Comparative Fault in New Mexico Explained by Our Albuquerque Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Victims injured in a New Mexico motorcycle accident without a helmet usually ask whether they are entitled to compensation even if they are partially at fault for the accident and for their injuries. There are multiple parts to this question that our experienced Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyers at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. want you to understand. But most importantly, victims who are injured in a motorcycle accident must know that their rights to compensation are protected under New Mexico law. Victims and their families should always consult with an experienced bodily injury lawyer like ours to make the determination whether they are entitled to compensation.
Our New Mexico personal injury law firm makes it easy because we offer a FREE consultation. This allows victims and their families to learn about what their rights may be without having to pay any upfront money. If we accept your case, our law firm also takes cases on a contingency fee agreement. This means we only get paid once we recover money for you in a settlement or court award. We also only get paid a percentage of what we recover or you and money to reimburse us for court costs and litigation expenses. This means there is no risk to have our experienced Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyers work on your case.
Comparative Fault in New Mexico
Under New Mexico law, a victim who is partially at fault for a motor vehicle accident is still entitled to recover compensation. This is because New Mexico is a “comparative fault” state which means victims will have the percentage of the comparable fault for an accident or injury reduce their award.
For example, if a victim of a motorcycle accident was awarded $100,000 but found to be 20% at fault for the accident, the victim’s award may be reduced to $80,000.
Is there Comparative Fault for Not Wearing a Motorcycle?
New Mexico’s statutory (legislatively-made) laws require a motorcycle rider to wear a helmet if he or she is under the age of 18 under NM Stat. 66-7-356. This means that a motorcyclist who is 18 and older is not required to wear a helmet.
In some states, the failure to wear a helmet could be used as a grounds to say that the victim did not mitigate his or her damages. In other words, the failure to wear a helmet caused, contributed to, or worsened the injuries that a victim suffered. Therefore, in a state such as New York, the victim’s recover may be reduced for failing to wear a helmet by the damage sustained minus the damage that the helmet would have reasonably prevented. This can bring the damages down quite a bit.
But not in New Mexico. New Mexico does not allow for this type of defense. Right in subsection (b) of NM Stat. 66-7-356 it provides that “[f]ailure to wear a safety helmet as required in this section shall not constitute contributory negligence.” This prevents a defendant from claiming the victim’s injuries were worsened by this failure, even if the victim is under 18 years old.
Were You Injured in a New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Without a Helmet? We Can help
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a New Mexico motorcycle accident, please call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. to learn how we can help protect your rights to compensation. This is particularly true if you were injured and were not wearing a helmet. Some unscrupulous defense lawyers and insurance companies will try to blame you for these damages. Lesser experienced plaintiff’s law firms may allow defense lawyers and insurance adjusters to do this, either because the plaintiff’s lawyers do not know the law well enough for motorcycle accidents or because the plaintiff’s lawyers are not strong enough to fight back. But not here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we have decades of experience fighting back against some of the largest insurance companies throughout the United States. We offer FREE consultations and do not get paid until you get paid in a settlement or court recovery. Contact us today to learn how we can help you by scheduling an appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000.
We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico. Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.