There are just a few car or motorcycle accident scenarios that include complete fault of one driver and little to no fault of another. What this means is that percentage of fault is attributed to more than one driver in many accident scenarios. Usually, one driver is determined to be more at fault than the other driver, to a certain degree. This is especially important for motorcyclists who have sustained bodily injury in a motorcycle accident and worry that they are responsible.
If the motorcyclist fears his or her own liability for an accident, that is okay. Another driver may well be considered by a court to be partially at fault for a motorcyclist’s injuries. This is due to the rule of comparative negligence. In New Mexico, which follows a doctrine termed ‘pure comparative negligence,’ an injured motorcyclist may be able to collect for monetary damages even if he or she is as much as 99% at fault. This means that if, for example, a person suffered $5,000 in costs associated with an injury and is found to be 50% at fault, he or she could collect up to $2,500 since the other driver would be found at 50% fault as well.
Only one third of all U.S. states find damages for injuries at any percentage of fault of the injured. This allows people who have suffered to collect, at least partially, for the fault of another driver. The law makes sense, because arguably if not for the other driver, the accident and injuries would not have befallen the injured driver.
Oncoming traffic is always a concern for motorcyclists since they are at greater risk of bodily injury than are people traveling in motor vehicles. While motorcyclists certainly take their safety into consideration at all times while operating their motorcycles, sometimes things are overlooked. Due to pure comparative negligence, there is some chance that an injured motorcyclist can collect for injuries partially or mostly caused by passenger-vehicle drivers. Those injured in such accidents may wish to consider clarifying this by contacting an experienced New Mexico injury lawyer.
Source: injury.findlaw.com, “Comparative Negligence,” Accessed May 16, 2016