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New Mexico Car Accident Compensation Laws

Whether you drive through the busy streets of Albuquerque or in a rural area of the state, car accidents happen everywhere. If you've been in a car accident in New Mexico, you can recover damages even if you were more at fault for your own injuries than anyone else involved in the accident. Like other states, New Mexico has its own laws and time limits that differ by case. Make sure the deadline for filing a lawsuit has not passed to bring a viable claim.

Read on to find out how the amount of damages you can recover is determined under New Mexico laws.

Types of Damages in Car Accident Cases

In a car accident case, damages refer to the money awarded to the injured person to compensate for monetary losses or injuries suffered. The amount of damages is settled through an insurance claim, a settlement negotiation, or a civil trial. Here is a list of the most common types of damages applicable to New Mexico car accident cases:

  • Property damages: Damages done to your car and other personal property
  • Medical expenses: Costs of past and future medical services as a result of the accident
  • Lost wages: The amount of past and future loss of income
  • Pain and suffering: Damages for past and future physical and mental pain and suffering associated with the accident
  • Punitive damages: Damages awarded if the other driver operated the vehicle with malice or in reckless disregard

Check out FindLaw's Damages Estimate Worksheet to ensure no other types of damages are overlooked in your claim.

Limitations in Recovering Damages in New Mexico

Damages caps are laws that limit the amount of damages you can recover from your opponent at trial.

  Medical Malpractice Claims Under N.M.S. § 41-5-6, the top dollar amount recoverable by all persons for any injury or death to a patient as a result of malpractice is $600,000.
  Injury Claims Against the State Government

Under N.M.S. § 41-4-19, the damages cap is $200,000 for each legally described real property damage to or destruction of that property arising out of a single occurrence; $300,000 for all past and future medical and medically-related expenses arising out of a single occurrence; and $400,000 to any person for any number of claims arising out of a single occurrence for all damages other than real property damage and medical and medically-related expenses as permitted. The total liability for all claims under this section, arising out of a single occurrence, shall not exceed $750,000.

  All Other Cases There is no limit to other economic or non-economic damages in the state of New Mexico.

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly passed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions and other means. You may want to contact a New Mexico personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Pure Comparative Standard in New Mexico

Damages are usually calculated under three types of standards: contributory negligence, pure comparative negligence, and modified comparative negligence standards. New Mexico applies the "pure comparative negligence" rule. Under this rule, you can recover the amount of damages diminished by the proportion of your fault, even if you were more at fault for your injuries than the other drivers involved in the accident.

For example, at a trial, the jury decides that the total amount of damages is $100,000. You were 80 percent at fault, and your opponent was 20 percent at fault. In this situation, you would be able to recover 20 percent of $100,000, which is $20,000 of damages.

Get Legal Help With Your New Mexico Car Accident Claim

There's no clear bright-line rule in determining a viable car accident case and calculating the amount of damages, but you may be entitled to damages if you've been injured in an accident. Act promptly to protect your right to proper compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Contact an experienced New Mexico injury lawyer today.

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