People make mistakes when they get behind the wheel in New Mexico. Sometimes, they can be innocent mistakes that result in accidents and injuries.
Yet you can collect compensation for car accident injuries even when you cause a crash. That is because the law recognizes accidents can be complex with plenty of blame to go around.
Why you can collect
New Mexico employs “pure comparative negligence” when determining damages. The rule allows you to recover some damages even when you are at fault in a personal injury accident. An insurance claim, a settlement negotiation or a civil trial determines who pays.
Here is how it works in the case of a trial. A jury finds damages total $100,000. They also assign responsibility. Even if they decide against you – saying you are 75% responsible – you still recover the other 25%, or $25,000.
By and large, you may have been responsible. But you also avoid financial accountability for the entire cost of the damages.
What you can collect
New Mexico awards damages in several areas. They include the following:
- Damage to vehicles and other property
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost income
- Pain and suffering for past and future physical and emotional pain
- Punitive, if the other driver was reckless
You face an injury cap of $400,000 if your claim is against the government. There is no limit on private claims.
The good news is, you can be in the wrong and the law can work in your favor. You can avoid paying 100% of the damages if you are the primary cause of an accident.
The bad news is, the law can be confusing. There are deadlines and other legal requirements. You may be up against an insurance company. It is easy to make a mistake that jeopardizes your case. You can have a legitimate claim and lose, unless you are careful.