Articles Posted in Hit-and-Run Accidents

State law requires that all motorists involved in a New Mexico traffic accident resulting in “injury or death” immediately stop at the scene of the accident to determine if the other motorists are in need of medical attention. Additionally, motorists are required to exchange certain information. In part, this is to provide all motorists with the necessary information to file a post-accident insurance claim.

The question often arises how insurance comes into play in a New Mexico hit-and-run accident, in which the at-fault driver flees the scene and is not subsequently located. In general, the victims of New Mexico hit-and-run accidents can pursue a claim for compensation with their own insurance policy, under the uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (UIM) clause. Essentially, the law considers a hit-and-run driver to be an “uninsured” motorist.

All New Mexico insurance policies are required to offer UIM coverage to customers. The amount of UIM coverage offered in a policy must be identical to the amount of liability insurance. New Mexico motorists are able to reject UIM coverage (or obtain coverage less than their liability limit), but in order for a motorist’s waiver of UIM coverage to be valid, the insurance company must obtain a written waiver that is executed at the same time the policy is obtained. If an insurance company does not obtain a properly executed waiver of coverage, then the insurance company must provide UIM coverage equal to the amount of liability coverage.

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Under New Mexico law, any time a truck driver is involved in a New Mexico truck accident, the driver is required to stop and exchange information with any other party who was involved in the accident. Additionally, the truck driver must arrange to get anyone injured in the accident the necessary medical treatment. Often, the means calling 911 and waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

When a truck driver flees after causing an accident, he may be criminally liable when apprehended by authorities. However, the fact that a driver fled the scene may be an indication that they do not have insurance. Even if a driver is located, there is the possibility that they do not have adequate insurance to cover the expenses of the accident victims. Under New Mexico law, drivers are only required to have $25,000 in coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. In situations in which an at-fault motorist does not have adequate insurance, accident victims can file a claim with their own insurance company under the underinsured motorist provision.

Filing a claim, however, is by no means a guarantee that an accident victim will receive fair compensation for their injuries. If an insurance company believes there is any basis to reject an accident victim’s claim – for example, if the accident victim was partially at fault – the insurance company may offer a very low settlement figure or deny the claim altogether.

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While seeking financial compensation after any traffic accident can be a lengthy and frustrating process, perhaps no other type of accident is more frustrating than a New Mexico hit-and-run accident. For starters, the responsible party may not be located for days or weeks after the accident – if at all. This puts accidents victims in a difficult spot when it comes time to pay for the myriad costs associated with being an accident victim.

Even when a hit-and-run driver cannot be located, however, hit-and-run accident victims may have a means of recovering compensation for their injuries through their own insurance company. New Mexico law mandates that all drivers carry a certain amount of insurance coverage, including $25,000 per person for two people, for a total of $50,000. Thus, a driver with even the bare minimum amount of insurance in New Mexico can file a claim for compensation under their own insurance policy up to these limits. Of course, it is recommended to carry more than the minimum amount of insurance, in the event that injuries from an accident exceed $25,000 per person.

Driver Flees Scene After Bus Accident

Earlier this month, one man was arrested after he initially fled the scene of a bus accident and then returned a short time later. According to a local news report, the accident occurred when the bus driver attempted to make a left turn through an intersection and clipped another vehicle that was waiting to make a turn in the process. Thankfully, no one was injured; however, witnesses say that it was very clear the accident involved property damage, and the bus driver must have known that he was involved in a collision.

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Truck  accidents can be extremely traumatizing and often involve serious injuries or even deaths. This experience can be doubly difficult when the culpable party does not stay at the scene of the accident. New Mexico law mandates that individuals who are involved in an accident must stop their vehicles and, if possible, move their cars to a place where they are least likely to cause further delays or accidents. The driver must provide their name, address, and identifying information to any law enforcement and the injured party. Furthermore, the state requires that if another party is injured, the culpable party must provide “reasonable assistance” to the victim. This may be acts such as calling emergency personnel or even taking the injured party to the hospital.

A hit-and-run occurs when the culpable party does not engage in the above behaviors but rather leaves the scene of the accident. Participating in a hit-and-run can lead to criminal repercussions in addition to civil lawsuits, fines, and penalties.

Sadly, in these situations, the burden is put on the victim or a witness to provide pertinent information to law enforcement. However, in many situations, the victim is not in a position to jot down a license plate number or identifying information. It is very important that victims immediately contact law enforcement when they are involved in a hit-and-run because time is of the essence in these sorts of cases.

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Every state in the United States has a law that outlines the repercussions for those who are found liable in a hit-and-run accident. Generally, hit-and-runs are accidents in which a person hits another vehicle, a pedestrian, or property and leaves the scene without attempting to call emergency personnel or render assistance. It also may include a failure to exchange information, even if no one is hurt in the accident.

Under New Mexico law, specifically statute 66-7-203, the driver of a vehicle that is involved in any accident that causes an injury or death must comply with certain very specific requirements. First, the individual must provide their name, address, and registration number to the individual who was hit or any law enforcement authority that requests this information. Furthermore, the individual who collided with the injured party must attempt to render reasonable assistance. This usually means that they must call emergency personnel or make arrangements for carrying the individual to a hospital for treatment.

Unlike many other offenses, a hit-and-run does not necessarily include the element of fault. This means the violation occurs when a person leaves the scene of the accident, regardless of their level of fault in the initial incident. Thus, a driver can be found liable for a hit-and-run even for an accident they did not cause.

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