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New Mexico Negligence Laws

Accidents, we are told, are a fact of life. And it's true that in many cases, they're nobody's fault. But what about those other cases where someone is to blame for an accident? And what if someone is injured?

Negligence claims are the legal system's method for determining fault in injury-causing accidents and how much, if anything, the injured party can receive from the careless party in damages. Here is a basic overview of negligence laws in New Mexico.

General Negligence Law

The first question in any negligence case is did one person (or a group of people) owe a duty of care to another, and did that person or group fail in fulfilling that duty or otherwise commit a breach of duty? For example, we all owe a duty of care to drive safely, so driving recklessly is a breach of that duty.

The next question is whether the person or group's failure was the direct cause of someone's injuries, and if so determining the extent of the harm and the appropriate amount of damages. To continue our example, did the reckless driving and the resulting accident (and not some other intervening event) cause the person's injuries, how badly was the person injured, and what are the damages, or total costs of the injury to the person?

Negligence Laws in New Mexico

State negligence laws can differ, and the law applying to your case may depend on your jurisdiction and your specific circumstances. For example, under New Mexico law, if you were injured in an accident but were also at fault to some degree, your possible recovery can diminish based on the degree of your own fault. However, so long as you are not 100% at fault for the incident, it is possible to recover damages.

New Mexico's negligence statutes are highlighted below.

Code Section

§ 41-4-1 et seq. of the New Mexico Statutes

Pure Comparative Negligence

New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning, the plaintiff may recover damages so long as they are not 100% at fault for the accident; any percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff will reduce their recovery against the defendant(s)

Contributory Negligence -- Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery


Contribution Among Tortfeasors

No, except for the specific circumstances outlined in New Mexico Statute § 41-3A-1

Uniform Act

§§ 41-3-1 to 41-3-8

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Resources for Negligence Laws

Negligence laws can be complex, and states can treat negligence claims and liability differently. For additional articles and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw's section on Negligence.

Get Professional Legal Help With Your New Mexico Negligence Claim

Negligence laws allow you to sue for injuries caused by someone else's negligence, but proving negligence can be complicated. Even if it's not clear who was at fault, an attorney can help you decide whether to file a lawsuit and the extent of your losses given New Mexico's pure comparative negligence approach.

Get peace of mind by speaking with a New Mexico personal injury attorney.

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