Albuquerque NM Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Albuquerque is one of the top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities in the United States. From Bicycle Boulevards to the Bosque Trail, from the Tramway hill to the Crest Road, many commuters and athletes in Albuquerque and elsewhere in New Mexico take advantage of our 300 days per year of sunshine to ride their bikes to work or enjoy a scenic workout adventure.
New Mexico bicyclists are entitled under the law to “share the road” with drivers, and bicyclists know that right. According to a 2002 survey of the Federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 48.1% of bicyclists used paved roads, not shoulders, during their riding activities. As more and more bicyclists enter the sport for the health benefits, fun, and utility of cycling, that number will continue to increase.
Tragically, the smartphone and smart car age, combined with “something in the New Mexico air,” has made the roadways an incredibly perilous place for bicyclists. Inattentive drivers and road defects are a leading cause of injury and wrongful death of bicyclists in New Mexico. Nationally, approximately 51,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes while riding bicycles and other pedal-powered vehicles in the U.S. in 2009. New Mexico records approximately 200 to 300 injuries amongst bicyclists each year.
The physics of an auto/bicycle accident do not favor the cyclist. Injuries to the cyclist are likely to be severe. However, even if the cyclist is partly at fault for the auto/bicycle accident, the bicyclists is likely to recover under New Mexico law. That is because New Mexico is a “pure comparative fault” jurisdiction, which means that an injured, partially at-fault bicyclists can still prevail in their personal injury lawsuit to the extent that the auto driver caused the accident.
Under pure comparative fault doctrine, New Mexico juries are asked to determine the total amount of the bicyclist’s damages, and then determine what percentage of “fault” each party to the accident has. For example, if you are injured in a New Mexico bicycle/auto accident, your jury determines your total damages are $100,000, and your total percentage of fault is 20%, then the court will award you $80,000. This rule exists so that if you are injured or your loved one is the victim of wrongful death, and they share a small amount of fault for their injury, then your claim will not be unfairly barred.
The reality is that, even if your damages are very high, the amount of money you will recover to compensate you will likely depend on the total amount of available insurance coverage, since most people do not have the money to pay a judgment. Under New Mexico law, most drivers are required only to have a $25,000 insurance policy. Thankfully, most injured New Mexico cyclists will have additional insurance coverage through their own auto insurer called “under-insured motorist” or “uninsured motorist” coverage, which will allow you to recover additional money if the driver who hit you does not have enough insurance to cover your total damages.
Because the insurance law is so complex, it is extremely important to contact a skilled New Mexico bicycle accident attorney. Lawyer Kendrick Dane is an avid mountain and road cyclist and is passionate about helping the victims of auto/bike accidents.
If the crash was due to someone else’s negligence, The Dane Law Firm will fight to recover damages for your:
• Medical expenses
• Property damage
• Loss of consortium
• Lost wages
• Loss of future earning potential
• Prescription drug expenses
• Funeral expenses
• Wrongful death
• Pain and suffering
In addition to fighting to recover these compensatory damages, we seek compensation for punitive damages to punish the parties responsible and help prevent other drivers and cyclists from acting in similarly wrongful ways. You want justice and safety for your family, and improvement to the New Mexico bicycling community. You want the Dane Law Firm, P.C.
*All claims arising from or relating to bicycle and auto accidents are subject to time limitations, within which written tort claim notices must be served upon governmental agencies, and other time limits within which suit must be filed or the claim will be forever barred. These time limits and written tort claim notices to governmental agencies vary widely depending upon a careful legal analysis which includes the location of the crash, domicile of the parties, domicile of the survivors and their families, and choice-of-law issues. Therefore, if your crash occurred some time ago, it is strongly recommended that you contact The Dane Law Firm immediately to protect your rights. Moreover, no attorney-client relationship will exist between you and The Dane Law Firm until a written engagement agreement has been fully executed by the client, personal representative, conservator, or other legally authorized client representative and the Dane Law Firm, P.C.