accident, the Dram Shop Law applies.
It’s a good idea to check if the person who hit you was drunk and if a business served them alcohol. If so, you may be able to get more compensation because businesses must carry higher liability insurance.
New Mexico Car Accident Settlements
It’s hard to say how much you can receive in a New Mexico auto accident settlement. Every case is a bit different. But if you hire a good New Mexico auto accident attorney, he or she may be able to look at similar cases to get an idea what it is worth.
Across the US, car crash settlements average about $15,000 when there is personal injury, and about $3,000 when there is only property damage.
You can use our car accident settlement calculator at Lawsuit Info Center to determine what your settlement could be. Always ask you attorney for more information as he or she may be able to look at past case records to estimate your potential settlement.
Get Legal Help With New Mexico Auto Accident Laws
If you are in a car crash, it is highly upsetting and stressful. But you will be more prepared with all the information on this page about the car accident laws in New Mexico.
Keep in mind if you’re in an auto accident in New Mexico that you need to be aware of the ‘leaving the scene of an accident NM statute’ because there are serious penalties. So, you should always wait for the police to come to the crash scene. If they do not appear, go to the nearest police station and report the accident. That way, your bases are covered and you won’t be accused of a hit and run.
If you do get in an auto accident in New Mexico, Lawsuit Info Center can help you find a skilled car accident attorney in this state. You may be eligible for payment for your pain and suffering, lost earnings, and medical bills. Please use Lawsuit Info Center to find a personal injury lawyer in your area to help with your insurance claim or lawsuit.
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