If you were in an auto accident caused by another driver, you have a number of worries about how to pay your medical bills and survive without wages while recovering. These concerns might increase dramatically if the at-fault driver didn't have insurance.
Unfortunately, this is a realistic possibility when you're in a car crash because many people in New Mexico violate state law and drive when they don't have automobile insurance. However, you may have other options for compensation in this situation.
How Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Works in New Mexico
According to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department, motorists in the state are required to purchase a minimum of liability auto insurance coverage, which includes:
- Bodily injury to or death of one person: $25,000
- Bodily injury to or death of two or more people: $50,000
- Property damage in any single accident: $10,000
Even if the negligent driver purchased coverage with these minimums, the $25,000 in liability coverage would do little to compensate you if you suffered significant injuries. The reality is that this amount may not even fully pay your medical bills.
Fortunately, you may be able to file a claim under your auto insurance policy if the other driver had too little insurance or none at all. When you purchased your automobile insurance policy, your insurance company was required to offer you uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage under state law. These are joint coverages, meaning that if you have one of them, you also have the other. The minimum amount of coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per injury in uninsured and underinsured coverage. You have the option to purchase an additional amount coverage as well.
Here’s how these two coverages work:
- Uninsured motorist coverage. If the negligent driver didn't have auto insurance, you could file a claim for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering up to the limit of your uninsured motorist coverage.
- Underinsured motorist coverage. When the negligent driver has liability insurance but it doesn't fully compensate you, you can file a claim for the additional amounts under your underinsured motorist coverage, assuming that you purchased it. For example, if you're entitled to $100,000 in settlement, the negligent driver may only have $25,000 in coverage to pay you. However, you could file a claim for an additional amount if you had the minimum insurance, or more if you purchased a higher amount of underinsured motorist coverage.
Let Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Negotiate Your Settlement
You may be shocked to discover that you have to fight with your insurance company to obtain rightful compensation under your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverages. You need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney in order to receive what you're entitled to in a fair settlement.
Call our Roswell office or fill out our contact form today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options. Our knowledgeable team will aggressively fight to obtain the compensation you deserve.