Life is never the same after a catastrophic car accident. People often deal with lifelong injuries and unexpected financial losses just because another driver decided to be reckless or irresponsible behind the steering wheel. Thankfully, the laws in New Mexico are pretty claimant-friendly, and in this post, you will learn more about some of the basic aspects that will eventually matter for your case.
Filing a car accident injury lawsuit
If you were injured in an accident and need to file a civil lawsuit, you have three years to do that, and the clock starts from the date of the car accident. Please note that the statute of limitations only applies to civil lawsuits and not insurance claims. If you wish to file a third-party insurance claim, you need to notify the insurer within a reasonable time. The deadline remains the same for wrongful death lawsuits too.
Filing a lawsuit for property damage
If you want to sue the at-fault driver for property or vehicle damage, you have four years from the accident date to initiate a lawsuit. Keep in mind that if you don’t take action within time, the court will most likely dismiss the case.
Understanding comparative fault
Let’s assume that two parties were responsible for the same collision accident. How can the insurance company or the court decide on the settlements? For such cases, New Mexico is a pure comparative fault state. This means that you can sue the other party at fault, provided you can prove that, even when you are more to blame for the crash. However, whatever you get from the insurance company or the other party, you will lose a share depending on the extent of your fault in causing the accident. For example – if you are 20% at fault and were given $10,000 in a settlement, you can only get $8,000 as the final amount.
Get an attorney
Even if you understand the ground laws related to car accidents, hiring an attorney is extremely important. Lawyers know what it takes to negotiate and get a fair outcome, and if the insurance company denies your claim on flimsy grounds, you can expect the attorney to take the matter to court. Lawyers are also capable of gathering evidence, and when it comes to car accident lawsuits, they often rely on experts and accident reconstruction specialists to prove their case.
You don’t need to pay your lawyer until you win, which is a great reason enough to seek help for car accident claims.