Since the injuries that auto accidents cause are often serious or even deadly, all drivers are required to have insurance coverage that includes liability for at-fault accidents. For years, New Mexico has had a higher-than-average percentage of uninsured drivers. Some have thought that the state's high rate of uninsured drivers resulted from undocumented immigrants who were not allowed to apply for a license and, therefore, were not eligible for auto insurance. However, 10 years after our state began issuing licenses to noncitizens, the percentage of uninsured drivers in New Mexico is twice the national average.
The latest data from 2009 places New Mexico as the second worst state in the nation for the percentage of uninsured drivers. The following statistics show how little change has occurred since 2000, three years before the new policy went into effect:
2000 — 26.3 percent
2008 — 29.5 percent
2009 — 25.7 percent
The problem has persisted, even though many undocumented immigrants have been licensed. The high level of unemployment and low wages in our state may have an impact on this issue. In any case, many victims in accidents in which the at-fault driver has no insurance have difficulty securing appropriate compensation.
Many New Mexico drivers opt to buy uninsured-underinsured policies that obligate their own insurance company to pay damages in the event that the other driver has no coverage. However, your insurance company may attempt to minimize or deny your claim. Consequently, it's always important to speak with a New Mexico personal injury lawyer before you accept a settlement.
Our attorneys at Revo Smith Law have extensive experience securing compensation for New Mexico accident victims when the at-fault party is uninsured.