Hobbs Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle accidents often lead to severe injuries and significant damage due to the relative lack of protection a motorcycle offers its rider compared to other vehicles. Suppose you’ve had a motorcycle accident in Hobbs, New Mexico. In that case, you need an experienced, dedicated Hobbs motorcycle accident lawyer who understands motorcycle accidents’ specific laws and nuances.
Nestled in the beautiful landscape of New Mexico, Hobbs is a city in Lea County known as a gateway city to the state. It’s a buzzing hub connected by major roads like the New Mexico State Road 18 and U.S. Route 62. Despite its charm, Hobbs, like any other city, isn’t immune to motorcycle accidents. As such, having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Hobbs by your side can make all the difference in managing the aftermath and securing your rights.
Experienced Hobbs Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Fighting for Your Rights
Surviving the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be challenging, but with the right Hobbs motorcycle accident attorney, you can protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common, with numerous accidents occurring each year in New Mexico alone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2021 in New Mexico, there were 5,932 motorcyclist fatalities, making up 14% of all traffic fatalities in the state. This was also the highest number of motorcyclists killed per year since 1975. An estimated 82,686 motorcyclists suffered injuries in 2021, a 5% increase since 2020. The fatality rate for a motorcyclist involved in an accident was 24 times higher than a passenger in a car.
Negligence plays a critical role in determining liability in motorcycle accidents. Under New Mexico law, all drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely and not put others at unnecessary risk. When this breach of a duty of care through reckless or negligent behavior results in an accident, the negligent party can be held accountable.
Several factors can lead to motorcycle accidents. Among them are speeding, reckless driving, lane splitting, driving under the influence, and even road conditions or vehicle maintenance issues. Familiarity with these causes and their implications is crucial in building a solid case.
New Mexico operates under a system known as pure comparative negligence. Just because you are partially responsible for the accident does not automatically mean your claim is invalid. Instead, any compensation the court may award you can be reduced in proportion to your share of the blame. For instance, if the court finds you to be 20% at fault, they’ll reduce your potential compensation by that amount. Understanding this law can significantly impact the outcome of your case, especially in situations where fault might be shared.
All these legal intricacies emphasize the need for a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer who can navigate the law, fight for your rights, and help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
New Mexico Motorcycle Laws
When riding a motorcycle in New Mexico, being familiar with state-specific laws governing your journey on two wheels is crucial. The government designs these laws to ensure the safety of everyone on the road, and any violation could lead to penalties or even complicate your claim in the event of an accident. Here are some essential laws that all riders should know:
New Mexico law (NMSA §66-3-849) sets several equipment requirements for motorcycles, including requiring at least one rearview mirror, a horn, a muffler, and a tail lamp.
All motorcycle operators are required by law (NMSA §66-7-356) to use protective eyewear unless the motorcycle gets equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design that protects the operator.
New Mexico law (NMSA §66-7-356) requires all motorcycle riders and passengers under 18 to wear a safety helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. While those over 18 are not legally required to wear a helmet, doing so is highly recommended as it can dramatically reduce the risk of serious injury in an accident.
Motorcyclists in New Mexico are required to carry liability insurance. The minimum requirements are $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people, and $10,000 for property damage in an accident.
Lane splitting, the practice of riding between slow-moving or stationary traffic lanes, is not expressly prohibited in New Mexico. However, it is not explicitly permitted either, and it can be considered dangerous or reckless behavior, depending on the circumstances.
New Mexico requires all motorcycle riders to have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. Riders must pass written and skills tests to get this endorsement.
Remember, being aware of and complying with these laws keeps you on the right side of the law and contributes to your safety and that of others on the road. It also plays a crucial role in any legal proceedings following an accident, where a violation of traffic laws could potentially affect your claim. If you have any questions about these laws or need assistance with a motorcycle accident claim, consider contacting a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in Hobbs.
How Do Motorcycle Accident Claims Work?
Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic, and dealing with the aftermath can be daunting, especially when dealing with insurance companies. Understanding how motorcycle accident claims work is vital to protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
After a motorcycle accident, one of the first steps you will take is interacting with insurance companies, either your own or the other party’s. This process can be stressful and complex, as insurance companies have adjusters and lawyers working on their behalf to minimize the payout.
Insurers may request a recorded statement, ask confusing questions, or make an early settlement offer, hoping you will accept a lower amount than you might be entitled to. It’s essential to handle these interactions carefully. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Hobbs can help you navigate these complexities and avoid common pitfalls, ensuring your rights are protected.
The Steps in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
The motorcycle accident claim process typically follows several vital steps:
- Reporting the Accident. It’s crucial to report the accident to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible. This establishes a record of the incident and kicks off the claim process.
