How to Prove Fault After a Car Accident in Albuquerque

proving fault in a car accident

When it comes to car accidents, some U.S. states have a no-fault system. This means that injured motorists make a claim with their own insurance company after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. 

Is New Mexico a No-Fault State?

New Mexico is an at-fault state, meaning the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident handles claims from injured drivers and their passengers.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in New Mexico and are filing a claim (whether an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit), proving fault in a car accident is imperative in order to get the most compensation for your injuries.

How Do I Prove the Other Driver Was at Fault?

In some common types of accidents, there is what’s called clear liability, in which the accident is generally assumed to be caused by one driver. These may include:

However, in less clear-cut cases, you or an Albuquerque car accident lawyer will need to prove that the other driver was liable for the accident. 

Strategies for Establishing Liability

In an at-fault state, the burden of proof lies with the party making the claim. This is where having experienced legal representation can be highly advantageous. A car accident attorney knows the most tried-and-true methods and strategies for winning personal injury cases.

Police Reports & Traffic Citations

Any traffic accident that causes injury, death, or more than $500 in property damage must be reported to law enforcement. Police reports can be a crucial piece of evidence in proving fault in a car accident because they come from an official third party.

It is advisable to contact police after an accident to take a report as soon as possible. This can help preserve key evidence such as skid marks. It can also allow them to see the final resting point of the vehicles involved, which may aid in reconstructing the accident site.

Police presence can also be helpful if they cite the other driver for traffic violations.


Photos of the accident site, damaged vehicles, and of injuries can also aid in proving fault. If you are able to take photos immediately after the accident, take as many as possible of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, visible skid marks, and any other damage to the road or surrounding property.

In addition to your own photographs, it may be possible to obtain footage of the accident or its aftermath from nearby traffic cameras or even CCTV footage. An accident lawyer can help you obtain this evidence by reaching out to local business owners and cutting through the red tape of the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT).

Witness Statements

Like police reports, witness statements can serve as a third-party perspective when two drivers are unable to agree what happened to cause an accident. Witnesses should ideally speak to a police officer at the scene who can officially record the statement, but you can also ask witnesses if they are willing to talk about the accident with you and your lawyer. Witnesses may be able to describe the accident from a unique perspective that can bolster your case.

Do I Need a Lawyer After an Albuquerque Car Accident?

Speaking with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident can give you the best fighting chance to take on major insurance corporations and negligent drivers who try to shirk responsibility for their actions.

Proving fault in a car accident can mean the difference between trying to pay for your medical bills out of pocket and getting the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering

For compassionate and steadfast legal representation, contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys today. Our car accident attorneys can be reached at 505-544-4444. You can also get in touch by using our LiveChat feature, or by submitting the details of your case using our contact form.