While there are many positive things that may be said about the state of New Mexico, the driving habits of our citizens are not among our better attributes. Widespread drunk driving, reckless behavior, and failures to purchase even minimum liability insurance coverage have landed the state near the top of some embarrassing national lists, including “Second Worst” in the entire country just a couple of years ago. None of this comes as a surprise to Albuquerque car accident lawyer Andrew Ortiz. After 25 years of experience as an injury attorney, he has seen how often a moment of carelessness on the road may change a victim’s life.Explore Your Options Following a Car Accident
Fortunately, people who have been hurt by another person’s negligent driving do have a method of legal recourse: filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant violated a duty of care that was owed to them and that they were harmed as a result. This is where a knowledgeable car accident attorney can help Albuquerque residents and other victims. The legal team at the Law Office of Andrew Ortiz, PC, knows what to examine when investigating a car crash case. We have working relationships with expert witnesses who may be useful in explaining the details of a collision or the future prognosis of a plaintiff’s injuries to a jury at trial. We also understand that some types of evidence slip away quickly, so we can identify and collect them efficiently before they are gone.
New Mexico law requires a plaintiff in a personal injury case based upon a car accident to file a claim within the statute of limitations. Generally, this period is three years, although there are some situations in which the case should be filed or notice should be provided earlier. For example, some insurance policies contain a contractual obligation to give notice of a potential claim within a certain time period. Since New Mexico has many uninsured motorists, this requirement may be very important if the defendant in a car crash case has no insurance or only minimal liability coverage, while the plaintiff has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. There may also be a notice requirement in cases against a governmental entity.
It is not uncommon for the defendant or their insurer in a car accident case to seek to avoid or reduce liability by pointing to the plaintiff’s alleged fault in causing the accident. Under New Mexico’s pure comparative fault doctrine, the jury has the ability to assign a percentage of fault to the defendant, the plaintiff, and sometimes even other parties not involved in the litigation. The defendant will be liable for damages in proportion to their percentage of fault.
To illustrate, assume that a plaintiff sues a defendant after a crash at an intersection. Each party points to the other, claiming that the opposing party ran the traffic light. The jury may believe the account of a witness who testifies that the defendant ran the light, but the plaintiff appeared to be exceeding the speed limit at the time of the crash. The jury might then determine that 75% of the fault lies with the defendant, and 25% remains with the plaintiff. If the plaintiff has $200,000 in damages, the net judgment in their favor would be $150,000.Retain a Skillful Car Accident Lawyer in Albuquerque
If someone else’s failure to act in a reasonably prudent fashion behind the wheel has caused you harm, you owe it to your family and you to discuss your situation with an attorney. To put 25 years of litigation experience to work in your case, call Albuquerque car accident attorney Andrew Ortiz at 505-242-1195 or contact us online for a free appointment. We also represent people who need a trucking accident lawyer in Bernalillo County and other areas of New Mexico.