Per capita, few states rank above New Mexico for fatal car crashes. Alcohol and speeding are common causes for fatal car accidents in New Mexico. Roadrunner Law Firm breaks down what you need to know about fatal car accidents in New Mexico.

New Mexico Fatal Car Accident Law: What You Need To Know

The first thing you need to know about fatal car accidents in New Mexico is that it is vital to speak to a car accident lawyer to preserve and protect your legal rights to benefits and damages. This may include your own insurance coverage, as well as benefits from those who are at fault for the accident.

Second, you need to know about how alcohol affects your claims and chances of getting any financial help. Will New Mexico’s unique Dram Shop Laws, which may place liability on those who served alcohol, affect your claim? What about the doctrine of joint and several liability?  All this comes into play, and without the expertise of Roadrunner Law Firm, the insurance companies will take advantage of you during this most vulnerable time of your life. If the accident was due in part to alcohol, our alcohol accident lawyers are ready to help.

What is the leading cause of deadly automobile crashes?

Driver actions are the most common reasons for fatal car crashes. After the wreck, the at-fault driver usually says they were “driving straight forward,” or else “turning left.” Even simple actions like driving straight can be fatal if they drive at high speeds which prevent them from stopping in time, or if they are intoxicated or distracted. The CDC reports that the most common factors in fatal car crashes in New Mexico are speeding and intoxication.

Speeding makes the driver unable to stop in time for other cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders. They overestimate their ability and stopping time with catastrophic and tragic results. Too often our clients have been injured by drivers who weren’t intoxicated but who were simply driving too fast.

Intoxication is a factor in about 1/3 of all fatal car crashes in New Mexico. Intoxicated drivers believe they are more skilled than they really are and that overconfidence makes them cause fatal accidents far more often than unintoxicated drivers.

Who are the victims in fatal car crashes in New Mexico?

The majority of fatalities in car crashes are people in other vehicles, or passengers in a speeding vehicle. 15% of the time these people are not wearing seatbelts. However car crashes have an outsized effect on pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorcycle riders. These people are unprotected by steel and safety features so their injuries are more severe. While the sheer number of fatal car crashes involving pedestrians, bicycle riders, or motorcycle riders is very low compared to fatalities in vehicles, the percentage of deaths is naturally much higher.

What happens after a New Mexico fatal car accident?

Unfortunately, many claims adjusters are not upfront about all the insurance benefits the family is entitled to. They are paid by the insurance company, so it’s in their best interest to make sure they pay as little as possible for your claim. They make themselves feel better about it by saying “well, if the client didn’t ask for the money, they must not have really needed it.” In reality, most crash victims and their families simply don’t know what they are entitled to.

The insurance company may owe you money to cover funeral expenses, lost social security benefits, disability expenses, pension compensation, loss of income, and many many more expenses, lost opportunities, and the cost of future medical and therapeutic expenses.

For months after a deadly accident, grieving relatives may receive many phone calls from an insurance company. It is important that you have a car accident lawyer to direct these calls to, or you may inadvertently damage your ability to recover what the insurance companies owe you.

Types of insurance claims after deadly crash

After a losing a loved one in a fatal New Mexico car accident,  a family member and/or dependent can pursue multiple types of insurance claims. Some are against the driver of the at-fault vehicle such as a wrongful death claim. But you can also pursue a claim against the insurance company of the deceased. This is called an “uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage claim.”

If there are multiple vehicles involved you may also be pursuing the insurance of the other vehicles, or even of businesses. You will need a car accident lawyer to help you know what your options are and how to pursue them.

Suing for wrongful death

If a loved one was killed in a fatal car accident in New Mexico, call Roadrunner Law Firm today to discuss your rights and your options. You don’t need this burden during this challenging time. We can help. Call Roadrunner Law Firm today.