The law in New Mexico establishes certain minimal limits for coverage which all drivers are required to have. These limits per different type of coverage are shown below:
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person (yourself, a passenger, another driver, pedestrian, etc.)
- $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident
- $10,000 for property damage stemming from a single incident.
For drivers with policies which carry these minimum levels of coverage, if that driver gets in an automobile accident which causes an injured party to incur $125,000 in medical damages and $15,000 in damage to the other party’s vehicle (this assumes the car the injured party was in is a luxury vehicle, as a less expensive car may be deemed totaled before its damages reach $15,000), then the at-fault driver may be personally on the hook for $100,000 to the injured party for medical bills and $5000 for property damage to the car because their insurance coverage is quite low. As a practical matter, personal injury attorneys in New Mexico are mostly focused on the level of coverage the at-fault driver possesses through their insurance. The personal injury attorneys in Albuquerque and other parts of New Mexico recognize that once they prove their personal injury clients’ cases, they can recover from the insurer the proven amount of damages in full up to the exact limits of the coverage. By contrast, even if an attorney in New Mexico can prove damages above and beyond the policy limits, it is much more difficult to recover those extra-policy funds from other individuals.
Nevertheless, to avoid placing yourself in the position where you could be personally liable for any damages that exceed policy limits, it is advisable to procure an insurance policy that has limits in excess of the required minimums. Also, while it is not required in the State of New Mexico, it is also not a bad idea to get uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage as well. This will protect you from having to incur expenses where another vehicle hits your car in an automobile accident and the other driver causing the collision either lacks insurance coverage completely, –- or has coverage which is too low to cover your medical bills and property damage.
The attorneys at Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. represent individuals in personal injury suits in New Mexico. Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Call the office at (505) 633-6298 to set up an appointment or visit the firm’s website at giddenslaw.com for more information