New Mexico personal injury cases are often based in negligence. In some cases, there may be accusations that the injured party was partly at fault for the accident. These cases require a consideration of the state’s comparative negligence law and the effect it can have on a case.
Motor vehicle crashes are generally results of negligent conduct rather than intentional conduct. To succeed in a New Mexico truck accident case, a plaintiff must prove the following: the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty, and the breach was a proximate cause and cause in fact of the plaintiff’s damages.
If more than one party is alleged to be at fault in an accident, the fact-finder will have to determine the percentage of fault of each of the parties. States have different rules about how courts should consider a plaintiff’s own fault in causing an accident. Generally, states follow either a “contributory negligence” model or a “comparative negligence” model. In a contributory negligence state, a plaintiff cannot recover any damages if the plaintiff is found to be even one percent at fault for the accident. Although this was the traditional rule for many years, very few states continue to follow a contributory negligence model.