Know your legal rights if your accident involves an inadequately insured motorist
Although it is illegal to drive without coverage, uninsured motorists are very common in New Mexico. In fact, MSN Money ranked New Mexico the second worst state for uninsured drivers in 2009, at an alarming rate of 26 percent. A motor vehicle wreck with an uninsured or underinsured driver can put you in debt through unpaid medical bills and lost wages and leave you without fair and reasonable compensation.
Revo Smith Law was founded in 1979 in Albuquerque to provide assertive, results-oriented representation to injured clients throughout New Mexico. We believe that you should not be forced to pay when an uninsured driver refuses to comply with the laws of our state. Our car accident attorneys passionately take on the challenging issues involved in recovering compensation from the uninsured and underinsured driver who hit you.
New Mexico’s minimum auto insurance requirements
New Mexico’s laws mandate that drivers have auto insurance that covers injuries and property damages at minimum levels of:
- $25,000 for injury to or death of one person per accident
- $50,000 for injury to or death of two or more people per accident
- $10,000 for property damage per accident
The New Mexico Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) authorizes an Insurance Identification Database (IIDB) that matches records regarding insurance and vehicle registration to ensure compliance with the minimum legal requirements. However, uninsured drivers are usually only caught after they cause an accident or are stopped for a moving violation.
Recovering in an accident involving an uninsured driver
Your insurance company is required to offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist policies at the same level of your minimum liability coverage. These policies allow you to recover compensation from your own insurance company for physical injuries and property damages arising from an accident with an uninsured motorist. You may also collect damages that exceed the amount of an underinsured driver’s policy.
Our firm also considers whether you have a third-party claim. For example, New Mexico Statute § 41-11-1 makes vendors and hosts liable for alcohol and liquor sales and service to patrons and guests under certain circumstances. You may have a valid claim against a bar or party host if you were injured by a drunk driver leaving a drinking establishment or an event. Also, we review the circumstances surrounding your crash to determine if a defective tire, brakes, airbag or other auto part caused or contributed to your injuries.