An at-fault party legally must pay for damages after an accident in New Mexico. If this party denies liability, you may still be able to collect a settlement. You may need to prove that party’s fault for your accident or seek compensation from a third party instead. If your personal injury claim in Albuquerque involves a liability dispute, bring in an attorney for assistance.
Liability and the Car Insurance System
If you are claiming damages after a car accident in New Mexico, you will need to prove the other driver’s fault for the crash. Sometimes, the other driver may make it easy and admit to doing something wrong that caused the accident, such as running a red light or texting and driving. In most cases, however, the at-fault driver will not make things so easy. Insurance companies recommend to their policyholders not to admit fault for accidents. Do not be surprised, therefore, if the other driver refuses to admit liability.
Rather than getting angry at the other driver for denying fault, start collecting evidence from the scene of the accident. Take photos and obtain the names of eyewitnesses to protect your rights as much as possible. Call the police to draw up an official accident report, especially if the crash caused personal injuries or serious property damages. The police may be able to help you prove fault by citing the other driver for an infraction. While the police will not determine fault for you, information an officer gathers from the scene may be able to help you prove liability.
How to Prove Liability for an Injury
As the injured victim of an accident in New Mexico, it is your burden to prove someone else’s fault or liability. The burden of proof always rests with the injured party (plaintiff) during a claim. This burden requires you to prove that the defendant is more likely than not responsible for causing your accident and injury. You or your attorney will need to show that the defendant owed you a duty to take reasonable care, failed to fulfill this duty, and that his or her negligence caused your accident. Proving liability requires submitting relevant evidence with your injury claim.
- Police reports
- Traffic citations against an at-fault driver
- Cellphone records
- Eyewitness statements
- Photographs and video footage
- Medical records
- Property damage estimates
- Expert opinions
You will need to prove that the defendant is at least 51% responsible for causing your accident to obtain financial compensation for your injuries. You must demonstrate that the at-fault party’s behavior leading up to your accident fulfills the definition of negligence. If an investigation determines that the other party was not negligent, you may be able to seek damages from a third party instead, such as a product manufacturer or property owner.
What Happens If the Insurance Company Continues to Deny Liability?
If the other party’s insurance company still denies liability after you submit the evidence you have, you and your personal injury lawyer may need to take the case to trial in New Mexico. Although most injury claims settle, some complicated cases require injury trials. At trial, you and the other party will present information, evidence and witnesses to a judge and jury. The jury will weigh the arguments from both sides and determine whether or not the defendant is liable.
Contact a personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque if you need assistance proving liability during a legal dispute – especially if you believe your case will have to go to trial. A trial lawyer can help you obtain positive results. Your lawyer can collect relevant evidence for you and submit it to an insurance company or present it at trial. An attorney can be invaluable if you run into complications such as denied liability during an injury claim in New Mexico.