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Some basics about auto insurance laws in New Mexico?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2020 | Personal Injury

All New Mexico drivers must carry liability insurance on every motor vehicle they operate on a public roadway.  If you experience property damage or personal injury in an automobile collision, caused by another driver, his or her liability insurance policy should pay for your injuries, damages, and related expenses.

Learn about the auto insurance laws and limits that apply to New Mexico motorists:

Liability insurance policy minimums

Your automobile liability insurance must cover at least:

  • $10,000 per accident for property damage
  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury

You may see this denoted as a 25/50/10 on your automobile insurance Declarations page.  Drivers can exceed these limits to avoid paying out-of-pocket in the event of an automobile collision-related liability claim/liability. Conversely, you can file a legal claim against a driver, responsible for an automobile collision, for medical bills, lost income and other damages that exceed the at-fault driver’s automobile liability coverage.

Auto insurance fault laws

New Mexico uses a fault system for automobile collision claims. When you suffer a serious injury or property damage, you can file a claim under your own collision automobile property insurance policy or the other at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy. In either case, the adjuster from the insurance company will review police report, property damage and witness statements to determine fault. When the adjuster finds the other driver was responsible for the collision, you can try and negotiate a settlement with his or her insurance company.

Legal claims

When your automobile collision-related injuries resulted from the actions of a negligent driver, you must prove in court that he or she did not exercise reasonable care as a driver. For example, a successful personal injury lawsuit would establish the responsible driver was speeding, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or broke a traffic law that caused the collision.

New Mexico follows a pure comparative fault structure for personal injury claims. If you share fault with another driver, the court will reduce your damages award by your percentage of fault.