New Mexico Bicycle Laws
According to New Mexico Statutes Section 66-3-702, bicycle riders have all the same rights on the road as motor vehicles. However, they are also subject to most of the same duties as drivers of vehicles as well.
That means that as a bicycle rider, your obligation to other drivers includes:
- Obeying traffic signals and signs
- Riding with the flow of traffic
- Using signals to indicate turns and stops
- Using proper lighting at night
- Avoiding distractions
- Yielding right of way in appropriate situations
- Not riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol
New Mexico Bicycle Accident Statistics
Accidents happen even when cyclists are safe and comply with the law. In fact, New Mexico was rated the seventh most dangerous state for bicyclists. There are nearly three deaths per 100,000 bike riders, 23% higher than the national average.
Identifying Negligence in Bicycle Accidents
Negligence is the legal concept that determines who is liable for a bike accident. Negligence is defined as the failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances.
So if a driver fails to yield the right of way to a bicyclist and hits them, they have breached their duty of care. That breach resulted in the cyclist’s injuries, and the driver is liable for those damages.
Several factors can be considered when determining if a party was negligent in a bicycle accident, including:
- Compliance with traffic laws
- Experience and training
Why Negligence Matters in Bicycle Accident Claims
New Mexico applies the legal concept of pure comparative negligence to personal injury cases like bike accidents.
You have a right to pursue a claim against the defendant, but if you share fault for your injuries, your compensation will be reduced. For instance, if you didn’t come to a full stop at an intersection and a speeding car hit you, you both share some fault.
If you were awarded $100,000 in damages but found to be 10% at fault, you will recover $90,000 from the other party.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Farmington
Bicycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common causes include:
- Distracted Driving
- Failing to Yield
- Opening Car Doors Without Looking
- Road Conditions
- Weather Conditions
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents can result in a range of injuries. The type and severity of injuries sustained depend on several factors, including the speed of the impact, and the protective gear worn.
Some common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Head Injuries – Head injuries are among the most serious concerns in bicycle accidents, as they can lead to concussions, skull fractures, brain contusions, and even traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Upper Extremity Injuries – These injuries are common due to cyclists instinctively breaking their falls with their hands. Common upper extremity injuries include fractures, dislocations, sprains, and strains.
- Lower Extremity Injuries – Injuries to the legs, ankles, and feet are frequent in bicycle accidents, often resulting from direct impact with a vehicle or the road surface.
- Facial and Dental Injuries – Facial injuries can occur from direct impact or from being thrown off the bicycle. Dental injuries can also happen in bicycle accidents.
- Road Rash – Road rash happens by scraping against the road surface, is common in bicycle accidents. Deep cuts can also occur.
- Internal Organ Injuries – Bicycle accidents can cause internal injuries to organs such as the spleen, liver, and kidneys. These injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
- Psychological Trauma – Bicycle accidents can lead to psychological trauma, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. These psychological effects can significantly impact your quality of life.
The severity of injuries depends on various factors, and prompt medical attention is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Damages Available in a NM Bike Accident
A bicycle injury attorney can help you get compensation if you were involved in an accident. You can get economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are related to out-of-pocket costs. They include:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are not directly related to the money you have spent. However, they do represent your losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
Insurance companies will do anything possible to pay you as little as they can. That’s why working with a bike injury lawyer who will protect your best interests is important.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Farmington
The aftermath of a bicycle accident can be a stressful and confusing time. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do after a bicycle accident:
- Call 911. You need to ensure anyone hurt in a bike accident gets assistance. You should get medical treatment for any injuries from EMS. Law enforcement can make a report about the accident.
- Collect Evidence. If you’re able, take photos of the scene, your injuries, and any damage to your bike. Get contact information from eyewitnesses and the at-fault driver.
- Call a Bike Accident Lawyer. A lawyer can help you file a claim after a bike accident. They’ll investigate, find evidence, and build a case. They can help you calculate your damages and negotiate with the insurance company.
FAQs about Bicycle Accidents in New Mexico
We know that the days and weeks after a bicycle accident can be confusing. We are here to help you understand.
What Affects the Value of My Bike Accident Claim?
There are many factors that can affect your bicycle accident claim’s worth. The severity of your injuries, the insurance policy maximum, and the percentage of fault you and the driver share will all be considered when determining how much you will get in a bicycle accident settlement or verdict.
Is There a Deadline to File a Bicycle Accident Claim?
Yes, in New Mexico, you only have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit like a bicycle accident claim. In most cases, the clock begins when the accident happens, but there are a few exceptions. A bike accident injury attorney can help you understand how this statute of limitations applies to your case.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
A biking accident injury lawyer can help you in many ways. Your lawyer will be familiar with New Mexico laws, and they can use that information to build strong support for you. Insurance companies don’t always agree to a settlement amount. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf or help you with a lawsuit to ensure you get the most money possible.
Call a Farmington Bicycle Accident Lawyer Now
A bike accident injury lawyer at Patscheck Law can review your case and help you understand how New Mexico bicycle accident laws apply. We have worked with many bike crash victims, and we are ready to fight for you.
To get the maximum compensation available, contact attorney Shellie Patscheck at IFBYPHONE or use our online contact form to schedule a case consultation.