Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyer
The Fine Law Firm has practiced car accident law for over 40 years. We’ve gained recognition from various law organizations and achieved an elevated level of respect amongst those in the legal profession, through a focus on detail and close relationships with clients. It is our mission to achieve the best possible results for Albuquerque car accident victims.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in New Mexico, contact our Albuquerque car accident attorneys. We will review your case and help you with the next steps during a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Our personal injury lawyers have a proven track record, a 99% success rate, and unmatched levels of representation in the state. Call (505) 889-FINE to schedule your case review today.
Why Choose Us?
The Fine Law Firm is confident in being the right team of attorneys to take your serious injury car accident case. We treat clients like family, maintaining personal contact with them and offering candid advice as necessary. We also put clients’ interests above our own. If you’re searching for legal representation that puts best interests first, come to Fine Law Firm. Clients choose us for many reasons.
- We don’t recover money unless you receive compensation.
- Our client testimonials offer insight into the attention we bring to each case.
- Avvo rated our firm Superb (10/10) as a Top Attorney in Personal Injury
- Martindale-Hubbell gave us their highest rating.
- Our history of success demonstrates our dedication to both our clients and our craft.
The right accident lawyer can make your claim more manageable. Whether you want your claim to garner the highest possible verdict amount or your goal is to settle quickly and without fuss, we can help. The Fine Law Firm has provided exceptional legal representation to car accident victims since 1975. Choose us to assist you in seeking compensation for your car accident damages.
What Can a Car Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
A car accident lawyer from The Fine Law Firm can completely take over your car accident claim. This means determining who is the responsible party, communicating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, conducting settlement negotiations, carrying out complex legal processes, and making sure insurance companies don’t take advantage of clients. If a serious auto accident traumatically affected you or someone close to you, an Albuquerque accident lawyer can give you peace of mind during the claims process.
Hiring an accident lawyer can result in greater compensation for your damages. Rather than settling for less than your case is worth or allowing an insurance company to get away with unfairly denying your claim, take a stand and protect your rights. Retain an Albuquerque car accident attorney to represent your interests during settlement negotiations and/or a injury trial in New Mexico. Trusting professionals with your car accident case can safeguard your future after a serious personal injury accident.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Charge?
At The Fine Law Firm, clients don’t have to let an exorbitant attorney fee dissuade them from getting the professional help they need. We only charge attorney’s fees if we obtain a monetary award on our clients’ behalf. If we win, we keep our fees consistent at no more than 33% of the settlement. We pride ourselves on fair, honest legal representation in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Our car accident lawyers prioritize their clients’ interests on every case. We will reduce our fees if necessary for our clients to receive greater compensation than us. Since we deduct our percentage directly from the money we obtain for you, our fees never come out of your pocket.
Types of Damages Victims Can Recover
With help from the accident lawyers at The Fine Law Firm, you could recover various damages relating to your physical, financial, and emotional losses. When someone else’s negligence takes things from you in a car accident, fight to get them back with help from our lawyers. We will review your case, gather evidence of your damages, and present a strong front as to why you deserve maximum compensation. You could be eligible to recover damages such as:
- Past and future pain and suffering. The New Mexico courts will assess your physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish relating to a major car accident. You may qualify for thousands of dollars in pain and suffering damages if your injuries are severe or permanent.
- Hospital bills and medical care costs. Your compensation award could cover 100% of your crash-related medical costs – both those you’ve already accumulated and expenses you’ll have in the future due to a disabling injury. Your lawyer can help you gather medical receipts and documents to calculate these damages.
- Property damage repair or replacement. You could recover a damage amount to cover the costs of vehicle repairs or replacement after a car accident. This amount will reflect the price of repairs or the pre-crash value of your vehicle. It could also cover the cost of a rental car while you wait for vehicle repairs.
- Lost wages. Fight to recover the financial losses you incurred from having to take sick days at work while you received medical treatment. You may be eligible for thousands of dollars in lost income and lost future earning capacity depending on the severity of your injuries and the impact it had on your ability to perform work.
- Punitive damages. The Albuquerque civil courts may award punitive damages if it deems the defendant’s actions grossly negligent, malicious, intentional, or wanton in their disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are most common in car accident cases involving excessive speeding, drunk driving, and serious or fatal victim injuries.
