Hundreds of crashes, auto accidents, and collisions are reported in New Mexico every year. While some are minor bumps, others often have disturbing consequences for those involved. If you sustained injuries, or vehicle damage, in such an auto accident, talking to an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer is recommended. An attorney can help in understanding, if you can file a claim to seek damages against the party at fault. That said, it is necessary to know the New Mexico laws that may apply in such circumstances. Below is an overview for your help.
Reporting an accident
All car accidents in New Mexico must be reported, if there was death or injury involved. You must also report the accident, if the property damage was worth $500 or more. The same must be done at the earliest, and you can report the accident to the office of county sheriff, or New Mexico State Police. You are also required to file a report with New Mexico Department of Transportation, within five days from the date of accident.
The statute of limitations
Like other states, there is a statute of limitations in New Mexico too. If another driver was at fault, you have three years to bring a personal injury lawsuit, from the date of accident Albuquerque. Note that the statute of limitations doesn’t extend to insurance claims. You must inform the insurance companies, including your own insurer, within a reasonable time. For wrongful death lawsuits, the deadline remains the same, and if you are suing for just property damage, you have four years to take action.
Comparative Negligence in New Mexico
New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state. If you had part role in causing the accident, your ultimate settlement will be reduced by your fault percentage. You can file a claim against the other party at fault, even if you share the major share in fault. Unless you are entirely at fault for the accident, you may have some scope to claim damages.
How does the comparative negligence rule work in real life? Even when your share of fault is more than 50%, you can expect a settlement. However, the other driver/party may also file a claim with your insurer. Ask an attorney, if you have a valid claim because of your fault.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer
There are some amazing law firms in Albuquerque, and their personal injury lawyers can help your case at every step. They can investigate the accident, establish fault and liability, and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. You should definitely get an attorney for your personal injury case, if
- There are numerous vehicles, drivers involved
- You were offered a low settlement
- There was a commercial truck involved
- You have suffered injuries that can impact your life ahead
- Your losses are extreme
- You are unsure of your rights and interests.
Insurance companies often try to deny claims on flimsy grounds Albuquerque personal injury lawyer, and with an attorney, you don’t have to deal with them directly.
How to find a reliable accident lawyer in New Mexico?
Not all personal injury lawyers work on car accident cases, and it makes sense to check all relevant details before selecting. Usually, law firms offer free consultation for accident cases, so you can always meet their lawyers and discuss your case in depth. You can ask questions like –
- What is your assessment of my car accident case?
- I may have had a share in fault. Can I sue the other driver?
- What are the merits and demerits of my claim?
- Can you share a few references?
- What is your success rate?
- Do you have courtroom experience?
- How frequently do you represent clients in court?
You can ask around to find references of top personal injury lawyers in your area. If that’s not an option, you can check online. Google reviews are handy for options, and websites like Nolo and Avvo have online directories for car accident attorneys in New Mexico.
How much do accident lawyers charge?
Most accident lawyers in New Mexico work on a contingency fee. The first meeting with an attorney is about discussing their experience and costs of the case. Ensure that the expected settlement is fair enough to cover your damages and pay the accident lawyer. Attorneys can charge anywhere from 20% to 40% of the final settlement as their fee.
Not all personal injury lawyers work on car accident cases, and it makes sense to check all relevant details before selecting. Usually, law firms offer free consultation for accident cases your ultimate settlement will be reduced by your fault percentage. You can file a claim against the other party at fault, even if you share the major share in fault An attorney can help in understanding, if you can file a claim to seek damages against the party at fault