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Why Hire a Lawyer After a New Mexico Car Accident?

Offered by Szantho Law Firm

A car accident attorney can help you find your way forward after a crash

A car accident in New Mexico can occur in the blink of an eye, leaving you in a state of shock and distress. The aftermath of such an event can be overwhelming, especially if you or someone you love has suffered injuries as a result. Mounting medical expenses, coupled with the inability to work and earn a living, can compound the challenges you face.

You have the right to seek compensation for your losses, but handling a car accident claim on your own can lead to frustration, confusion, and uncertainty about the best course of action to take. 

This is where the invaluable assistance of an experienced New Mexico car accident lawyer can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case. With the help of an attorney, you'll have a dedicated legal advocate by your side throughout the process, tirelessly fighting for the compensation you deserve.

If you were injured in a New Mexico car accident, you need to have a clear understanding of your legal rights and options. Here are the benefits of hiring an attorney after you’ve been injured in a crash.

A car accident lawyer can help prove liability 

Proving liability is required for a successful outcome in your car accident case. To accomplish this, certain criteria must be met, including:

Duty of care

It must be proven that the other driver owed a duty of care to you. This means operating their vehicle safely to avoid harming others on the road. 

Breach of duty

After establishing the duty of care, it must be shown that the other driver breached this duty. A breach occurs when the other driver behaves negligently (e.g., distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, ignoring traffic signals).


It must be proven that the other driver’s actions directly caused your injury.


You must have accrued actual damages due to the other driver’s actions. These can include economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

To prove liability, a New Mexico attorney will gather the following pieces of evidence: 

  • The police report.
  • Witness statements.
  • Photos of the crash scene.
  • Videos from dash cams and surveillance cameras (if obtainable).
  • Medical records.
  • The other driver’s cellphone records. 
  • Testimonies from medical professionals and crash reconstruction experts. 

It costs nothing to learn your legal rights and options

Obtaining the services of a New Mexico car accident lawyer is affordable, even if you don't have the funds to pay upfront. The prevailing payment structure for car accident lawyers is a contingency fee arrangement. Under this agreement, your attorney will only receive compensation if they successfully win your case or secure a settlement on your behalf.

The contingency fee typically represents a percentage of the settlement amount, often ranging from 25% to 40%, with 33% being the most commonly observed average. This fee structure is designed to align your lawyer's interests with your own, as they have a vested financial incentive to maximize your settlement or award.

Furthermore, it's important to note that consulting with a lawyer is entirely free of charge. A free consultation serves as an opportunity to assess the viability of your claim, ask any pertinent questions, and receive valuable legal advice without incurring any upfront costs. This means you can explore your legal options and determine the best course of action without financial barriers.

An attorney can accurately assess the value of your car accident claim

Evaluating the full value of a car accident claim involves considering numerous factors. An attorney will carefully assess both present and anticipated damages, which encompass:

  • Medical expenses: This entails not only the medical bills incurred thus far but also the projected costs of future treatments and rehabilitation.
  • Lost income: An attorney will account for any wages already lost due to the accident, as well as any potential future loss of earning capacity.
  • Non-economic damages: These include intangible losses such as pain and suffering, mental trauma, and emotional anguish.

By meticulously analyzing these aspects, your attorney can arrive at a comprehensive valuation of your car accident claim, ensuring you seek appropriate compensation for your injuries and suffering.

A lawyer can help you meet critical legal deadlines

In New Mexico, you have three years from the date of your car accident to file a car accident claim. Once you go past the statute of limitations, it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to seek compensation through a settlement or court verdict.

You lose significant leverage in any settlement negotiations with the responsible party or their insurance company. They have no incentive to settle once they know you can't sue.

However, there are some exceptions for missing this deadline. In rare circumstances, the statute of limitations can be paused. This typically occurs when the injured party is a minor, mentally incapacitated, or if the defendant is out of state.

Nevertheless, it’s best to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. You’ll likely have a stronger case if your attorney can collect fresh evidence and witnesses have a clear recollection of your car accident. 

A lawyer can help you navigate New Mexico’s pure comparative negligence rule

In New Mexico, car accident compensation operates under the pure comparative negligence rule. This rule allows you to pursue compensation regardless of your degree of fault, even if you were 99% responsible for the accident. However, it's crucial to understand that your eligible compensation will be proportionally reduced according to your percentage of fault.

For instance, if you were found 30% responsible for the car accident and suffered $50,000 in damages, you would still be entitled to compensation. In this scenario, your compensation would amount to $35,000, reflecting the 30% reduction based on your level of fault. Consulting an attorney is essential in these situations to ensure you receive the appropriate compensation for your circumstances.

A car accident attorney can deal with insurance companies

When dealing with a car accident claim in New Mexico, it's essential to follow specific steps to protect your interests. First and foremost, report the accident to your insurance company, providing only fundamental details like the date, time, location, and involved parties. Avoid making any admissions of fault or discussing blame during this initial contact.

It's important to note that any statement you provide to the other driver's insurance company can potentially be used against you. If they reach out to you, politely decline to give a recorded statement, and inform them that you have legal representation. Subsequently, all further communication with the other driver's insurance company should be conducted through your attorney.

By entrusting your attorney with these communications, you shield yourself from potential challenges. This approach prevents the insurance companies from exploiting your statements or pressuring you into accepting an inadequate settlement offer. Even if the insurance company attempts to present a lowball settlement, your attorney can negotiate for the full and fair compensation you deserve.

What to look for when hiring a car accident lawyer

There’s a lot at stake when pursuing a car accident claim in New Mexico. You want to make sure you hire a lawyer who is a good fit for your case and can provide the best possible legal services. Here are some things to look for when hiring a lawyer: 

  • Experience: Consider how long the lawyer has been practicing and their experience with cases similar to yours.
  • Professional reputation: You can find this by looking at online reviews, asking for client testimonials, and checking if they have any disciplinary actions against them.
  • Availability: Ensure the lawyer has the time to dedicate to your case. A good lawyer should be responsive to your calls and emails and be available to meet with you as needed.
  • Local knowledge: Ensure the lawyer has extensive knowledge of local and state laws pertaining to your case.
  • Resources and network: Check if the lawyer has the resources and support staff to handle your case effectively.
  • Client-focused approach: Look for a lawyer who is client-focused. This means they prioritize your interests, listen to your concerns, and are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you.
  • Proven track record of success: Check a lawyer’s website for case results to find their track record. Many law firms display the settlements and court verdicts they have won for their clients. 

Contact a verified New Mexico car accident attorney today

If you or a loved one was injured in a New Mexico car accident, contacting an experienced car accident lawyer is a crucial step to ensure your rights and interests are protected. The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, but with the support of a verified attorney, you can navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you deserve.

Don't hesitate to seek legal assistance and schedule a consultation with a verified New Mexico car accident lawyer. They will provide valuable guidance, assess the details of your case, and advocate on your behalf to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Your path to recovery and justice begins with taking this important step.

Car Accidents Assistance
Szantho Law Firm
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Founded in 2007 by former New Mexico prosecutor Andras Szantho, our law firm fights for the rights of injury victims in car accidents and other serious personal injury claims. Lea...