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Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer in New Mexico

Motorcycle accidents in New Mexico pose significant risks to motorcyclists. Though required to wear safety gear in most jurisdictions, that gear alone is not a match for the weight and speed of another vehicle. Serious risks and fatalities result from motorcycle collisions and many are caused by the errors of other drivers. Compensation is necessary to try to regain your life or to receive justice for a loved one. 

At Gauthier & Maier Law Firm, P.C., our motorcycle accident attorneys in Bernalillo and Valencia will help you identify the causes of the accident and build a claim supported by the facts and the law. We will take the hassle out of dealing with insurance companies and help you get immediate medical treatment. Chance Gauthier and Shane Maier grew up on motorcycles and know the sad reality that the number one danger to a rider is other drivers. We are proud to have helped many clients receive the justice that they are owed and look forward to helping you and your family get the compensation you deserve. Contact us now or at 505-226-3205 to schedule a Free Consultation to learn more about your legal options.



Overview of Motorcycle Accident Claims in New Mexico

Motorcycles are great vehicles for transportation. They are energy efficient, more economical to repair, easy to park, and just fun to ride. They are also inherently dangerous. Speed capabilities combined with no outer protection can mean that even a minor collision with another vehicle can cause serious injury. Plus, you have public opinion against you. People assume––given pop culture and the images expressed therein-–that you, as a motorcyclist, may have been speeding, swerving through traffic, all without a care in the world. Even though statistics show that the driver of a vehicle is more likely to be at fault, the initial suspicion falls on the motorcyclist. 

So, from the beginning, you have an uphill battle in your personal injury claim or wrongful death claim. 

But if you did not cause the accident (or, depending on the jurisdiction, contributed in part) you should be able to recover compensation. Filing a claim with an insurance company, however, may not result in full and fair compensation. They are for-profit entities that prioritize profits over anything else. What this means for a motorcycle victim is this: they will try to settle for as little as possible, using aggressive adjusters and attorneys to that end. They will try to blame you.

With a motorcycle attorney in New Mexico, you can recover compensation that the law allows if you can prove the vehicle driver was at fault by showing:

1.     The vehicle driver owed you a duty of care.

2.     The duty was breached and that breach caused the accident.

3.     The accident resulted in property damage and/or bodily injury.

4.     The damages are monetary in nature.

At Gauthier & Maier Law Firm, P.C., we identify these elements and put forth solid evidence to support them.  

What Makes Motorcycle Riding So Dangerous in Bernalillo and Valencia?

Riding a motorcycle carries with it risks that are not associated with driving automobiles or trucks. 

Absence of barriers 

Bikers are not protected by metal, airbags, or seatbelts. They may wear helmets and protective clothing, but that's not enough.

Reduced stability

While most other vehicles have four wheels to stabilize them, motorcycles only have two. Wheels can be wobbly at high speeds.

Reduced visibility

Motorcycles are smaller and less noticeable by other vehicles on the road. Visibility is greatly reduced at night.

Poor road conditions

What may be an insignificant bump in the road for an automobile can be significant to a motorcyclist. This is true for any other debris, objects, or weather conditions.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in New Mexico

Unique facts and circumstances make every motorcycle crash different. Common causes, however, exist. Causes of motorcycle accidents primarily involve one or more of the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Excessive speed
  • Unsafe lane merges
  • Improper lane changes
  • Left-hand turns
  • Sudden stops
  • Unsafe following distances
  • Poor road conditions
  • Vehicle defects

Uncovering the cause of a motorcycle accident is critical to your recovery and your personal injury claim. There's a bias against motorcyclists. The assumption is that you, the motorcyclist, caused the accident: maybe you were reckless or maybe you were weaving in and out of traffic. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer who understands these cultural prejudices and can address them head-on. You also need an attorney who has the skills, insight, and resources necessary to put forward a strong personal injury case by identifying the cause and aligning it with your injuries.

Motorcycle Crashes in New Mexico Cause Serious Injuries

Bikers tend to suffer serious injuries when they are in an accident. Typical injuries may include:

  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Amputated limbs
  • Spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Disfigurement
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding

Bikers can still sustain serious injuries, or even death, when wearing a helmet or other protective gear. 


Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, both physically and emotionally. In the aftermath of such an incident, it's crucial to take the right steps to protect your rights and ensure fair compensation. This guide will walk you through what to do after a motorcycle accident, how to file an insurance claim, the specific timeline for filing a motorcycle crash claim in New Mexico, and the compensation you may be entitled to.

