Being involved in a New Mexico car accident is a stressful experience, both physically and emotionally. In the immediate wake of the accident, the focus is on physically recovering from the injuries of the accident. Once the physical wounds heal, there is often the emotional stress that accompanies missing time at work, constantly visiting a physical therapist, and getting back behind the wheel of a car. This can take time.
Once both body and mind have recovered, there is the issue of the financial toll that the accident took on the victim. In some cases, insurance will help cover these costs. However, insurance companies will not approve all claims, and they may deny an accident victim’s claim for any number of reasons. In these cases, a New Mexico car crash attorney can assist accident victims with the preparation of their case. A recent case illustrates one insurance company’s efforts to evade responsibility.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff in the case was involved in an accident with another motorist. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, that driver’s insurance company, and the plaintiff’s own insurance company. The insurance companies were named as defendants because they were contractually obligated to cover the costs associated with the accident, pursuant to the drivers’ insurance policies.
After the lawsuit was filed, the other driver filed for bankruptcy, which once completed would discharge all of the debts owed by the driver. On the driver’s motion, the court excused the driver from the lawsuit because, even if that driver was found to be at fault, the pending bankruptcy would discharge the “debt” owed to the plaintiff.
In light of this, the plaintiff’s own insurance company also sought dismissal of the case, arguing that since the plaintiff could not recover from the other driver, the insurance company was no longer contractually obligated to cover the claim. The trial court agreed with the insurance company’s argument and granted summary judgment in its favor. The plaintiff appealed.
On appeal, the plaintiff was successful in getting the lower court’s decision reversed. The court explained that the case against the other driver was discharged not because he could not be found legally liable for the accident but because any award that was entered in the plaintiff’s favor would not be able to be collected. Thus, the court explained, the insurance company was still “on the hook” for the plaintiff’s claim against the other driver.
Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a New Mexico car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, you will almost certainly be required to deal with at least one insurance company and potentially several. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have extensive experience representing victims in a wide range of car accident cases. We cater our representation to the needs of each individual client, and we can work diligently to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Call 505-889-FINE to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Degenerative Brain Diseases Caused by Participation in High-Impact Sports in New Mexico or Elsewhere, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 4, 2017.
Government Agency Faults Manufacturer for 2016 Auto-Pilot Crash, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 18, 2017.