Solving New Mexico Insurance Policy Questions

August 19, 2009

New Mexico is far from the richest state in the nation. New Mexico residents rarely have substantial assets buried in their back yard that can compensate New Mexico accident victims for their injuries. As a result, the financial recovery available to New Mexico car accident victims is often limited to the insurance policies in effect at the time.

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Unless the negligent driver has substantial assets to cover the injuries caused by the accident, many times the biggest question for serious car accidents or New Mexico wrongful death cases, is what is the available limits of insurance. Answering this question typically requires obtaining the other driver’s insurance policy. However, if the accident victim has any New Mexico uninsured or underinsured coverage, than a simple review of the policies can shed some light on what the minimum available limits may be.

If you have been injured in a New Mexico accident, you can check your own insurance to see if you see the letters “UM” or “UIM” next to various numbers. If you see these letter, it means that you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that if necessary can be used to help in the recovery. Next to these letters you will see two numbers separated by a “/”, such as “25/50” or “100/200.” Whatever these numbers may be, they are your policy limits on that particular vehicle. The way to read these figures is to look at the first number which indicates the most that any single person is able to recover from injuries resulting from the accident, and the second number which is the most that can ever be paid by the insurance company for the accident.

Before looking at your New Mexico insurance policy and thinking you figured everything out, it is important to be familiar, or at least talk to somebody who is familiar, with New Mexico uninsured motorist law. Under New Mexico law, a car accident victim may be entitled to use other insurance policies beyond those in effect on the vehicle that was involved in the accident, to recover additional money. For this reason, it is highly recommended to speak with an experienced New Mexico car accident lawyer before contemplating, let alone accepting, any offer for a car accident case.