1. Immediate Actions After a Motorcycle Accident:

   In the chaotic moments following a motorcycle accident, prioritize safety and seek medical attention. Once the immediate concerns are addressed, consider the following steps:

   - **Contact Law Enforcement:** Report the accident to the police, ensuring that an official record is created.
   - **Gather Information:** Collect details of the accident, including contact information of involved parties, witnesses, and insurance information.
   - **Document the Scene:** Take photographs of the accident scene, including damages to vehicles and any relevant road signs.

2. Seek Medical Attention:

   Even if injuries seem minor, it's crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may manifest later, and having a medical record can strengthen your case during the insurance claim process.

3. Insurance Claim Process for Motorcycle Accidents:

   Initiating the insurance claim process is a crucial step in securing compensation for damages. Here's a step-by-step guide:

   - **Contact Your Insurance Company:** Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all necessary details and documentation.

   - **Obtain a Police Report:** A police report can serve as crucial evidence during the claim process. Ensure you obtain a copy for your records.

   - **Document Damages:** Keep a record of all damages, injuries, medical bills, and any other related expenses. This documentation will support your claim.

   - **Consult an Attorney:** If the insurance process becomes complex or if your claim is denied, consulting a personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accidents can be beneficial. You can always call us at 505-226-3205.

4. Filing a Motorcycle Crash Claim in New Mexico:

   In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for filing a motorcycle crash claim is three years. It's imperative to adhere to this timeline to preserve your right to seek compensation. Consult with an attorney to ensure all paperwork is filed correctly and within the stipulated timeframe.


Types of Damages in New Mexico for your Motorcycle Accident

Damages can be categorized as two types:

1.     Compensatory, which are economic and non-economic damages meant to reimburse you for all expenses and costs associated with the injury.

2.     Punitive, which are damages meant to punish the wrongdoer for their reckless or malicious actions or inaction.

Compensatory damages are the most common and are typically available in most personal injury and wrongful death claims. The amount and extent of compensatory damages, especially with regard to non-economic damages, depends on the extent and nature of the injury and the impact that injury has on the victim's quality of life or the lives of the victim's family. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are rare and often limited when available.

Economic Damages

Economic damages, also referred to as special damages, are those that are relatively easy to translate into dollars. They include bills and receipts that the victim accumulates after the accident. 

Economic damages consist of (but are not limited to):

  • Property repairs
  • Property replacement or repair
  • Medical bills
  • Household expenses
  • Transportation costs
  • Lost wages 
  • Loss of earning capacity, especially after a severe accident that impairs the victim's ability to function normally

You should keep all receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and other proof of expenses. In some cases, like proving reduced earning capacity, expert testimony may be needed.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, sometimes called general damages, are damages not easily stated in a dollar amount. Collectively, they are referred to as pain and suffering because these damages consider the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental trauma that severe injuries create. 

Non-economic damages can include:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium – the change in relationship with your loved ones
  • Loss of enjoyment of life – the inability to do things that make life enjoyable like walking, hiking, a hobby, being physical active etc.

Proving these types of losses include testimony from the victim, lay witnesses like friends and family, and expert witnesses like mental health practitioner(s).

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages do not compensate the victim but are awarded when the court wants to punish the defendant. Courts rarely award punitive damages, except in cases where the defendant was so egregious that this type of punishment is necessary to deter future similar behavior. 

Punitive damages can be high relative to economic and non-economic damages but are often limited by state law.


Motorcycle accidents have some of the most severe injuries of any other type of auto accident because of the lack of protection afforded to a biker. Your injuries may be life altering or even result in death. That is why it is necessary to talk with an attorney on these cases to make sure you are able to find all avenues to compensation to help you with your recovery.

Why File a Personal Injury Claim for a Motorcycle Accident in Bernalillo and Valencia

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, victims often receive a settlement offer from their insurance company. This offer, however, rarely reflects the amount of compensation that they deserve. By filing a personal injury claim, victims can pursue what they really need in order to make the best recovery in their unique situation. But the latter requires thorough investigative work and well-supported claims. Only an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who knows what to look for and how to address it can provide a persuasive, aggressive case on your behalf.


Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in New Mexico Today

At Gauthier & Maier Law Firm, P.C., our motorcycle injury lawyers have experience dealing with motorcycle accidents in Bernalillo and Valencia. We know recovery is necessary for you to get back to your life. We use our resources to put forth a strong case and aggressively negotiate compensation that meets your needs. Contact us today either by filling out our online form or calling us directly at 505-226-3205. We are ready to help you get the justice you deserve.



Contact Us Today

Gauthier & Maier Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about Motor Vehicle Accidents, Medical Malpractice and Civil Rights law issues in New Mexico.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.