Anybody can find themselves involved in a car accident. Sometimes, these wrecks are caused wholly by the negligence of another. In other instances, though, there may be more than one party to blame. Although this means that multiple personal injury claims may be brought against multiple individuals, it also means that the victim him or herself may be found to be partially at fault.
New Mexico law recognizes what is referred to as "pure comparative negligence." Under this legal theory, an individual's damages, if awarded, will be reduced by that individual's percentage of fault. Therefore, if a plaintiff is found to be 25 percent at fault, then a $5,000 award will be reduced by $1,250 to $3,750. If a plaintiff's fault is found to be more than 50 percent, or if his her or fault is more than another party against whom he or she has filed suit, then he or she may be disallowed from recovering damages.
This means that car accident victims who are hoping to recover damages for their losses not only need to diligently work to prove that a defendant's negligence caused them harm, but they also need to ensure that they demonstrate a diminished role in the wreck in question. This means utilizing all evidence and beneficial witnesses available to develop compelling legal arguments that supports one's position.
Proving negligence and showing one's own role in a car accident can be a challenging task. It requires showing that a duty of care was breached and that breach caused the victim injuries. It also means showing that the victim did not breach that duty of care. Those who want to learn more about how to build a compelling personal injury case may want to discuss the particulars of their situation with a qualified legal professional.