How Is Fault Determined in New Mexico?

Car accidents can happen to everyone, even responsible, conscientious drivers. With severe accidents, the ensuing medical bills and repair costs can be tough to manage, especially if injuries prevent you from working.

Car accident victims can pursue damages related to collisions, which entails establishing fault. Here are some crucial facts to remember when it comes to accident fault in New Mexico.

New Mexico Is a Fault-Based State

In no-fault states, motorists involved in accidents must rely on their own insurance companies to recoup their losses after a collision. Conversely, fault-based states like New Mexico require the insurance company of the responsible part to pay for things like injuries, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering when applicable.

Drivers in fault-based states are obligated to carry a certain amount of liability coverage to ensure they can pay for an accident if found to be at fault. In the event a motorist lacks sufficient insurance coverage, they must cover associated costs out of pocket.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

The doctrine of pure comparative negligence says that means that even drivers who are considered to be partially at fault for a car crash can still pursue damages. In this case, the court will subtract a percentage of the damages based on your level of fault. Exceptions to the pure comparative negligence doctrine include accidents that are caused by a drunk driver, as that person will shoulder the entire liability burden.

How to Establish Fault After a Car Accident

Making a strong case for fault is crucial when pursuing damages after an accident. In this case, motorists are encouraged to do the following:

  • Request a copy of the police report at the scene of the accident
  • Take photos of the scene and any conditions that may have contributed to the collision
  • Ask if bystanders would be willing to provide a statement

You must also exercise caution when speaking with other motorists at the scene. Remember that even a general apology can be taken as an admission of guilt and may impact damages as a result. Be polite and cordial when speaking to others and freely share the necessary information (such as your insurer) but refrain from providing too much detail.

We Advocate for Accident Victims in New Mexico

If you need help establishing fault after a car accident, Hinkle Law Offices can help. When it comes to auto accidents, our team of lawyers will walk you through each step of your case. Along with our impressive legal acumen, we’re also known for treating clients with the compassion and respect they deserve.

Schedule a consultation at our Albuquerque office today by calling (505) TUF-HELP. You can also contact us to learn more.