Who is at fault in a New Mexico rear-end crash?

Most car wrecks are completely preventable. In fact, studies show that well over 90 percent of car accidents are at least in part attributable to human error. When a road user’s reckless or unlawful intentions lead to an accident, they are deemed to be at fault.

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents throughout the U.S. Depending on the severity, a rear-end collision can lead to a range of injuries such as whiplash, neck and back injuries, lacerations and other serious injuries. If you are involved in a rear-end collision that is not your fault, you deserve justice.

Before pursuing the liable party for damages, however, you need to understand how New Mexico’s negligence laws work.

New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state

Unlike most states, New Mexico applies what is known as pure comparative negligence when apportioning fault in a car accident case. Per this legal doctrine, the compensation amount you are entitled to following a rear-end crash will be directly impacted by your extent of contribution to the accident. In simple English, even if you were 99 percent at fault, you would still be entitled to compensation.

For instance, if the awarded damages were $100,000, and the court establishes that you were 50 percent responsible for the crash, then you will only take home $50,000.

Examples of either party’s actions that can amount to fault

Comparative negligence can be heavily contested, especially if the circumstances that led to the accident are unclear. Each driver might have their own account of what transpired. That said, here are driver actions that the court may cite when apportioning fault:

  • Intoxicated driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Unlicensed driving
  • Failure to observe traffic rules

Note that other driver actions may be considered as well.

Protecting your rights

A rear-end accident can leave you with serious injuries and property damage. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing damages following a rear-end crash that is not your fault.

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