Protect Your Rights & Recover Damages After a Car Accident
You have a right to be treated respectfully and to receive compensation from the insurance company of the party who caused your wreck. However, big insurance corporations will do everything in their power to pay you as little as possible. Don’t let them take advantage of you. Work with a dedicated attorney who knows how to use New Mexico car accident laws in your favor and negotiate a fair and full settlement.
Personal injury attorney Shellie Patscheck knows how insurance companies work against car accident victims, so we understand what it takes to protect you.
Start With a Free Consultation
When you call us, you will speak directly with a Farmington car accident lawyer. We will evaluate your case and help you fully understand your options. Some of the common questions we hear during free consultations include:
- How can an attorney help me?
- Can I handle a car accident claim on my own?
- Should I take the insurance company’s settlement offer?
- How much is my case worth?
- What are my next steps?
We will sit down with you and make sure you know what is happening at every stage of the legal process.
New Mexico Car Accident Laws
Car accidents result in tort claims, also called “personal injury” cases. There are specific laws that apply to personal injury and car accidents in New Mexico. These laws determine who is at fault, how much you can recover, and how your case proceeds.
New Mexico Car Insurance Requirements
All drivers in New Mexico are required to have liability insurance. You must have minimum bodily injury liability insurance in the amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. You are only required to have $10,000 in property damage coverage.
When you are in an accident with someone else, their car insurance is supposed to pay for your damages. That means you should be able to get $25,000 or more (if they have a higher amount of insurance) for things like medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. If your car was damaged, you could get at least $10,000 for that as well.
Car Insurance Claims
To get compensation for your damages, you must file a claim through the insurance company. But, you should never speak with the insurance company on your own. They will attempt to use anything you say against you to minimize or negate your claim altogether. Let your car accident attorney handle filing the claim and communicating with the insurance company.
The insurance company may make you a settlement offer right away. However, they often lowball how much your claim is worth. Your attorney can make a demand based on the actual value of your claim to get you what you deserve.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
New Mexico has a three-year “statute of limitations” (or deadline) for when you must file any car accident lawsuit. If you don’t meet that deadline, then you may forfeit the ability to recover any compensation at all.
Car Accident Compensation
You can get compensation after a wreck to cover all of your losses. That may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (spousal relationship)
- Property damage
- Funeral costs and burial expenses if your loved one passed away
Don’t let the insurance company try to pay you less than what you deserve. Work with a car accident attorney who will make sure you get what you need.
Comparative Negligence After a Car Wreck
You might be worried that you won’t be able to recover anything if you were partially to blame. However, New Mexico uses a “comparative negligence” rule when both parties are at fault. That means that damages may be reduced by a percentage equal to the assigned share of fault.
For example, if you speed up to get through a yellow light and go slightly over the speed limit, but someone else runs their red light and T-bones your car, you might be found partially to blame. However, if you are 10% at fault, you can still recover 90% of your total damages. That means if you have $100,000 in total losses, then you would be able to get $90,000.