Compared to many other states, New Mexico has claimant-friendly car accident laws. This is a tort state, and therefore, if a driver was responsible for an auto accident, they are also liable for the losses suffered by others. If you think you have a valid claim following an on-road mishap, you should seek legal advice immediately. Check the website of any known personal injury law firm in New Mexico and talk to their lawyers about your case. Below are five key facts that you should know about dealing with the situation.
- You have to file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. The typical process starts with a third-party claim, and if your claim is denied or the offered settlement is unacceptably low, you can file a lawsuit.
- You have three years to file a car accident injury lawsuit. As per the statute of limitations in New Mexico, you have a 3-year deadline for filing a civil lawsuit, and this deadline is not for insurance claims. You are required to inform the insurance company and initiate a claim within a reasonable time.
- New Mexico is a pure comparative fault state. If you were at fault to an extent for the accident, you might still be entitled to compensation. However, your awarded settlement will be lower, depending on your fault share. You could sue the other party, even when your fault share is on the higher side.
- Hiring an attorney is a good idea. Auto accidents are often hard to investigate, and if you are not careful enough, the insurance company will deny your claim or undermine the settlement. Make sure that you have an attorney to argue and negotiate for you. Lawyers know what it takes to find fault and gather evidence.
- You can sue the at-fault driver for property damage too. If you haven’t suffered injuries but have incurred property or vehicle damage, you can still file a lawsuit in court seeking compensation for your losses. The deadline for such lawsuits is four years, and the clock starts ticking from the accident date.
If you have no prior experience filing an auto accident claim or believe that your role in the mishap is disputed, talk to an attorney right away. An adept lawyer can also explain the factors that can impact your case and how the pure comparative fault rule will come into play, especially if you have a share in the blame.