The amount you receive for your car accident claim depends on several factors, including the seriousness and permanency of your injuries, the actions of the defendant, and the skill of your attorney. Hiring an Albuquerque car accident lawyer with years of experience and multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts in his/her past can give you an edge during negotiations and is the best way to fight for maximum damage recovery in New Mexico.
Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims in New Mexico
It is important as a crash victim to understand your statute of limitations, or deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Missing the statute of limitations generally results in losing the right to file, and the right to any compensation. The courts of New Mexico will only make exceptions in very rare situations. Knowing the time limit for filing your claim can help you stay within the guidelines. Each state has its own statute of limitations. The deadline will also vary depending on the type of claim you wish to file.
- Personal injury lawsuit. Three years from the date of the accident.
- Property damage-only lawsuit. Four years from the date of the accident.
- Product liability lawsuit. Three years from the date of the accident.
- Wrongful death lawsuit. Three years from the date of the victim’s death.
- Suit against the government. Two years from the date of the car accident.
Note that the statute of limitations applies to filing a lawsuit, not a car accident insurance claim. You typically have 24 hours – or as soon as possible – to file a car accident claim with an insurance company. Failing to file an insurance claim within a reasonable amount of time (typically a few weeks at the most) could give the insurance company grounds to deny your claim to damages. Take action regarding your car accident claim in New Mexico as soon as you can to avoid missing an important filing deadline.
New Mexico Car Accident Laws
When you hire an accident attorney, they will navigate all of the state’s car accident and claim laws on your behalf. Handling the legwork of your case can give you peace of mind and ensure you do not break any rules. However, knowing a few of the most prominent New Mexico car accident laws can help you become an informed crash victim and claimant. The following are laws we believe all car accident victims should know.
- Fault car accident laws. New Mexico is a fault car accident state. This means the person at fault for the accident will be financially responsible for everyone else’s damages. The at-fault driver’s auto insurance company will generally cover losses such as medical bills and property damage, up to the policyholder’s maximum coverage. At that point, the victims’ insurance companies may cover anything left over.
- Right to file a lawsuit. The state’s fault insurance laws give crash victims the right to file personal injury lawsuits against the at-fault party or parties. A personal injury suit can often result in greater compensation than an insurance claim alone. A lawsuit may be appropriate if someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries, such as drunk driving or a defective auto part.
- Comparative negligence. New Mexico also follows pure comparative negligence laws. This means the courts can find the victim partially responsible for causing the accident, yet still award partial compensation. A crash victim in the state could be 99% at fault for a wreck and still receive 1% of compensation. The courts will reduce the victim’s recovery award by an amount equivalent to his or her percentage of fault.
Hiring an injury lawyer removes the burden of navigating New Mexico’s complicated car accident laws from your shoulders. You can focus on healing, recovering, and your family while your lawyer takes care of all reports, paperwork, evidence gathering, and case building. Your Albuquerque car accident lawyer from Fine Law Firm will keep you updated on the status of your claim throughout the process. If you have any questions about New Mexico’s car accident laws, call us for a free consultation about your case.
How to Request/Obtain an Accident Report in NM
Car accident victims in New Mexico must report their crashes if they are serious enough. A driver involved in a car accident legally must report it if the crash caused injuries or death to anyone, or more than $500 in property damage. A driver must report the crash immediately, and through the fastest means of communication. Calling 911 is the standard if the crash occurs within city limits. If it occurred outside a municipality, reporting the accident to the New Mexico State Police is the appropriate action.
If a police officer responds to the accident call, the officer will submit a written police report to the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) within 24 hours. Otherwise, the driver must then file a written report with the NMDOT within five days of the collision. If a crash victim needs copies of his or her accident reports for a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, the victim will need to contact the correct organizations. First, the victim will contact the police station of the municipality that investigated the crash, and request a copy of the report using the police report number (given at the scene of the crash).
Next, the victim will have to fill out a Record Request Form. This form may be digital or a paper copy depending on the police agency. If the police station does not have the authority to send accident records to victims, the next phone call should be to the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV may have the crash record from the police, and be able to send or mail out an official copy. Copies of the accident reports may then serve as proof or evidence during an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
New Mexico Car Accident Insurance Requirements
Every driver in New Mexico must carry adequate car accident insurance at all times. Failure to do so can result in temporarily losing the driving privilege, as well as fines and other penalties. Everyone must carry insurance for financial coverage of damages after a collision. Damages may include damage to a vehicle as well as medical bills. Each state has unique car insurance requirements. The following are coverage types and amounts each driver can have in New Mexico.
