Before you set off on your motorcycle in New Mexico, make sure you have the correct types of insurance coverage. Riding without adequate insurance could expose you to personal liability for damages in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico. It could also lead to a citation and the suspension of your motorcycle license for driving without insurance. Like most states, New Mexico has minimum required amounts of auto insurance for all vehicle operators, including motorcyclists. Riding without insurance is against the law.
New Mexico Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Motorcycles fall under the same category as standard passenger vehicles under New Mexico’s insurance laws. Motorcyclists, therefore, must carry the same types of insurance coverage as other types of motorists. The minimum requirements call for at least bodily injury, death and property damage liability coverage. A rider cannot operate a motorcycle in New Mexico lawfully without the required vehicle insurance coverage.
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury insurance per person in a motorcycle accident.
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more persons in a motorcycle accident.
- At least $10,000 in property damage liability per accident.
Although a motorcyclist has the option to pay for additional types of coverage, these are the only required types and amounts of insurance in New Mexico. Optional coverage includes uninsured motorist insurance, collision insurance and comprehensive coverage. Adding optional types of insurance could lead to greater compensation for a motorcyclist’s injuries and damages after an accident. With only the minimum coverage, a motorcyclist will only receive payment for his or her damages if the other party is at fault.
Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in New Mexico?
Some states alter their insurance requirements for motorcyclists to allow them to avoid wearing helmets if they purchase additional coverage. In Florida, for example, a motorcyclist is exempt from the universal helmet requirement if he or she is at least 21 years old and carries $10,000 in medical payment benefits on top of the required insurance types. In New Mexico, however, a motorcyclist’s insurance coverage has no bearing on whether or not the rider must wear a helmet.
Anyone under the age of 18 operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle in New Mexico must wear a safety-approved helmet, regardless of insurance coverage. If you are over the age of 18, however, a helmet is optional. You do not need to purchase special insurance to lawfully ride without a helmet as an adult in New Mexico. Wearing a helmet, however, could greatly decrease your risk of a serious head injury in a motorcycle accident. If you do get into an accident, your insurance company might not offer any monetary benefits if you only carry the minimum types of coverage.
Proving Someone Else’s Fault for a Motorcycle Accident
Under New Mexico’s traditional tort-based insurance laws, every vehicle operator at fault for an accident will be responsible for related damages. After a motorcycle accident, therefore, you will need to identify the at-fault party before you can file an insurance claim. If you believe a driver negligently caused your motorcycle accident, call his or her insurance company to file a claim. You or a motorcycle accident lawyer may need to prove the driver’s fault to the insurance claims adjuster to recover compensation.
Proving fault could take strategies such as sending crash documentation to the driver’s insurance carrier. Documents such as police reports, accident photographs, eyewitness statements and medical records could demonstrate the other driver’s liability for your damages. A lawyer can help you prove your case and negotiate for full and fair compensation from a driver or another party during a motorcycle accident suit in New Mexico. If you need to file a first-party insurance claim with your own provider, your lawyer could also help you negotiate with your insurer for fair recovery. A New Mexico personal injury lawyer can help you obtain maximum coverage for your damages after a motorcycle crash in New Mexico.