Bike and helmet laying on the ground after car accident

Proving Responsibility in a Bicycle Accident

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As a cyclist, you likely follow the rules of the road and pay close attention to the vehicles around you. But bicycle accidents can still happen in New Mexico, even when you take all the right steps to protect yourself. The very nature of a bicycle accident makes it much more likely that you will suffer serious injuries in the process. 

If the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for damage to property or medical bills related to the accident. To receive the compensation you deserve, you’ll first need to prove liability. Here is how your lawyer will work to demonstrate who was responsible for a bicycle accident.

Understanding Who Caused the Accident

New Mexico is an at-fault state, which means that the person who was most at fault for the accident is the one liable for it as well. Most of the time, understanding fault involves police reports and an investigation by the insurance company. Often, the person who broke a law is the one at fault. 

Liability also involves determining if a party was negligent. Negligence means that the person did not use the right amount of care. Typically, with a bicycle accident, proving responsibility means providing proof of negligence. Negligence consists of a few different elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and losses.

All drivers in New Mexico owe you a duty of care as a cyclist. If the driver who struck you didn’t obey the law or committed any act that a prudent driver wouldn’t have committed, this is a breach of duty. 

Causation means that the driver’s behavior on the road is what led directly to the accident, while losses refer to any harm you’ve suffered that can be compensated. Your lawyer has to prove all of these elements to hold a party liable. 

Gathering Evidence 

You will need to gather evidence that proves you were not the party who caused the accident. Because this can be a difficult and time-consuming process — and you may be dealing with injuries in the meantime — a personal injury lawyer is critical. 

Witness statements are one type of evidence you may turn to. These may be included in police statements and other official records, or your lawyer may get them via depositions or interrogatories. 

If there’s photographic or video evidence, it can be much easier to prove liability. In other instances, especially in complex cases, you may have to rely on the analyses of expert witnesses. 

What if you contributed to the accident?

Even if you were partly at fault for a bicycle accident, it’s still possible to receive financial compensation. This is because New Mexico applies a law called the pure comparative negligence law. It states that a plaintiff’s degree of fault alone does not prevent them from getting compensation.

In these instances, the court will reduce the amount of money you recover by the amount equivalent to your degree of fault. 

Getting Help After a Bicycle Accident in New Mexico

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, turning to a personal injury lawyer can make all the difference. With the right help, you can have a better chance of proving responsibility, so you can get the compensation you deserve to cover property damage, medical bills, and any other losses caused by your accident. 

At Hunt Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping those who’ve suffered because of someone else’s negligence in Northern New Mexico, and we fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve to move forward. Contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.