In many New Mexico car accident cases, courts are tasked with interpreting the written language of an insurance policy. This is because insurance policies are essentially written contracts, and are governed by contract law. However, due to the complex nature of the insurance business and the fact that all motorists must obtain car insurance, most motorists just quickly obtain a policy without really reading the fine print.
Insurance companies are businesses that operate for a profit. Thus, over time, insurance companies began including terms in their policies that limited the insured’s rights in certain circumstances. One very important issue that has come up time and again in New Mexico car accident cases is that of insurance stacking.
What Is Insurance Stacking and How Is It Beneficial to New Mexico Accident Victims?
Insurance stacking allows the insured to combine the insurance maximums of multiple covered vehicles in the event the damages sustained in an accident exceed the limit for one vehicle. Under New Mexico case law, there is a judicially-created stacking doctrine which requires an insurance company obtain a written waiver of coverage before writing a policy that does not allow stacking.
As noted above, insurance stacking allows for an accident victim to combine the coverage on several vehicles in the event that they are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist or a motorist who does not carry sufficient insurance to cover the victim’s injuries. For example, if an uninsured driver causes a collision resulting in $400,000 in damages, a plaintiff without a stacking policy could only recover the single-vehicle limit. If the victim’s policy had a limit of $100,000, they would be only able to recover a portion of the damages they are entitled to. However, under a stacking policy, the accident victim can combine the coverage on any other vehicles that are on the same policy, up to the total amount of damages the victims sustained in the accident.
While the court hoped that creating a bright-line rule that insurance companies needed to obtain a written waiver of coverage before writing policies that do not stack would reduce the litigation surrounding the topic, insurance companies continue to push the bounds of ethical behavior. Thus, it is as just as important as ever that an accident victim retain a dedicated New Mexico personal injury attorney before negotiating with an insurance company after a serious New Mexico car accident.
Have You Been Involved in a New Mexico Car Accident?
If you have recently been injured in a serious New Mexico car accident, contact the Fine Law Firm for assistance. At the Fine Law Firm, we represent New Mexico car accident injury victims in cases against insurance companies who have denied a claim or refused to fairly settle a claim. To learn more about how we can help you recover for your injuries, call 505-889-FINE to schedule a free consultation today with our New Mexico personal injury lawyers. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
More Blog Posts:
Government Immunity in New Mexico Car Accident Cases, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 17, 2018.
Court Dismisses Slip-and-Fall Case, Applying Recreational-Use Statute, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 1, 2018.