Slate’s Law Blog

Single-Vehicle Car Accidents and Liability in New Mexico

If you get into a collision with another car, then the logical thing to do is to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can even file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver or against the party legally responsible for the vehicle if your injuries are especially severe. What happens if only one car is involved in the accident, though? In April 2023, multiple people died in a single-vehicle car accident on I-25 near Hatch, including the driver and several passengers. What legal remedies do the victims’ families or the injured survivors have in a situation like this? Single-vehicle accidents are less common than those where two vehicles collide, but they tend to be more destructive. The vehicle is more likely to strike an object head-on and to be traveling at high speed, both of which increase the risk of death. Single-vehicle accidents also account for a disproportionate share of accidents that involve rollovers and overturned vehicles. If you have been injured in a car accident that involved only one vehicle, contact a Santa Fe motor vehicle accident and car accident lawyer.

Injured Passengers Can Sue the Driver Who Caused a Single Vehicle Accident

If you are a passenger and you get injured in a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation from the driver who caused the accident or from this driver’s insurance company. This applies whether the driver at fault for the accident was driving the car where you were riding or the car that struck the car where you were riding. In a single-vehicle accident, there is no question about which driver caused the accident.

New Mexico’s comparative fault laws acknowledge that more than one party can bear a share of the responsibility for a collision. It is highly unlikely that you, as a passenger, would be assigned any of the fault. You have the right to seek damages from all the parties whose negligence contributed to the accident, each in proportion to its share of fault. Therefore, if the driver of the car where you were riding was 65% at fault and the other driver was 35% at fault, you can file a claim with the first driver’s insurance for 65% of your accident-related losses; you can file another claim with the second driver’s insurance for 35% of your accident-related losses.

Dram Shop Liability and Drunk Driving Accidents

Alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of car accidents in general, but especially of single-vehicle ones. If you were a driver or passenger injured in a single-vehicle accident where alcohol played a role, New Mexico’s dram shop liability laws enable you to seek damages from the bar that served alcohol to the drunk driver before he or she drove.

Contact Slate Stern About Car Accident Lawsuits

Slate Stern is a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs injured in car accidents. Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.


Photo by Per Lööv on Unsplash