New Mexico Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline (2024)

New Mexico Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline (2024)

If you are involved in a car accident, it is vital that you understand the New Mexico car accident settlement process and timeline for these proceedings. Every driver is required to have auto insurance, and this insurance can pay for damages a policyholder causes in an accident. However, insurance may not cover all of the victim’s damages, and further legal proceedings may be necessary to resolve the matter.

Filing an Auto Insurance Claim for a Car Accident

New Mexico follows a fault-based system for resolving motor vehicle accidents. This means that you will need to prove fault for a recent accident before you can recover compensation for your damages. Once you do prove fault, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy to seek compensation for your losses. However, this process can be challenging for several reasons.

Insurance companies will almost always fight claims for coverage in whatever way they can. Even if you think the fault for your recent accident is perfectly apparent, it is possible for an at-fault driver to claim that you caused or contributed to causing the accident, and their insurance company may use this allegation as grounds to deny your claim, justify a lowball settlement, or slow down the process of issuing you a settlement offer.

Having an experienced attorney assist you with filing your claim will reduce the chance of you encountering any bad faith tactics from the insurer. Once you receive your settlement offer, your attorney can review it to ensure it is acceptable under the terms of the at-fault driver’s policy. At this point, you may need to file a personal injury suit if you have outstanding damages that the at-fault driver’s insurance won’t cover.

Pursuing Further Recovery With a Personal Injury Claim

When you cannot fully recover your losses through an auto insurance claim, a personal injury suit enables you to seek compensation for your remaining losses. You may also need to file a personal injury claim if the at-fault driver does not have insurance. Under New Mexico law, you have three years from the date your personal injury happened to file your claim against the party responsible for your injury.

Many personal injury claims filed are settled outside of court. The private settlement process is much faster than litigation and allows both parties to have more influence over the outcome of the case as long as they are willing to negotiate and compromise. Settlement may only take a few weeks to complete, whereas litigation could take months or even longer than a year to reach a conclusion.

Ultimately, the state’s car accident settlement process and timeline will vary from case to case. Even if you think that your case is straightforward, it may be very difficult to resolve, or a seemingly complex claim could be resolved in a fraction of the time you expect. Whatever your situation entails, having experienced legal counsel on your side will dramatically improve your overall experience with the claim filing process and increase your chances of reaching a positive outcome.

FAQs

Q: How Long Does an Auto Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim?

A: An auto insurance company must settle a claim within a set time in New Mexico; otherwise, they can face fines and other penalties. Generally, most auto insurance claims filed are resolved within this window. If the insurance company notices problems with a claim, they must issue a complete and detailed response to the claimant, and this could extend the window in which they must settle the claim.

Q: Is New Mexico a No-Fault State?

A: No, it is a fault state when it comes to resolving motor vehicle accidents. This means that the driver at fault for an accident faces liability for the resulting damages, and an injured driver must prove fault to recover their losses. All drivers are required to have appropriate liability coverage with their personal auto insurance policies that meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements for property damage and bodily injury liability.

Q: Can I Claim Compensation if I’m Partially at Fault for an Accident?

A: Yes, you can claim compensation if you are partially at fault for an accident under the state’s pure comparative negligence rule. This rule states that the injured party’s percentage of fault for causing the accident will be the percentage of their case award they lose as a penalty. Your attorney can help minimize any fault percentage assigned to you to preserve your final award as much as possible.

Q: When Should I Consult an Attorney After a Car Accident?

A: You should consult an attorney as quickly as possible after a car accident in the state. You should seek medical care immediately following an accident, even if you think you only suffered minor injuries. Once you address your medical needs, you should find an experienced attorney to represent your claim as quickly as possible. They can help you navigate the insurance claim filing process and build a personal injury case.

Q: What Happens if an At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Auto Insurance?

A: If an at-fault driver does not have auto insurance, then you have the right to file a civil suit directly against that driver, and they will be personally responsible for your damages. Additionally, they are likely to face a driver’s license suspension and other penalties and will likely be prohibited from driving until they can produce proof of appropriate insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements.

The attorneys at Berenson & Associates have the skills and resources necessary to help our clients navigate the toughest car accident claims. We can assist you with your auto insurance claim and build a personal injury suit if necessary to ensure the fullest possible recovery. We are prepared to guide you through the auto insurance claim filing process and help you recover as fully as the law allows. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our team.

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