After being injured in a car accident, you may feel pressure to settle quickly with the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are usually trying to offer you the lowest amount possible to save the company money. But it’s important not to accept a settlement before you know the full extent of your losses. These losses include lost wages and medical bills, so usually you should be completely recovered before accepting a settlement.
There’s no deadline for when you need to settle a claim. However, if you’re in the Rio Rancho area, there are other important New Mexico restrictions you should know about.
New Mexico Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in New Mexico is three years, starting on the day of the accident. This means you have until that date to file a lawsuit for your auto accident injury. There are certain circumstances that will allow you to file a claim after this date. But it’s usually not a good idea to wait, because you could lose your chance to seek fair compensation.
It’s never too early to talk to a personal injury attorney about your case. An experienced attorney can advise you in your negotiations with the insurance company, even if you don’t file suit.
Understanding Comparative Negligence Law
In New Mexico, if the court determines the victim shares any fault in the crash, the damage awarded will be reduced accordingly. This is called pure comparative negligence. If it is determined that you were one percent at fault, your compensation will be reduced by one percent.
If you had no contributing role in the accident, you’ll need to prove it in your defense. An experienced personal injury attorney can help prove your innocence to the judge or insurance company.
New Mexico Compensation Limits
In some states, there’s a limit on how much money can be awarded to a personal injury claimant. But in New Mexico, there are only caps in cases that involve medical malpractice. For a car accident claim, there are no award caps for compensatory or punitive damages.
Compensatory damages cover lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage. Punitive damages are a form of punishment to the negligent party. These are charged in cases of gross negligence, recklessness, or willful or wanton behavior. Either of these can be set at whatever amount the judge or jury decides in New Mexico.
How We Can Help
At Sanchez and Piñon, our goal is to get you the fair compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Rio Rancho area, contact us today. We can review the details of your claim and advise you on the best next steps to take.