- Medical Treatment. Seek immediate medical attention after the accident, even if your injuries seem minor initially. This step ensures your well-being and provides medical documentation of your injuries, which can be crucial evidence in your claim.
- Investigation. This involves gathering all necessary evidence, such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photographs of the accident scene and your injuries.
- Claim Submission. Once your lawyer understands your case, they will submit a demand package to the insurance company. This package outlines the accident details, liability, injuries, and the compensation you demand.
- Negotiation. The insurance company usually responds to your demand by making a counteroffer, starting the negotiation process. Your lawyer will work to negotiate and secure the highest possible compensation for you.
- Filing a Lawsuit. If negotiations do not lead to a satisfactory settlement, your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. This step can be complex and time-consuming, reinforcing the importance of having skilled legal representation.
Remember, every motorcycle accident claim is unique, and this process can vary depending on the specifics of your case. It’s crucial to have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer guiding you every step of the way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Damages in Motorcycle Claims
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, you may incur several kinds of losses, both physical and emotional. The legal term for these losses is “damages,” which is the compensation you can recover in a personal injury claim following an accident. Understanding the types of damages available in a motorcycle accident claim can help you understand the compensation you could recover.
These are quantifiable monetary losses that result from the accident. They have a clear, tangible financial value associated with them. Economic damages in a motorcycle accident claim can include:
- Medical Expenses. This includes the costs of emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical care required because of the accident.
- Lost Wages. If your injuries force you to miss work, you can claim compensation for your lost income. If your injuries limit your ability to work in the future, you can also claim loss of earning capacity.
- Property Damage. This includes the costs of repairing or replacing your motorcycle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, refer to losses that don’t have a specific dollar value. They are subjective and often more difficult to calculate than economic damages, but they are just as real and impactful to the accident victim. Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and Suffering. This is the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced due to the accident and your injuries.
- Mental Anguish. This refers to the psychological impact of the accident, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life. If your injuries limit your ability to engage in activities you once enjoyed, you can claim compensation for this loss.
- Loss of Consortium. If your injuries affect your relationship with your spouse, you may be entitled to damages for loss of companionship and intimacy.
What If I’m in a Motorcycle Accident and the At-Fault Party Is Uninsured?
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident and the other driver who caused the crash is uninsured, you still have options. One of these includes filing an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company. Alternatively, you might consider taking legal action against the person at fault for the accident.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Uninsured motorist coverage, often called UM coverage, is a part of your insurance policy that kicks in when the person who caused the accident doesn’t have insurance. It’s there to cover things like:
- Medical bills from injuries
- Damage to your motorcycle
- Lost wages from missed work
- Costs associated with a funeral (in the worst-case scenario)
- Pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of the accident
Not every state requires drivers to have UM coverage, and it’s also not offered by all insurance companies. It’s something you choose to add to your insurance policy. So if you didn’t have it before the accident, unfortunately, you can’t add it afterward and expect it to cover this accident.
Pursuing Legal Action
Another option is to file a lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. This course of action aims to get them to cover the costs associated with the accident, like medical bills and motorcycle repairs. However, there’s an important consideration here. If they didn’t have insurance, there’s a chance they might not have the money to pay for these costs either.
Sometimes, the court might set up a payment plan for them. This would involve them making regular, small payments to you. But unless they can pay a large settlement, this path might not bring the outcome you hope for.
Serving Hobbs, NM
Hobbs, located in the southeastern corner of New Mexico, has much to offer. Known as a gateway city to New Mexico, Hobbs embodies a unique blend of modern amenities and a rich cowboy heritage. Its dedication to local traditions and vibrant arts scene make it a charming place for residents and visitors alike.
Motorcycle riders will find that Hobbs, NM, has several local resources for their needs. If you’ve had an accident and are on the road to recovery, Hobbs Medical Clinic and Revival Physical Therapy Clinic offer excellent healthcare services. These institutions have experienced professionals dedicated to your recovery process.
Stevens Auto & Cycle Sales provides a selection of motorcycles for bikers looking to purchase or maintain their rides. At the same time, Garner’s Motorsports offers sales and a wide range of parts and accessories for various motorcycle models.
Hobbs is also home to the Lea County Event Center, a versatile venue that hosts multiple events throughout the year, from concerts and conventions to sporting events and trade shows. Hobbs, blending local charm and modern conveniences, serves as a welcoming community for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Contact W. Shane Jennings Today!
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in Hobbs, New Mexico, don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Attorney W. Shane Jennings is here to stand with you every step of the way. With his extensive experience and fierce dedication to his clients, he will diligently work to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. For a Hobbs motorcycle accident lawyer who fights for justice with unyielding tenacity, reach out to W. Shane Jennings today.