- Medical coverage/personal injury protection – Mandatory – All drivers must carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury or death to one person and $50,000 in liability coverage for total bodily injury or death in the accident.
- Collision and property damage – Mandatory – Drivers must carry at least $10,000 in liability coverage for property damage per accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the costs of property repair or replacement.
- Comprehensive coverage – Optional – New Mexico’s minimum insurance requirements only cover other peoples’ damages in an accident, not the at-fault driver. For coverage for the at-fault driver, he or she must purchase comprehensive or collision coverage.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance – Optional – This policy add-on can protect the driver from having to pay out of pocket after a collision with a driver who does not have car insurance, or enough insurance to cover damages. It can also cover damages after a hit-and-run accident.
- Rental car insurance – Optional – Another optional add-on that will cover the costs of a driver’s rental car while he or she waits for vehicle repairs or a replacement. This insurance will typically cover the costs of a rental that is similar to the wrecked vehicle.
It is a crime to operate a motor vehicle without adequate insurance in New Mexico. The New Mexico Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act makes the penalty for operating a vehicle without insurance suspension of vehicle registration. The owner must forfeit the vehicle’s registration and license plates within 10 days of a Notice of Suspension, or face criminal prosecution.
Causes of Car Accidents
In 2016, the New Mexico Department of Transportation recorded 45,071 traffic crashes in the state. These car accidents injured almost 20,500 people and killed 405 others. Human error is the number one cause of car accidents throughout the country. Negligent, careless, and reckless drivers cause an average of over 120 car accidents per day in New Mexico. The top causes of car accidents in New Mexico according to crash data are driver inattention, failure to yield the right-of-way, following too closely, alcohol/drug involvement, and excessive speed.
Driving under the influence and speeding are the two top contributing factors in fatal New Mexico car accidents. All of these major crash factors come down to one common trend: human error. If a negligent or reckless driver caused your car accident or took a loved one’s life, act now. Contact our law firm for a free consultation. We can help determine the cause of your car accident and file a claim against the at-fault party.
Injuries Suffered in a Car Accident
Vehicle collisions are so devastating to those involved because of the immense kinetic forces the crash creates. The human body often cannot withstand the forces a car accident exerts upon it, resulting in a variety of serious personal injuries. In our decades of experience handling thousands of car accident claims, we’ve seen all injuries possible in a vehicle collision. We cover cases involving virtually all injury types. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Broken bones and multiple fractures
- Severe burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
Many crash survivors suffer more than one type of injury. They may spend days or weeks in the hospital recovering from multiple injuries to different parts of the body. Some victims may never fully recover. Temporary and permanent disabilities are common after serious car accidents. Traumatic amputations, severe brain injuries, and spinal cord damage are some of the injury types that may affect a crash survivor for life. No matter what injuries you suffered in your car accident, contact us for help.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Pay attention to the steps you take after a car accident. What you do now could determine the future outcome of your car accident case. First, protect yourself by receiving medical care for any injuries right away. Delaying medical care could tell an insurance company your injuries weren’t serious, or give them the ability to claim that you contributed to the extent of your injuries. Then, document your case. Gather important details such as:
- The name and contact information of the other driver
- The other driver’s insurance information
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- Description of what happened
- Eyewitness information and accounts
- Medical records and receipts
- Police report number/copy of the report
The insurance company will need the details of your crash prior to settlement negotiations. How you build and present your case could impact the amount of your initial settlement offer. If you aren’t sure what to do after a car accident, or simply don’t want to deal with the legalities of your case on your own, hire an Albuquerque accident attorney from The Fine Law Firm. We can handle insurance claim litigation, personal injury case filing, and more on your behalf.
Contact Us Today
Attorneys Joseph M. Fine, David M. Fine, Mark D. Fine, and Charlotte Itoh can help you after a car accident in Albuquerque. We have the experience and resources to immediately begin working on your case, taking over conversations with insurance companies and fighting for fair compensation on your behalf. You don’t have to go through this alone. Contact our New Mexico accident attorneys to start your legal journey today. First consultations are always free and confidential. Contact us now at (505) 889-FINE.