Six New Mexico Car Accident Laws Every Driver Should Know
The aftermath of a car accident can be traumatic. Even a mild fender-bender can shock you. For some, it might be second nature to contact the police immediately and inform the other driver after a car accident. Did you know that it’s a legal requirement? Aside from getting medical attention, you must fulfill the following legal requirements and understand the various car accident laws that apply to your case.
Learn more about some essential points to remember after a car accident and filing a personal injury claim.
1. Duty to Give Information & Render Aid
N.M. Stat § 66-7-203 states that drivers involved in an accident that caused injury or death must provide the following information:
- Vehicle Registration Number
- Driver’s License
In addition to providing the other driver with the necessary information, the law further states that you must render reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the crash. “Reasonable assistance” might include carrying or making arrangements to carry an injured person to a hospital. So, contacting an ambulance to transport someone to the hospital could fulfill this legal obligation.
2. Remain at the Scene of the Accident
N.M. Stat § 66-7-201 requires all drivers involved in accidents that cause serious injury or death to immediately stop their vehicle either at the scene or as close to it as possible and fulfill the requirements outlined in N.M. Stat § 66-7-203. Failing to stop at the crash scene, otherwise known as committing a hit-and-run accident, is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to three years in jail and a fine of $5,000.
3. Report the Car Accident
According to N.M. Stat § 66-7-206, drivers must contact the police after an accident “by the quickest means of communication.” After giving notice of the accident to the police, N.M. Stat § 66-7-207 states that a written report of the accident must be filed to the New Mexico Department of Transportation within five days.
If the Department of Transportation feels information in a report is insufficient, they may require other drivers or witnesses to create a report providing more details on the crash. Police officers are also required to file a written report 24 hours after investigating the crash, which will include information from witnesses and may provide more insight as to who was at fault.
4. Minimum Insurance Requirements
New Mexico law states that all drivers must have the following minimum amounts of car insurance:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people
- $10,000 for property damage of one accident
Other Forms of Insurance Not Required By Law
You may need other forms of insurance after a New Mexico car crash, such as uninsured motorist coverage or collision coverage. Although these types of insurance aren’t required by law, they could help compensate you after a crash.
For example, uninsured motorist coverage will help you pay for your car repairs and medical expenses if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident. Additionally, collision coverage could pay for your expenses after any crash, regardless of who’s at fault.
5. Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
You have a small window to file a car accident claim in New Mexico called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in New Mexico is three years, and although this doesn’t seem like a small window, you want to give yourself as much time as possible to prepare your claim. If you don’t file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out, you lose your chance to recover any compensation from the at-fault party.
6. New Mexico is an At-Fault State
New Mexico is an at-fault state for car accidents. That means the individual who caused the accident is responsible for compensating the injured party. However, if the other party discovers that you were texting or otherwise contributed partially to the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your portion of liability. For example, if your total compensation is $100,000, and you are found to be 10% at fault for the crash, you will only recover $90,000.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
New Mexico car accident laws are complex, and the claims process could be difficult to navigate. When you experience serious injuries after an accident, you need a car crash attorney well-versed in New Mexico car accident laws to ensure you recover full compensation.
The Law Giant knows how to handle greedy insurance companies who push you to settle for less and can walk you through every step of the claims process. Contact the Law Giant today at 505-900-0000 for a free consultation.