When you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision in New Mexico, you should be thinking about filing a claim for financial compensation. Yet if you have run a quick internet search for terms like “car accident claim” and “personal injury lawsuit,” you may have come across information that suggests car accident cases are handled differently than other types of personal injury lawsuits. For example, you might have found information about insurance claims versus personal injury lawsuits, and distinctions between negligence claims after car accidents and other theories of liability in varying types of personal injury lawsuits. In general, car accident claims are handled similarly to other personal injury lawsuits, but they more often begin with auto insurance claims.
We want to provide you with more information to help clarify how car accident lawsuits are treated in relation to other types of personal injury cases. At the same time, you should seek advice from an experienced New Mexico personal injury lawyer to be sure about the best way of moving forward with your claim. Since each personal injury case has its own facts and circumstances, it is crucial to have a personal injury attorney evaluate your case and develop a plan for seeking financial compensation.
Many Car Accident Cases Begin With an Auto Insurance Claim
While car accident injuries certainly can result in a personal injury lawsuit, many car accident cases begin with an auto insurance claim. Under New Mexico law, motorists are required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance in the event of a motor vehicle collision. Similar to a number of other states, New Mexico drivers must carry at least $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident (two or more people are injured) for bodily injury, and $10,000 per accident for property damage. If another driver’s negligence or reckless driving causes a crash, you can file a third-party claim through the driver’s insurance to seek compensation. You can also file a first-party claim through your own insurer.
Many New Mexico car accidents, unlike some other types of personal injury cases, will start with an insurance claim instead of a lawsuit because it may be possible to obtain compensation more quickly. For more minor collisions, an insurance payout may be enough to cover your losses. However, if your losses exceed the amounts of coverage available, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Car Accident Lawsuits, Similar to Many Other Personal Injury Lawsuits, Rely on a Theory of Negligence
Car accident lawsuits generally involve a claim of negligence against another driver, similar to other types of personal injury lawsuits. In short, in a car crash lawsuit, like other cases, the plaintiff will argue that the defendant was negligent and therefore liable for damages.
At the same time, some car accident lawsuits are actually product liability claims due to a defective auto part, for example, and those cases may be brought on a theory of strict liability. Your Santa Fe personal injury lawyer can assess your case and can provide you with more information about your options for moving forward with a claim.
Contact a Santa Fe Personal Injury Attorney for Assistance
If you or someone you love got hurt in a motor vehicle crash or another type of accident, one of our experienced Santa Fe personal injury attorneys can begin working with you today on your case. Contact Slate Stern Law to learn more about how we can assist you with your New Mexico personal injury case.