No one plans to be involved in an auto accident. Nor does anyone plan to be seriously injured in an auto accident and our of work, facing heavy medical bills, and being unable to help their family. But our Albuquerque auto accident lawyers know it is a sad truth that many victims and their families can face serious physical, emotional and financial injuries after a car accident. One of the most common questions that our experienced lawyers at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. receive are about car insurance after a motor vehicle accident. We explain some of the issues with car insurance in New Mexico after a car accident to help victims understand what happens next.
If you were in a car accident, call 911, get medical attention, and make sure to get or have another person (or police officer) get the other vehicle’s insurance. You will need to file a claim as soon as possible with your insurance company too. But you should always ask an Albuquerque auto accident lawyer to help you with that because New Mexico is a “at-fault” state.
There are two types of car insurance types in the United States that a state will follow. The two types are at-fault and no-fault. Most states are “fault” or “at-fault” states like New Mexico. But some states at no-fault, like New York, which means that a victim always goes to their car insurance carrier for compensation regardless of fault and the insurance companies will figure it out later who should be paying for the damages.
But in the majority of states and New Mexico, it is an at-fault approach. This means that the driver responsible for the crash will pay for the damages. This also means that having an Albuquerque auto accident lawyer to help you is more important. Even your own insurance company will try to assess your blame in order to have a reason to increase your premiums or even take money out of your pocket through a deductible or other penalty. This is not fair, especially considering that insurance companies train their adjusters to do this and often times have a defense lawyer helping them poke holes in your claim—even as their customer! Always get our help when you have to file a car accident claim with your insurance company.
You have several options with you can pick from, or our lawyer can advise what is the best option for you. These options include the following:
New Mexico law requires residents to carry a minimum car insurance of:
For example, if one person was injured in a car accident the maximum a person could get if the defendant has the minimum insurance is $25,000. If there are two people injured, the maximum they could get if the defendant has the minimum is $50,000. If there are three people injured, the maximum that they could get if the defendant has the minimum insurance is $50,000 total, and each person must figure out how to split that but not get more than $25,000 per person (i.e., $20,000, $20,000, and $10,000, or $16,666.67 for each).
This is a common issue referred to as an uninsured or underinsured insurance coverage claim. It is commonly referred to as UM or UIM coverage. It is not required in New Mexico to have these types of coverage, but it is always a good idea to have this to protect your family. For example, if you suffer $100,000 in damages (injuries, lost wages, medical bills) and the defendant only has $25,000 in coverage, you will be out $75,000. Unless you have an UIM policy for $100,000 which will pay you the additional $75,000.
Our experienced Albuquerque auto accident lawyers recommend that all individuals and their families have this type of insurance and get the maximum that they can afford the monthly premiums. In the example above, if the victim did not have the extra UIM policy, the victim would have lost $75,000. While a victim could go after the defendant personally for that $75,000, it is not likely that this $75,000 will be recovered without spending extra attorney fees or taking years or even decades to get that money back in wage garnishments. It is simply better to have UIM coverage to protect you and your family in New Mexico car accidents.
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we pride ourselves on protecting the rights to victims who have been seriously injured by the negligence of another person, business, or government entity. We work hard to ensure that victims are well-protected and that their rights to compensation under the law are defended. Call to schedule your FREE appointment with our lawyers at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. 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.