Understanding New Mexico’s Comparative Negligence Laws in Truck Accidents 

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You might have seen or heard or, unfortunately, been in truck accidents before. Data by Truckinfo reports that a total of 821 truck-related accidents happened in New Mexico in 2022. 

But even if you happen to find yourself in a serious truck accident, there is no single person at fault. Instead, more than one part can be at fault, which is where the real complexity comes in. Before you can file for a claim, you should first understand how New Mexico’s comparative negligence laws work. 

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What You Should Know About the New Mexico Laws 

New Mexico struggles with a sharp uptick in heavy vehicle-related accidents, especially related to semi-trucks. But if someone tries to make a claim for compensation, it is important to understand that both the plaintiff and the defendant could be liable for charges. 

While it is possible that one party could be more responsible for the accident, the court will also scrutinize the other party. So, if the court decides that the other party is responsible for the accident, they will assign a percentage of fault. The at-fault party is 80% responsible for the accident since the driver was negligent and crossed the speed limit, but you could still be responsible for 20% as you crossed a red light. 

While this system has been controversial, it is present throughout the state and is especially in place to compensate individuals who were in heavy vehicle accidents. You should consider the help of a professional lawyer to guide you through the system. 

Establishing Fault in a Vehicle Accident

Since fault is distributed among both the plaintiff and the defendant, there is a greater emphasis on finding fault. According to the experienced semi-truck accident lawyers at the Fine Law Firm, investigators will look into the claims that both parties are making and will try to ascertain who is really at fault, therefore it is crucial that you gather evidence from the scene of the accident.  Gathering evidence can include recovering CCTV footage of the area where the accident happened. 

big truck

If the camera footage is inconclusive, then they will move on to calling witnesses and looking at the points of impact to determine who is more at fault. The accounts of both motorists are also important here, but they are usually very biased. 

In some cases, they will also recreate the entire accident using sophisticated computer programs, which allows them to recreate the entire incident accurately. This can greatly reduce the confusion surrounding the case and help the jury make a decision. The use of this computer-generated recreation of the incident can be difficult to obtain, as it requires specialized individuals to create it. 

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What Damages Will a Suit Cover

While comparative negligence laws can seem unfair to some individuals, it is still fair when providing individuals with compensation. These laws can cover various damages that individuals might face following a truck accident. 

Medical Coverage in Truck Accidents

One of the most common types of compensation that individuals can expect when they are in an accident is medical compensation. Everything from hospital stays, medication, nursing facilities, and much more can require a lot of money, which some insurance providers do not cover. This is an especially difficult situation to be in, as individuals can go bankrupt just trying to save themselves. 

The compensation that they get can cover all sorts of medical-related expenses, especially those that are out of your insurance plan. From doctor’s visits to a hospital stays, to medication, and even surgery, all of these are part of this particular coverage. 

Lost Wages Compensation

Along with compensating you for how much you spend on your medical recovery, you can also get compensated for any lost wages. If the accident made you incapable of working, you could receive compensation for all the hours that you spent off work and lost wages as a result. 

They will calculate your hourly wage and multiply that with teh total hours that you work in a day; this will be an individual’s daily salary. So if you have to stay off work for 30 days, you will receive compensation accordingly. Furthermore, this can also extend to lost future opportunities as a result of the injury, which they will calculate accordingly. 

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Property Damage

Due to their sheer size, collisions with a truck can lead to significant damage to your vehicle. You can also be awarded compensatory damages for the cost of repairs or a new car. It is also possible for a plaintiff to file a suit for any other property that was damaged in the accident.

New Mexico is one of the few states in the US that has an emphasis on comparative negligence. Therefore, no single party is ever at fault. Instead, different parties will share a percentage of the blame, so even if the ruling goes in your favor, you may still be sharing some of the fault. But even if you have a share of the fault, you can still get compensation for medical or property damage. 

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John Miller

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for innovatecar.com and other auto blogs