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Chain Reaction/Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Legal Guidance for Motor Vehicle Collision Victims in the Albuquerque Area

What happens when multiple vehicles are involved in a car crash? In many cases, a multi-vehicle accident is a chain reaction. One driver rear-ends another driver, pushing that person’s car into a third vehicle, and so on. However, in other cases, multi-vehicle accidents involve multiple drivers, each of whom is not paying attention, and they can also result in a large-scale crash. In those cases, each of the drivers involved may tell different stories about what happened, and it may be necessary to retain an accident reconstruction specialist to testify as to fault. At the Fine Law Firm, our car accident attorneys assist individuals from Albuquerque and the surrounding communities with pursuing damages after multi-vehicle accidents.

Establishing the Liability of Negligent Drivers

In order to establish negligence against a driver in a multi-vehicle accident, you will need to prove certain elements by a preponderance of the evidence. These are the driver's duty of care, the driver's act or omission that breached the duty, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages. The first element, duty, can usually be established easily because all drivers in New Mexico are required to use reasonable care to avoid injury to others on the road. However, breach of duty and causation can be more subtle, and in a multi-vehicle accident, it may be necessary to retain an expert to testify as to what actually happened to cause your injuries.

New Mexico follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. This means that in a multi-vehicle accident, the jury will assess the total amount of damages and then assign a percentage of responsibility to each party alleged to be at fault. A plaintiff's ability to recover will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault.

For example, in a car accident case, the jury may find that a certain driver’s total damages are $100,000. If it finds that this person was 30 percent at fault for causing the collision, he or she still may recover up to 70 percent of his or her costs and losses from another driver who held the remaining responsibility for the accident.

Except in limited circumstances that are unlikely to apply to a car accident, the doctrine of joint and several liability has been abolished in New Mexico. Under this doctrine, theoretically, one victim would be able to recover all of his or her damages from one defendant, even if several defendants were jointly responsible for causing the harm. However, New Mexico follows the rule of several liability, in which each defendant is responsible for damages only up to his or her percentage of fault.

Consult an Albuquerque Attorney to Discuss Your Car Accident Case

In many multi-vehicle accidents, numerous drivers and passengers have injuries, and it may be hard to figure out what the truth is from witnesses' competing accounts of what happened. It is important to consult your own experienced personal injury attorney before talking to representatives of other drivers' insurance companies, so that what you say will not be twisted to prevent you from recovering the full compensation you need. If you were hurt in a car accident in the Albuquerque area, you can contact the injury lawyers at the Fine Law Firm online or by calling us at (505) 243-4541 to set up a free consultation. Our attorneys also represent residents of Rio Rancho and other communities in New Mexico.

Client Reviews
"I could not say enough kind words to convey how professional and caring during a very difficult time in my life. Every visit to the office I was made to feel like I was the only client. They explained everything completely. I was introduced to every member of the Fine Law Firm. They went out of there way to resolve my case. If I ever need legal help again I would not hesatate to call The Fine Law Firm" E.H.
"The Fine Law Firm is quite experienced in the field of personal injury and related practice areas. As a personal injury attorney myself, I am impressed with the firm's history, attention to detail, and results obtained." D.W.
"They were always so patient and so considerate in helping us get through a situation that isn't very common. They were totally accessible and extremely professional. They took the time to explain everything and answered every question I asked. They walked us through everything and made a horrible situation as best as it could possibly be. They just seemed extremely competent and knew exactly what to do at every turn." S.M.
"Great Law Firm. I was treated like family by Mark Fine . Issues , concerns and questions about my case were answered in a timely manner.Very professional and friendly atmosphere. I would strongly recommend the Fine Law Fine." A.P.
"Great Law Firm. I was treated like family by Mark Fine . Issues , concerns and questions about my case were answered in a timely manner.Very professional and friendly atmosphere. I would strongly recommend the Fine Law Fine." G.G.