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What Is Comparative Negligence in New Mexico?

Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C.

Life is rarely black and white. While we would like to blame one individual when something goes seriously wrong, it usually is not so simple. It often takes more than one person to cause a catastrophe.

This is especially true in auto accidents. The law can determine that one of the drivers involved caused the wreck by speeding, driving drunk, failing to yield, or any other reason. And that is how it should be. But New Mexico’s personal injury laws recognize that someone who was injured in an accident with a negligent driver may have partly contributed to the conditions that led to the crash. And that you should not have to give up your chance at compensation because of that.

Personal Injury Damages in New Mexico

New Mexico is unusual in that pure comparative negligence applies in personal injury lawsuits. In a nutshell, this means that after a car accident, you can pursue compensation from another party. However, the amount of damages you can recover is reduced by the percentage of fault you are.

For example, if you sue the driver and their insurance company and the jury determines that the defendant was 80 percent responsible and you were 20 percent responsible, the damage award you would receive would be reduced by 20 percent. If you are found more than 50 percent at fault, you might be barred from recovering any amount.

This is a more rational and victim-friendly approach than traditional personal injury law. Decades ago, someone who was hurt in a car accident could not recover any damages if they even slightly contributed to the crash.

Speaking with a personal injury attorney who can discuss your specific situation is a good first step to help determine what and how much you could recover.

Client Reviews

I would recommend his services. They have a very informative staff as well. He helped me gather the most out of my car accident settlement and I'm most thankful that I went with Matt instead of a big name law firm you see on tv. When I was injured he was able to come to my house and do my first...

Audrey I.

Great and honest, helped me a lot to win my case.

Amir S.

Mr. Vance was attentive, diligent and even keeled throughout the process of fighting for my case. He exhibits a quiet and calm confidence in what to do and how to prepare. He always gave me the facts and did not BS me with exaggerated promises. He always treated me and my family as people, not a...


Matt and his team are amazing. They contacted me when I needed to come into the office to sign forms, and they only bothered me when they had a question on something. They took care of everything from beginning to end. I am so appreciative of them. And would refer them to my closest friends.

C. J.

Matt and his team are absolutely amazing and helped me more than enough with my case. He is very knowledgeable and friendly. He made a very difficult situation, seamless. Thank you so much!

Chris G.

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