If involved in a car accident in Mexico, do what you would do at home: Stay calm, get the names and addresses of any witnesses, and contrary to what you may have heard, do not leave the scene. If someone is hurt and you leave the scene, you could face additional charges for leaving a person in need of help.
If you have insurance with a good company, you will have a list of contacts for Lawyers and Adjusters. Call them immediately. Read our "Car Insurance in Mexico" article.
If involved in a “fender bender” (your fault), you can quite often negotiate a cash payment. If, however, persons are injured, there will be an investigation by the police and statements taken. The vehicles and drivers involved will be detained until fault is established. (This is where witnesses are important.) You will have the opportunity to post a bond to secure your release until the investigation is complete. Your Lawyer or Adjuster should handle this for you. (Make sure your vehicle insurance contains this coverage.)
If you are found not to be at fault, you will be free to leave and your Adjustor will look after getting your vehicle repaired and returned to you. If you are at fault, you will be charged and the case will be heard in a criminal court. You will remain free on bond until the Hearing.
The penalties, if found guilty, will vary based on the seriousness of the accident and the damage incurred. For cases involving a death, the jail term is from three days to five years.
Payment for damages will be the actual cost of medical expenses and the actual cost of property damage. In addition, if permanent injury is incurred (paralysis, blindness, etc), payment will be based on industrial accident payment schedules, which allows payment based on minimum wage multipliers for periods up to approximately three years.
One thing that is of the utmost importance: Under no circumstances should you bring drugs or guns into Mexico. There is zero tolerance and you will go to jail. Under very strict rules, you may obtain a permit for hunting or gun club importation of a gun, but they are difficult to obtain.
| Norm and Jessie Dysart (Focus alumni)
|"We were looking for a second retirement area to spend part of the winter and wanted a place with warm daytime temperatures and cool evenings. We also wanted: - A place that was safe and relatively free of crime - An area that had good dining and lots of music and entertainment. - We wanted a place where building costs were still reasonable. - A place that we could drive to and also have good air connections. - A place that had a reasonable cost of living. We had tried Florida many times but felt that we did not want to build there; the weather was too variable. Your Focus on Mexico tour was absolutely great – good value, informative, interesting and we met some very nice people. We have since recommended your Focus program to many, many people. Jess and I are delighted you have started the Focus programs again and wish you and Ray the very best of luck with the new programs. If we can be of any help in the Canadian market, please let us know. We’d be happy to."