In a recent opinion, a court held in favor of an injured driver who sued their insurance company after filing a claim with the company and receiving a very small amount of damages. The case stemmed from a 2007 accident in which the driver was rear-ended by another vehicle. Sadly, the accident caused serious harm to the driver’s back, and as a result, he filed a claim with his insurance company.
The driver brought the claim under the insurance company’s “uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.” The insurance company and the driver had several months of back and forth until the insurance company finally paid a very small amount. The driver went on to sue the insurance company and claimed that the company breached their contract and caused an unreasonable delay. The jury found in favor of the driver, and the insurance company then appealed. The insurance company argued that the driver produced erroneous expert testimony and was unreasonable. However, the District Court ruled in the driver’s favor and affirmed the $2,250,000 damages award.
New Mexico Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Insurance Policies
Although accidents are a natural risk that everyone takes when driving, it does not mean that the devastation is any less when it does occur. Drivers purchase insurance policies in order to mitigate the financial cost of an accident. However, frequently insurance does not cover all of the costs associated with an accident. A particularly difficult situation arises when the culpable party does not have insurance at all. In these situations, many drivers rely on their own insurance company’s under-insured or uninsured policy.
In New Mexico, insurance companies must comply with certain minimum coverage amounts. For example, the policy must provide at least $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $10,000 per accident for property damage. In addition to those minimums, the companies must at least provide the option for drivers to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Issues arise, such as in the case above, when the uninsured motorist payout does not compensate the victim for the amount of damages they actually suffered. In those cases, a victim may need to bring a lawsuit against the insurance company or the culpable driver in order to cover the costs that the insurance company will not pay. These situations can be difficult to navigate, and an attorney is a victim’s best tool in seeking the compensation they deserve.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a New Mexico Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in New Mexico, you should contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm. Regardless of what your insurance company will pay out, an attorney at the Fine Law Firm can help you understand your rights and remedies, and what you actually deserve. They can assist you in seeking the compensation you deserve. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Denies Governmental Immunity for Transportation Commission in Wrongful Death Claim, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 13, 2016.
State Supreme Court Finds Plaintiff Is Not Entitled to Relief Due to Recreational Use Statute, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2016.