Vehicle accidents not only hold the possibility of a serious injury or death but also may take a great emotional and financial toll. When individuals have been involved in an accident, it is incredibly important that a determination of fault, often through an investigator, takes place. Although many people are under the impression that the fault determination is decided through a police official, it is actually more often than not conducted by an insurance company. The insurance company will investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident and will determine the fault of the parties. The importance of having your own advocate and investigator in these situations cannot be overemphasized.
To determine fault, in New Mexico, the investigator has to decide which individual breached a duty of care that resulted in the other person’s injuries. The insurance company will rely on the initial police reports and statements from witnesses and those involved in the accident.
After the insurance company determines who was at fault in its opinion, it will next apportion liability to the parties it finds responsible. As of 2012, several states, including New Mexico, follow the comparative fault standard. Under this theory of liability, a person’s damages award is reduced by the amount of fault that is apportioned to them.