Right after the Fourth of July, a motorcyclist in Utah was killed after losing control of his bike on the highway. According to news reports, the 59-year-old man was driving on Interstate 84 in the early evening when the crash occurred. The most recent reports reveal that the man was driving west on the highway on his 2013 BMW motorcycle when he approached a curve.
Evidently, the man was unable to negotiate the curve, and he ended up losing control of his motorcycle. After losing control, he flew into a median and subsequently crashed into a metal cable barrier. Even though the man was wearing a helmet, he was killed on impact. State officials have concluded that it is likely that speed was a factor in the accident. However, they are currently determining whether a semi-truck could have added to the severity of the crash. State police are investigating whether the semi-truck may have made a dangerous lane change or cut off the motorcyclist.
Finding Fault in New Mexico When the Plaintiff is Partially Responsible
In many cases when an individual is injured in a car accident, there is someone who is responsible for causing the accident. To properly bring a negligence claim in front of a judge or jury, there are certain elements that must be met.
In New Mexico, when an injured individual wants to bring a claim against the party that caused the accident, they must first determine whether that party owed them a duty of care. In car accidents, this duty is almost always present because by law all drivers are expected to drive safely and follow traffic rules. The next inquiry is whether the culpable party actually caused the injured party’s harm. Lastly, a determination must be made regarding the amount that the plaintiff is owed.
Unlike criminal cases, the burden is on the plaintiff to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was at fault for the accident. However, the defendant can always counter and claim that the plaintiff was at least partially responsible for their injuries.
Under comparative fault theories, even if a New Mexico defendant is able to establish that the plaintiff was partly at fault for their own injuries, the plaintiff can still recover damages. New Mexico complies with the pure comparative fault model of contributory negligence. Under this model, a plaintiff can still recover even if they are found to be up to 99% at fault for their own injuries. This may seem strange, but the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by the amount of fault associated with them.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, you should consider seeking the representation of one of the dedicated attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. These types of cases can be complex because defendants will almost always try to use the theory of comparative fault to lessen their culpability. An experienced attorney at our firm can assist you in facing these hurdles and getting the amount of compensation you deserve. Contact one of the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Truck Driver Involved in Crash That Blocked Bridge, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, June 18, 2015.
Technology Report: “Transparent Truck” May Increase Road Safety, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2015.