How New Mexico courts calculate and award car accident damages

A car accident can leave you with so much more than a bent fender or a bump on the head. Medical bills start to pile up, you miss time from work dealing with the insurance company – meanwhile your vehicle is still in the shop.

When an accident results from someone else’s negligence, you should not be left footing the bill. Accident victims can recover compensation for a variety of damages under New Mexico law.

Keep reading to learn the basics of recovering funds following a car accident.

Types of damages available in New Mexico car accidents

Insurance companies do not always play fair. They often undervalue claims, offering a small settlement when you may be owed more. Many people don’t realize they do not have to take the insurance company’s first offer.

A successful personal injury case can help a victim recover compensation for their injuries. A judge or jury can award compensation for:

  • Property damage
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages

In some cases, a court might order additional damages for malicious or reckless behavior. These are known as “punitive damages.”

How fault affects available damages

Depending on the relevant state law, damages in car accidents account for fault in the crash in various ways. New Mexico follows the rule of “pure comparative negligence,” meaning the judge or jury assigns a percentage of fault to each party for the accident. Then, damages decrease according to that percentage. For example, if the jury awards $10,000 in damages but finds you were 20 percent at fault in the accident, you recover only $8,000.

With any personal injury claim, it is important to document costs and damage in as much detail as possible. When dealing with insurance companies, it's a good idea to get help from a personal injury attorney.

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