Car accidents, collisions, and crashes are one of the top reasons individuals seek out a personal injury attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Claims against at-fault drivers account for the majority of personal injury cases filed in Courts throughout the nation.
New Mexico earned the distinction of being among the top three states for the highest number of traffic accidents involving drivers who failed to follow the motor vehicle code. It is an honor our state has held since 2011. A close examination of data from the New Mexico Department of Transportation provides insight as to why the Albuquerque area has some of the worst offenders for distracted and careless driving.
Whether you are a victim who has suffered injuries causing temporary or permanent disability or are the surviving family member of a loved one killed in a car accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
Being involved in a traffic accident is scary.
Keeping your wits about you and following these steps is the best way to ensure your rights.
File a police report immediately:Do not leave the scene of the accident without insisting the authorities are called to investigate. If the other driver tries to flee, do your best to get identifying information such as the make and model of their vehicle and a full or partial license plate number. On-scene police investigators will talk with all parties involved, plus any witnesses to the crash. They will draft a report that summarizes the events leading up to the accident, as well as information on which driver is at fault. This report can be used by your personal injury lawyer as evidence in your case.
Never discuss the car accident with the at-fault party:
Sometimes, at the scene of an accident, the individual who is at fault will attempt to interact with the victim. It is common for some to try to apologize for the accident, while others may have more dubious intentions. They could be trying to get you to say things like it’s OK and you’re OK or provide other reassurances. It is important not to do any of these things, as the at-fault party can later use your words against you to defend against a personal injury claim. Avoid interaction with the other driver beyond what is necessary to exchange insurance carrier information. If an at-fault driver continues to try to speak with you, ask the police or other emergency responders to remove them from the scene.
Contact the insurance company:
to report the claim. New Mexico law requires all drivers involved in traffic accidents to report the crash to their insurance provider. Even if you are not at fault, your insurance adjuster will require the information so they can pursue the matter with the other driver’s insurance carrier.
Get medical attention as soon as possible:
Even if it is not immediately apparent whether you have sustained injuries, it is imperative to receive a medical evaluation in case it is needed later. Sometimes it takes a few days for some of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents – like whiplash – to be felt by victims. Having a police report and a physician’s report to document the accident and potential injuries is crucial to the success of a personal injury claim should one be filed at a later date.
Consult a personal injury attorney immediately:
The hours and days following involvement in a car accident are among the most crucial for gathering important documentation for a personal injury lawsuit. Victims who are severely injured may need expert guidance to navigate through the process of negotiating with auto insurance companies and the at-fault party’s legal counsel. Never agree to anything without first consulting a personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
Providing an average amount for a car accident settlement is a bit misleading, as circumstances surrounding personal injury lawsuits can vary. Victims who suffer from more severe injuries – such as traumatic brain injury or paralysis – that lead to a permanent disability can expect to receive a larger settlement than someone with a broken leg or whiplash. Our team can help identify an approximate range of damages during the no-obligation consultation.