Motorcycle accidents typically result in severe injuries because riders lack the same safety protections that vehicle occupants have.
Even wearing a helmet and proper gear can’t protect a rider from all injuries.
You have rights if you or someone you love was involved in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico.
Contact the legal team at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. to learn more about how we can help you hold the person responsible for your injury accountable.
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in New Mexico Can Help
There are a few important ways a lawyer can help you after you’ve been in a motorcycle accident.
When you trust Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. to handle your accident claim, you benefit from our years of experience and our deep commitment to helping all our clients fight for maximum compensation.
We’ll Protect Your Rights
We’ll be your legal advocate throughout the entire process. You need someone to protect your rights and help build a strong case against the defendants. Insurance adjusters will try to convince you to give a recorded statement without legal representation.
They hope you’ll say something that will put more blame on you so that they can pay you less compensation.
When our firm represents you, we’ll handle all communication with the defendant’s insurance company, including settlement negotiations, so you can rest assured your best interest is always being protected.
Gather and Preserve Evidence
Gathering evidence to support your case is vital to success. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough, independent investigation of your accident and gather and preserve evidence that supports your claim.
We can talk to the responding police officer, witnesses, and emergency medical personnel to find out crucial information that can help you get the compensation you deserve.
It might also be necessary to hire an accident reconstructionist to analyze the scene and prepare a report discussing how they believe the accident occurred.
We can take care of finding an expert and using their findings to support your claim.
Identify All Liable Parties
Your attorney will also work to identify all liable parties. Many motorcycle accidents involve more than one at-fault party. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be pursuing damages from two or more defendants.
We might uncover potential defendants you might not have thought about.
That is especially important in accidents involving catastrophic injuries where available liability insurance limits are low.
File a Lawsuit on Your Behalf
If the insurance company doesn’t offer you a fair settlement, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf. Our legal team has the skills and resources to take your case to trial if necessary.
Your best interest is our top priority, and we’ll tailor our approach to your needs. Some motorcycle accident firms prefer to settle claims rather than proceed with litigation. We are concerned with getting justice for our clients, not closing files quickly.
You typically have three years following a motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit in New Mexico. This time limit is called the statute of limitations.
Some circumstances can decrease or increase the filing deadline. There are several exceptions to the statute of limitations that can give you less or more time to file. Don’t assume you know the correct filing deadline without speaking to a lawyer first.
Failure to meet the statute of limitations means the court will most likely dismiss your case, meaning you won’t recover any compensation. Let Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. handle your claim so that you don’t risk missing important legal deadlines.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many types of actions that can lead to a motorcycle accident in New Mexico. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents we see include the following:
- Distracted driving,
- Other traffic violations,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- Driving in blindspots,
- Driving while fatigued,
- Road rage,
- Inexperienced rider,
- Road hazards,
- Adverse weather conditions, and
- Mechanical defects.
It’s common to have multiple factors contribute to a motorcycle accident. For example, a driver might be distracted while looking at their GPS and speeding in the rain.
Identifying all potential accident causes is essential, especially when there are multiple at-fault parties, because it impacts how much money you might receive from each defendant.
Discuss your case with us during a free consultation.
Proving Liability in a Motorcycle Accident in New Mexico
Before successfully recovering compensation for your injuries, you must prove the defendants are responsible. In a standard negligence case, you must prove these four elements:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty of care;
- The defendant breached their duty of care;
- The defendant’s breach is what caused the accident and your injuries; and
- You suffered verifiable damages, such as medical expenses or time off work.
Failure to prove even one of these elements means you won’t have a successful liability claim.
New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state. Understanding this legal theory of negligence and how it affects your claim is important.
Pure comparative negligence means you can collect compensation even if you’re partially responsible for your injuries. There’s a caveat, though.
Your percentage of negligence reduces your potential settlement or jury award. For example, imagine a jury finds you’re 20% at fault. The maximum compensation you’ll receive is 80%. If you’re 75% at fault, you can still collect 25%.
Insurance companies representing the defendants in your case will do whatever is necessary to shift maximum blame back onto you.
Even a few percentage points can save the insurance company money, especially if your injuries are catastrophic.
The experienced New Mexico motorcycle accident lawyer at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. can protect your rights during settlement negotiations. We’ll fight for you and not let the insurance adjusters or the defendant’s attorney take advantage of you.
Does New Mexico Have a Helmet Law?
New Mexico has a partial helmet law. Riders and passengers who are under 18 must wear a helmet that meets Department of Transportation standards.
That means riders 18 and over have the option to wear a helmet. Although it’s not a legal requirement, you can expect the defendant’s insurance company to argue that you contributed to your injuries by not wearing one—especially if you have a head injury.
That’s why hiring a skilled motorcycle accident attorney in New Mexico who can build the best arguments in your favor is crucial to helping you receive as much compensation as possible.
Contact a New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered an injury because of a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, the legal team at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. is here to help. We know how stressful it is to deal with insurance companies.
You should be concentrating on your recovery, not fighting with insurance adjusters. The skilled attorneys at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. can take care of your claim so you can focus on what matters.
Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.