Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, in 2020, car crashes occurred on New Mexico roadways every 14 minutes.
A T-bone crash (i.e., a side-impact collision) is a specific kind of auto accident. It occurs when one motorist drives directly into the side of another vehicle.
T-bone accidents can be deadly and cause serious injuries every year.
Luckily, parties injured in a T-bone accident may be entitled to compensation for property damage and medical expenses.
Our skilled attorneys are compassionate, result-focused advocates who will work tirelessly for a just outcome.
Don’t spend the precious time you could be using to recuperate hassling with insurance companies. Our personal injury team has the experience, knowledge, and skill to fight on your behalf.
We handle T-bone accident cases throughout the State of New Mexico and are serious about securing you the compensation you deserve.
How Can an Albuquerque T-bone Collision Attorney Help?
Determining who caused your accident can be challenging. Most of the time, people think that the driver who T-boned their vehicle is responsible for their crash. But liability is not always so clear-cut.
One of the things an experienced T-bone collision attorney will do is help you determine who was at fault. But they will also:
- Help you find the medical care you need after a collision,
- Help you gather evidence that will establish the at-fault driver’s negligence,
- Help you gather evidence to establish how much compensation the responsible party owes you,
- Deal with insurance companies and insurance adjusters,
- Negotiate a settlement, and
- Take your case to court if you and your attorney decide it is the best course of action.
The first thing you should do is contact a battle-tested T-bone collision attorney as soon after your accident as possible.
At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., our team will meet with you to go over your case, review your evidence, walk you through your options, and help you chart your next best steps.
New Mexico’s Fault-Based Insurance Laws
Like many states, New Mexico employs a fault-based car insurance system. This means that the at-fault party—i.e., the party responsible for your crash—is financially liable for all your damages.
Under New Mexico law, all drivers must carry minimum liability insurance, otherwise known as a 25/50/10 policy. This policy includes:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury or death,
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury or death, and
- $10,000 per accident for property damage.
However, drivers have the option to purchase more coverage.
After an accident, if the at-fault driver has adequate insurance coverage, you can file a claim with their insurance company. The insurance company will then reimburse you for your medical expenses and property damages.
You can also file a claim under your insurance if the at-fault driver is underinsured and you have underinsured motorist coverage.
Depending on whether the at-fault driver was legally negligent, you can also file a lawsuit against the driver in civil court. Most T-bone victims file an insurance claim first and move on to a lawsuit if their insurance claim does not result in a sufficient settlement.
A skillful T-bone collision attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. They can also help you establish the at-fault driver’s legal liability should you decide to go to court.
Discuss your case with us during a free consultation.
Establishing Legal Liability
Most T-bone collisions happen because one or more drivers acted negligently. All drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner.
This is known as the duty of care. For legal purposes, negligence occurs when a driver breaches that duty.
For example, speeding, failing to yield to an oncoming vehicle, and running a stop sign violate a driver’s duty of care.
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you will need to establish the driver’s negligence. To do so, you must prove that:
- The driver owed you a duty of care,
- The driver breached their duty of care,
- The breach of duty directly caused your accident and injuries, and
- You suffered damages in the crash.
If you can establish negligence, you should be able to recoup costs for medical bills, property loss, lost wages, attorney’s fees, and less concrete damages like emotional trauma and pain and suffering.
Car Accident Compensation
In civil court, injury victims can ask for two types of damages, economic and non-economic.
Economic damages typically cover tangible costs that can be objectively established, like medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. Non-economic losses are more subjective, less tangible, and harder to prove.
They include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship if the accident results in fatalities.
Generally, things like the severity of the victim’s injury, the presence of short or long-term rehabilitation or disability, and the pain and anguish a victim suffers will determine a car accident injury claim’s value.
Settling on a monetary value for less tangible losses can be daunting. But a knowledgeable personal injury attorney will gather the evidence and information you need to reach a fair settlement amount and present your case in a compelling and convincing manner.
Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. Is Here for You
After a traumatic event like a T-bone accident, you need a practiced firm who knows how seriously a T-bone accident can uproot your life.
Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. has years of combined experience. Our personal injury attorneys are not afraid to fight for you, deal with difficult insurance adjusters, and go to court if that is what it takes to secure justice.