CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH NEW MEXICO UNINSURED MOTORIST INJURY LAWYERS FOR FREE
Car accidents can be stressful, but those involving uninsured motorists may be even more so because of the potential lack of compensation for your injuries. Additionally, New Mexico automobile accidents that involve uninsured motorists typically invoke a specific set of laws that affect any subsequent litigation surrounding an accident.
If you or a loved one was injured in an automobile collision with an uninsured driver, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with our New Mexico uninsured motorist injury attorneys.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I WAS INJURED BY AN UNINSURED MOTORIST IN NEW MEXICO?
Even though you've taken measures to protect yourself beforehand, you may still fall victim to an uninsured motorist. In these cases, there are a few steps you should take after the accident to take care of yourself and your claim:
1. File a Police Report
Documentation is imperative in cases involving bodily injury and property damage. If you are involved in an accident, contact the police immediately after reaching safety. If called, the local authorities will come to the scene and draft an official report of the accident. This police report will likely include any available information about witnesses, injuries, or property damage. If you later decide to pursue legal action, this police report may be a crucial piece of evidence to help you pursue your case.
2. Do Not Accept Fault
Liability allocation is an important step in any accident or fault-based claim. If you were involved in an accident, avoid accepting fault for the collision without first consulting with a legal professional. Unfortunately, depending on the court and judge, such an admission may be used against you in future proceedings.
3. Get a Medical Evaluation
If you are involved in a car accident, you should see a medical professional to evaluate your injuries. Even if you are experiencing no discomfort or pain, you should still visit a healthcare professional to avoid developing subsequent injuries from untreated trauma. In addition to the health benefits, visiting a healthcare professional may also have some legal use as well. A doctor will create an official medical report of your injuries. If you later wish to pursue your legal options, you may be able to use these medical documents as proof to the court of your injuries.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you sustained any property damage during an accident, you may have to contact your insurance company to discuss what costs your policy will cover. Unfortunately, many insurance companies prefer to pay their clients as little as possible. Negotiating with these companies may prove difficult, depending on your specific provider and claim. An attorney may be able to help you get the best offer possible during these negotiations.
5. Consult with a Legal Professional
Although some victims choose to navigate the recovery process alone, many others may find the settlement process exhausting and difficult. Since many insurance companies attempt to deny or minimize your claim, it may be burdensome to try to collect enough to cover your expenses. Thus, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney who may be able to help you navigate this legal process.
WHAT IS AN UNINSURED MOTORIST?
An uninsured motorist is a driver who has no automobile insurance, does not have insurance that meets state-required minimums, or whose insurance company is unwilling to pay a claim. Many states also consider a driver who is involved in a hit-and-run an uninsured motorist because the injured party is typically unable to get any compensation from the unknown party.
Although the number of uninsured drivers in the United States has fluctuated over the years, there has been a recent spike nationwide. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2015, nearly 13% of motorists, or about one in eight drivers, were uninsured. In that same year, New Mexico ranked third in the nation for the highest number of uninsured drivers, coming in with nearly 21%.
Due to these staggering statistics, many states now have mandatory requirements for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. More than half of states have since passed laws and verification systems to prevent uninsured drivers from injuring others. Even if you do have an insurance policy, you may still be considered underinsured depending on the laws in your jurisdiction. These laws are frequently changing to fit the demands and needs of the particular area—New Mexico is no exception. Thus, if you live or drive within New Mexico’s borders, it may be helpful to consult with an insurance expert to evaluate the sufficiency of your current policy.
WHAT LAWS DOES NEW MEXICO HAVE ABOUT UNINSURED MOTORISTS?
New Mexico has the third-highest rate of uninsured drivers in the country. Due to these startlingly high numbers, New Mexico has enacted some state-wide requirements. These minimums were enacted to protect all drivers by mitigating the risks associated with being injured by uninsured motorists.
According to New Mexico Statutes Annotated 66-5-301, the state requires that all New Mexico drivers carry uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage. Additional state provisions provide that the minimum amount of coverage for bodily injury is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. The minimum amount of coverage for property damage is $10,000 per accident. New Mexico, like many other states, allows drivers to carry more than these minimum requirements. If you operate out of New Mexico, it may be practical to purchase higher value policies simply due to your probability of being involved in one of these accidents.
According to New Mexico law, the legislative purpose in creating compulsory uninsured motorist coverage was to place the injured policy-holder in the same position that he would have been in if the tortfeasor had possessed liability insurance. Notably, some of the requirements of this New Mexico statute do not apply to all counties within New Mexico. While the statutory language can be found online, the statutes themselves are lengthy and difficult to understand. If you have been injured by an uninsured motorist or are concerned about your policy’s coverage, you should contact New Mexico uninsured motorist injury attorneys today to begin evaluating the specifics of your situation.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM UNINSURED MOTORISTS?
New Mexico has one of the highest numbers of uninsured motorists in the United States. These uninsured drivers present many risks to other drivers on public roads. If an uninsured motorist is responsible for an accident or inflicts serious injury on another driver, the injured party may not be able to recover enough to compensate for their losses.
Luckily, there are some safeguards that responsible drivers can take to protect themselves from these uninsured motorists. Uninsured motorist insurance protects you if you are involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not carry their own insurance policy. Underinsured motorist insurance steps in when you are involved in an accident with a driver whose liability limits are too low to cover your claimed expenses. Some states, like New Mexico, even require that drivers carry some sort of prevention policy to protect against these uninsured or underinsured drivers.
In addition to a basic uninsured motorist policy, drivers can also purchase personal injury policies or medical coverage to help lessen the financial strain of being involved in an automobile accident. These additional policies may not be sufficient to cover all of your incurred expenses. However, they may still lower your overall out-of-pocket costs depending on the specifics of your accident and subsequent injuries. Ultimately, there are many ways to protect yourself from uninsured drivers.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP'S INJURY LAWYERS
Car collisions with uninsured drivers can leave victims in substantial financial debt and can inflict serious injuries on the involved drivers. Claims involving uninsured drivers in New Mexico can require extensive legal analysis of the local and state statutes that govern the jurisdiction. If you or a family member has been involved in a New Mexico automobile collision, you should contact a group of experienced New Mexico uninsured motorist injury lawyers as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse, evaluate your claim’s merits, and negotiate a fair settlement.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Our New Mexico lawyers may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your legal claim. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or a loved one has sustained damages from an accident with an uninsured motorist, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our New Mexico lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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