In personal injury claims of any kind whether it is a car accident, a defective product, a work injury or a medical malpractice claim, in order to recover anything from the other side, it is first necessary to show that they did something wrong.
In legal terms, you must show that the other party was negligent. Without a showing of negligence, you cannot get to any of the other issues such as whether the negligence caused the accident, the accident caused the injuries and what all the injuries resulted from the accident.
In other words, if the other party did nothing wrong, then that party cannot be held liable for any injuries or other damages. This leads to some pretty disappointing results for those who have suffered serious injuries as a result of an accident.
Unfortunately, accidents occur all the time. Many times, they just happen. Nobody is to blame or in many cases the injured person might actually be entirely to blame. The law is clear in New Mexico that in these cases, there will be no recovery or compensation to the injured person. Moreover, the occurrence of an accident does not necessarily suggest negligence. New Mexico Jury Instruction 13-1616 states as much:
“The mere happening of an accident is not evidence that any person was negligent. Neither the fact that damages are claimed due to the accident nor the fact that this lawsuit was filed is evidence of any negligence on the part of any person.”
Having said all that, you should also keep in mind that the accident does not have to be entirely the fault of the other person. Even if you are partly responsible, you may be entitled to compensation under comparative negligence standards in New Mexico. For instance, in a case of 50/50 fault with very serious injuries or death, the potential compensation is still significant.
These cases can be complicated. It highly advisable to have an attorney at your side. Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.