Having car insurance is a basic requirement for drivers in New Mexico. The state requires liability coverage from every driver.
Still, there are plenty of people who knowingly violate the insurance requirement. Other drivers may have insurance for a while but end up missing payments, and a crash happens when the insurance is not active due to non-payment.
Whatever the case may be, if you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, it’s important to know your options for getting the financial compensation you need to move forward.
Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage
Many people purchase additional insurance coverage known as uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. In fact, many people who have this type of insurance are not aware that they do have it. Insurance policies are complex, and often it helps to have a personal injury attorney review your insurance policy to determine whether you have UIM coverage.
Uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage can be helpful if the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance at all, or if that person doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the full cost of your injury. UIM coverage is also used in many cases when people are injured by hit-and-run drivers.
IMPORTANT: State law only requires very low amounts of insurance coverage, and the reality is that the basic insurance requirement in New Mexico may not come anywhere close to covering the cost of a serious injury. That is why UIM coverage can be so helpful.
Options beyond UIM insurance
In some circumstances, it may be necessary to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for damages, rather than pursuing a claim with that driver’s insurance company. In other cases, there may be additional parties who are responsible for the crash. For example, if a bar or restaurant overserved alcohol to the at-fault driver, the bar or restaurant may be held partially liable for a collision.
To learn more about liability for car accidents in New Mexico, please see our recent post, “What happens if both drivers share responsibility for a crash?“