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Handling a Car Accident Where Fault is Unclear

Legal Team

When another driver hits you in New Mexico, you must prove they caused the accident to recover compensation from their insurer. However, if fault is unclear it can make it much more challenging to do so. Here are some tips on how to handle that situation and what the insurance companies will do. 

How Fault Works After a Car Accident in New Mexico

In New Mexico, fault after a car accident is determined based on the state’s pure comparative negligence system. Under this system, each party involved in the accident may be assigned a percentage of fault based on their degree of negligence. This means that even if one party is found partially at fault for the accident, they can still recover damages, albeit reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a driver is found to be 30% at fault for the accident, they can still recover 70% of the damages incurred. This system allows for a fair allocation of fault and ensures that parties are held accountable for their actions in car accidents, even if they are partially responsible.

How Insurance Companies Determine Liability When Fault is Unclear

When fault for a car accident is unclear, insurance companies employ various strategies to determine liability. They typically conduct thorough investigations, examining factors such as the police report, witness statements, and the location and extent of vehicle damage. Additionally, insurers may consider applicable traffic laws and regulations, as well as the actions and behaviors of the drivers involved. In some cases, insurance adjusters may utilize accident reconstruction specialists or other experts to analyze the evidence and provide expert opinions on how the accident occurred. 

If the investigation fails to provide additional clarity, insurance companies may opt for a 50/50 insurance settlement. Both parties agree to share equal responsibility, resulting in a fair split of liability between them.

Consider Hiring an Accident Attorney

Consulting a trusted Albuquerque car accident lawyer is essential if fault for a collision is unclear as they can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the claims process. An attorney specializing in car accidents can investigate the incident, gather evidence, and assess the factors contributing to the collision, including witness statements, police reports, and relevant laws. 

With their help and experience, they can navigate the complexities of insurance negotiations and advocate on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation. 

Common Car Accident Situations Where Fault is Unclear

Car accident liability can be unclear in various situations, including:

Intersection Collisions

Determining fault in intersection accidents can be complex, especially when both drivers claim they had the right-of-way or that the traffic signal was malfunctioning.

Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Liability can be unclear in multi-vehicle accidents where multiple factors and actions contribute to the collision.

Hit-and-Run Accidents

When the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident, there may be limited evidence and witnesses available.

Lane Change Accidents

Determining fault in accidents involving lane changes can be ambiguous, especially when drivers dispute who had the right to change lanes or if there were blind spots involved.

Bad Weather Conditions

Accidents occurring in adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or fog, can make it challenging to assign fault, as visibility and road conditions may be poor for all drivers involved.

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