Understanding Car Accident Liability

Obtaining Compensation With a New Mexico Car Accident Attorney

If you are injured in a car accident in Las Cruces, New Mexico, you may have questions about whether you are entitled to compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the wreck, you may be entitled to financial recovery from the party or parties that caused you harm. Determining liability, however, can be challenging without the help of an experienced Las Cruces car accident attorney.

To understand car accident liability, you need to know how fault works in the state and what laws might apply to your case. It is strongly recommended that you work with a trusted car accident attorney from as early in the process as possible to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve after an accident. Aranda Law Firm is here to help. Contact us online or call (575) 386-5100 to schedule a consultation.

What Is Car Accident Liability?

Car accident liability refers to who can be held legally responsible for the accident. In order to secure compensation for your injuries from another party, you must prove who or what caused the accident. There may be one or more parties to blame for your harm, but you will need evidence to support your claim.

Liability is not always straightforward. In some instances, an independent investigation may be required to determine how the accident was caused. Even when the fault is clear, it is still advisable to consult with a Las Cruces personal injury lawyer since the insurance company of a potentially liable motorist may try to place the blame on you or downplay your injuries.

How Do I Obtain Compensation After an Accident in Las Cruces?

The first step in securing compensation after a car accident in Las Cruces is to determine who or what caused the accident. Once you know how the crash was caused, you can assess who can be held liable for your damages. Under most circumstances, you can seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. However, in some cases you may have to sue a liable party to get the financial recovery you need to fully cover your losses. An experienced personal injury attorney in Las Cruces can assist with this.

What Kind of Insurance System Does New Mexico Have?

New Mexico follows a fault-based insurance system. This means that an injured party can seek compensation from the party or parties that caused them harm. State law requires motorists to carry a mandatory minimum amount of liability insurance or provide proof of financial responsibility through a surety bond or cash deposit.

Mandatory minimum liability insurance coverage in New Mexico:

  • $25,000 bodily injury or death per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury or death per accident
  • $10,000 property damage per accident


It is often recommended that motorists carry higher amounts of insurance coverage beyond the mandatory minimum. The amount of insurance coverage a motorist has may directly impact your case. It is recommended to work with a Las Cruces car accident attorney through this process.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

Under New Mexico Statutes Annotated section 37-1-8, a person has three years from the date of the accident to bring a claim for damages. Failing to file a claim within the three-year statute of limitations may result in your case being denied, or you may be barred from financial recovery.

What If I Was Partly to Blame for the Crash?

New Mexico follows a rule of “pure comparative negligence;” therefore, even if you were partially to blame for the crash, you may still be entitled to recovery from another at-fault party with the help of a Las Cruces car accident attorney.  Your compensation, however, may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.

Do I Have to Report the Accident to Get Compensation?

New Mexico law requires that motorists involved in an accident that results in bodily injury or death to any person or property damage of $500 or more make a report to local law enforcement. Failure to report the accident could affect your right to compensation and may have additional consequences. 

It is essential to contact 9-1-1 from the scene of the crash if there are any injuries or fatalities to ensure that an accident report is initiated and emergency medical personnel are dispatched.

How Do I Prove Who Was At Fault?

Proving fault can be challenging after a Las Cruces car accident. Clear fault, where only one party is responsible for the collision, is rare. In most cases, there are multiple factors at play. The best way to support your claim is through evidence. A car accident attorney can be vital in determining liability.

Evidence that may be useful in your case includes the accident report, eyewitness statements, your medical bills, and expert testimony. Since you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages, it is imperative to act quickly after an accident. Speak with a trusted Las Cruces car accident attorney today. Call Aranda Law Firm at (575) 386-5100 to get started.

Crashed accident car on fire on highway road.