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.