Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accident Lawyer in Albuquerque

Bernalillo County Personal Injury Attorney

New Mexico has one of the highest percentages of uninsured motorists in the county, as well as one of the lowest auto insurance minimum requirements in the country. Therefore, a significant number of drivers are either completely uninsured or dangerously underinsured. When these individuals cause car crashes, many victims believe they have no legal options, but that is simply not the case.

At the Law Offices of Edward Chavez, Jr. , we stand up for victims in these situations. We understand that you need money to pay your bills, and we also believe you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. Therefore, we thoroughly investigate the accident to determine the proper responsible party or parties. Then, our professional team aggressively pursue maximum compensation, both during preliminary settlement negotiations and at trial.

Determining First Party Liability in Albuquerque

Regardless of the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) insurance coverage, or lack thereof, establishing first party liability is usually the first step in a personal injury case.

The police accident report is a good starting point, but it is only a starting point. Many times, this report is incomplete or inaccurate. Even the most experienced first responders are not professional accident reconstruction engineers. Additionally, they usually base their reports solely on the eyewitnesses who voluntarily come forward at the scene and the obvious physical evidence, like skid marks.

Moreover, if the victim was killed or seriously injured, the report probably only contains one side of the story.

Therefore, an attorney, often by partnering with a private investigator, must usually collect additional evidence. Such proof includes:

  • Event Data Recorder : All newer passenger vehicles have EDRs. These gadgets capture and store vital data, such as vehicle speed and steering angle. This electronic evidence is extremely valuable in court.

  • Additional Witness Statements : For various reasons, many people do not like talking to police officers. But, these individuals will share their stories with an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer, especially if the wreck involved a serious injury.

  • Nearby Surveillance Video : As mentioned, most emergency responders only review the obvious physical evidence. However, a camera which was a block or two away might have captured important images.

Evidence is important in these cases because the victim/plaintiff has the burden of proof. Additionally, there is usually a direct relationship between the amount of evidence the victim/plaintiff presents and the amount of damages the Bernalillo County jury awards.

Establishing Third Party Liability in New Mexico

Once the uninsured or underinsured motorist’s liability is clearly established, an Albuquerque car crash lawyer explores third party liability theories. Some common ones include:

  • Respondeat Superior : If an Uber driver, taxi driver, bus driver, or other commercial operator caused the crash, this rule usually applies. Employers are responsible for the negligent acts their employees commit during the scope of their employment.

  • Dram Shop : Commercial alcohol providers may be liable for car crash damages if their impaired patrons cause vehicle collisions. Generally, the tortfeasor must have been a minor or obviously intoxicated at the time of the transaction.

  • Negligent Entrustment : Owners are liable for damages if they allow incompetent drivers to use their vehicles, and these incompetent drivers cause car crashes. Drivers are usually incompetent if they have no valid drivers’ license or if they have very poor driving records.

Commercial negligent entrustment cases, such as Enterprise cars and U-Haul trucks, work a bit differently, because of the Graves Amendment.

Reach Out to an Assertive Attorney

Regardless of the other driver’s insurance coverage, victims have legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque, contact the Law Offices of Edward Chavez, Jr. You have a limited amount of time to act.