Rear-end collisions are a common type of car accident. They may occur due to texting while driving, distraction, or road rage. The injuries in a rear-end collision often include soft tissue injuries, fractures, lacerations, concussions, traumatic brain injury, or whiplash. In most cases, the driver of the rear-ending car is presumed to be at fault in New Mexico. Although, this presumption does not always hold. If you are hurt in a rear-end collision, you should consult an experienced Albuquerque accident lawyer at the Fine Law Firm before talking to an at-fault driver’s insurer.
Holding a Negligent Driver Accountable for Damages
In New Mexico, drivers are required to maintain a safe distance from cars in front of them. This rule gives rise to a presumption that the car traveling at the rear is at fault for the accident. However, the rear driver is not necessarily at fault in a rear-end collision. For example, if a front driver’s brake lights are not working and he comes to a complete stop, the rear driver would have no warning that he should also brake and come to a complete stop. Or, in another situation, if a driver cuts in front of a driver with insufficient space, the rear driver may not be able to slow in time to avoid a collision.
All drivers are required to use reasonable care when they drive. A failure to use reasonable care, such as by cutting in front of another driver with inadequate space or not hitting the brakes quickly enough, is likely a breach of reasonable care that can result in an accident. If you are able to establish the other driver’s negligence, you will be able to recover compensation for any injuries. Compensatory damages usually include lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Pure Comparative Negligence
New Mexico follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. Based on this rule, if the defendant alleges that you or someone else is at fault, the jury will evaluate the total damages and assess each party’s percentage of fault. In a certain case, for instance, the jury may determine that the total damages are $50,000, but the victim and the defendant are equally at fault. When this happens, the victim can potentially recover half of his or her damages from the defendant.
It is important to remember there is a limited time period within which you can bring a claim after a car accident. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it generally bars a victim’s right to recover compensation if it is not strictly followed. There also may be more specific requirements if you are suing a government entity rather than an individual driver.
Explore Your Options with an Albuquerque Lawyer after a Motor Vehicle Collision
If you are hurt in a rear-end accident caused by another driver, you should consider enlisting an experienced Albuquerque injury attorney. At the Fine Law Firm, we help victims seek the compensation they need to move forward with their lives after an accident. Contact us via our online form or call us at (505) 243-4541 to set up a free consultation. We also represent injured residents of Rio Rancho and other New Mexico communities.