New Mexico Car Accident Laws

Posted by Liles White PLLC | 06/17/21 | Car Accident

Nobody expects that they will be involved in a vehicle accident, but when one does occur, it is important to understand the most important laws related to these incidents. Here, we will cover the most basic New Mexico car accident laws that you need to be aware of that can help you in the immediate aftermath of a crash as well as in the days and weeks to follow.

Contact a New Mexico car accident attorney from Liles White PLLC!

Reporting a Car Accident in New Mexico

When we examine New Mexico Statutes Annotated section 66-7-207, we can see that any driver involved in a crash in this state has to report the incident if:

  • It results in bodily injury or death to any person involved
  • It results in property damage of more than $500

What we will find is that this means that just about every single-vehicle crash that occurs needs to be reported in New Mexico. Even if a crash does not seem major, there is after no telling how much underlying damage has been done to vehicles. Additionally, there are times when injuries do not appear until hours or even days after a crash occurs.

Individuals involved in a crash need to call the police department of the municipality where they are located. If the incident did not occur in a city, drivers have to report it to the local county sheriff’s office or to the New Mexico State Police. Additionally, drivers are also required to provide a written report about the incident to the New Mexico Department of Transportation within five days after the crash occurs.

New Mexico Vehicle Insurance Requirements

All drivers in New Mexico are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance set forth under state law. This includes the following:

  • Bodily injury liability: Minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: Minimum of $10,000 per accident

Drivers do not have to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in this state. However, these two types of insurance are highly recommended.

Time Limit to File a New Mexico Car Accident Claim

In New Mexico, there is a limited amount of time for car accident victims to file lawsuits in order to recover compensation. The New Mexico personal injury statute of limitations is three years from the date an injury occurs. If a vehicle crash victim fails to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver within this three-year timeframe, they will lose the ability to recover any compensation for their losses.

If the vehicle accident claim revolves only around property damage, then the statute of limitations is four years from the date the crash occurs.

If More Than One Party is At Fault

Even those found partially at fault for a vehicle accident can still recover compensation for their losses in New Mexico. This state operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system, which means that even if a person is up to 99% at fault, they can still recover compensation. However, the total amount of compensation an individual receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

For example, if an individual is involved in a crash and sustains $100,000 worth of medical bills and other losses, but they are found to be 20% responsible for the incident, then they would receive $80,000 in total compensation, not the full $100,000.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the New Mexico personal injury attorney at Liles White PLLC.