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At-Fault Vs. No-Fault Accidents

Car insurance systems are different in each state. How your claim is handled will ultimately come down to whether you live in an at-fault or a no-fault state. New Mexico is an at-fault insurance state where the at-fault party is responsible for the damages they cause in an accident, usually paid by their insurance provider. However, you may have no-fault insurance, so it’s important to understand how this type of insurance works.

Different Types of Car Insurance

In most cases, if you get into a car accident, a claim is filed with the at-fault party’s liability insurance. The claim is handled according to fault laws in New Mexico.

In New Mexico, the minimum liability coverage each driver must carry is:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage

You can file a claim up to the maximum amount of coverage with the at-fault party’s insurance provider.

This is different than in no-fault states where both drivers’ insurance companies pay for medical expenses out of their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, regardless of who is at fault.

If you have medical payments coverage, this pays for reasonable medical expenses you and your passengers incur because of an injury you suffer in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is at fault. However, your insurance company may seek reimbursement for the monies they pay you from the at-fault party’s insurance provider through a process called subrogation.

Collision and comprehensive coverage pay for damage to your vehicle caused by another vehicle, an object, fire, theft, or other damages. This type of coverage is optional, but it is usually required if the vehicle is financed.

If you get in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance, you can file a claim with your uninsured motorist coverage.

Proving Fault

One of the most important at-fault vs. no-fault differences is that, you must be able to show the other party was at fault for the accident in at-fault states. Then, you can seek compensation for the damages you suffered that are linked to their negligence.

Drivers may act negligently in various ways, such as:

  • Texting while driving
  • Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Speeding
  • Not paying attention
  • Following too closely
  • Not obeying traffic signs

An injury lawyer in Albuquerque can work to gather evidence to prove the other driver was at fault, such as:

  • Accident reports
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Photos and videos of the accident scene
  • Accident reconstruction reports
  • Medical expenses
  • Physical evidence at the scene of the accident
  • Witness statements

Compensation Available in Car Accidents

Personal injury settlements in New Mexico are based on the damages you sustained in the accident. Your Albuquerque lawyer can help you seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including ambulance charges, emergency room treatment, and follow-up care
  • Property damage, rental car charges, and repairs to your vehicle
  • Lost wages and decreased earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

Hurt? Call Bert Today

Were you injured in a car accident in New Mexico? Let the Albuquerque personal injury lawyers at Parnall Law help you seek financial recovery to ease the burden after a car wreck. Parnall Law has represented Albuquerque and Central New Mexico accident victims for over 20-years. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

While pursuing a major in history and French at Rice University in the early 1990s, I spent a year studying at La Sorbonne in Paris in 1991. I received my B.A. from Rice University in 1993 and continued to focus on writing — mostly fiction and plays — for a year before entering New Mexico University School of Law. Since then, my team has helped to recover more than $100 million for our clients. Though my firm has grown quickly to fill the legal needs of our community, it has retained its focus on providing excellent service to clients.