Key Differences Between New Mexico and Wyoming Car Accidents
Each state has its own unique auto accident laws. Comparing the different statutes for car accidents in New Mexico and Wyoming, for instance, can show how each state can have a specific approach when it comes to car accident claims. Both states require automobile owners to maintain liability insurance on their vehicles, and both states set limits on when a claim can be made.
However, the final outcome of a car accident case in one state can be much different than the final outcome in the other. Here are a few of the basic differences in how car accidents cases are handled in each state.
Statute of Limitations
The first significant difference in Wyoming and New Mexico accident law is the amount of time in which a claimant can move forward with a valid claim. Wyoming law allows one of the longest filing periods in the nation, as it is set at four years after the date of the accident.
In contrast, New Mexico requires accident injury claims to be filed within three years, which is also longer than the typical one or two-year maximums established by many other states.
Neither Wyoming nor New Mexico implement no-fault insurance law that can complicate accident cases significantly. Accident injuries in no-fault states must meet a certain degree of seriousness to qualify for eligibility to sue a negligent driver for whole damages. Fault and negligence are central to accident claims in both Wyoming and New Mexico, but the comparative negligence laws are much different.
New Mexico processes accident injury claims using "pure" comparative fault law while Wyoming uses "modified" comparative fault law. Modified comparative fault law stipulates that claimants can be denied financial recovery for injuries if they are over 50% at fault for an accident.
The pure comparative fault model used in New Mexico allows for anyone injured in an accident to receive financial benefits for their injuries unless they are totally at fault for a collision.
Both states discount claims based on the comparative fault percentage decision, which is assigned by a jury following a trial. Those in Wyoming with a comparative fault percentage of 51% or greater are often denied financial recovery.
Wrongful Death Claims
It is a sad fact that too many auto accidents end in fatalities, and many of them are caused by willful malicious acts of gross negligence. Both New Mexico and Wyoming allow a designated family representative to file a wrongful death action with experienced legal counsel, but New Mexico restricts these types of claims to a two-year filing period instead Wyoming's three-year limitation period. Wyoming also has a three-week publication rule that allows for anyone contesting the official assignment of a family representative to come forward.
Regardless of the state in which an accident occurs, it is always vital to have comprehensive and aggressive legal representation when filing an accident injury claim. The law firm you choose matters greatly. The attorneys at The Spence Law Firm are dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of injury victims. Let us put our experience to work for you, too.
Contact our firm at (844) 447-5497 to discuss what your options are moving forward.