The Dos and Don'ts After a Personal Injury Accident in New Mexico

You or someone you care about will likely be involved in an injury-causing accident at some point in your life, particularly when it comes to vehicle accidents. Millions of these accidents happen daily in the United States, and New Mexico sees thousands of car wrecks in one year alone.

Needless to say, you can't always avoid these types of incidents—whether you're involved in an auto accident, slip-and-fall, or a dog attack—but you can avoid becoming a statistic by taking the right steps to safeguard your legal rights in the aftermath. In fact, you might find that the judicial system works in your favor if you or someone you know is involved in an accident caused by a negligent party.

First and foremost, it's important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury-causing accident. In the meantime, read below to learn about a few dos and don'ts to follow after a personal injury accident.

Do Notify the Authorities After a Personal Injury

Most personal injury accidents in New Mexico must be reported to the police, especially motor vehicle wrecks. You typically need a police report to identify evidence, possible witnesses, the suspected cause of the incident, and the responsible parties.

Calling the police isn't always obligatory after an accident, although it is strongly recommended.

Do Collect Evidence After an Injury-Causing Accident

After any injury-causing incident, taking pictures and collecting as much evidence as possible is essential. For example, if you've been involved in a vehicle wreck, it's important to take photos of the damage and the surrounding area of the crash. It's also essential to find out who was involved in the collision and get in touch with any witnesses.

If you don't have enough evidence to support your version of the event in question, an insurance company could try to assign you a proportion of fault or even blame you for the accident altogether.

Don't Neglect Getting Medical Attention After an Accident

You should be checked out by a doctor or at least wait for the paramedics, if applicable, even if you feel fine after an accident. In situations involving extreme stress, the body releases adrenaline, which may temporarily dull your perception of pain and injuries. Furthermore, accident-related symptoms may not appear for hours, days, or weeks after you suffered injuries initially.

Using the example above of a car accident and a common crash injury, whiplash may not be obvious until several days or even a week after a wreck. Victims are typically advised to monitor for signs of whiplash during the first 24 hours after an accident, but the timeframe during which a person might discover a whiplash injury after a vehicle collision may vary depending on the individual.

Moreover, it's important that you're always honest with your medical providers. The only way to acquire an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan is to tell your doctor about any pain, discomfort, or other noticeable changes in your health after the accident. Don't downplay your injuries or assume that you're not really hurt.

Do Follow All Treatment Plans After a Personal Injury

In that same vein, you must maintain your treatment and attend all your doctor visits, even if you feel better or think your prescribed treatment isn't helping.

If you don't, your injury claim and recovery are at risk. On top of that, an insurance company may limit your payout if they determine that your injuries were not as serious as you claimed.

Don't Attempt to Negotiate with Insurance Companies Alone

Communicating, not to mention negotiating, with insurance companies without an attorney by your side can be detrimental to your case. Generally, insurance adjusters are concerned with protecting the individual they insure (or the at-fault party, in your case) and preserving their company's bottom line. These adjusters may try to make you believe they are on your side, but these negotiations rarely benefit the victim or plaintiff.

Do have your personal injury lawyer handle all communications with insurers. Not only will this help you avoid saying the wrong thing to an adjuster, but it also allows you to focus on your recovery while your attorney focuses on building your case.

Don't Accept an Insurance Company's First Settlement Offer

Similarly, you may feel forced to accept less than you deserve while dealing with medical expenses, paying for treatment, or facing lost income after an accident. However, you should never accept an insurance company's initial settlement offer.

What's more, these companies generally lowball victims to avoid paying out too much money. Until your attorney finishes their investigation and negotiates a reasonable settlement with the insurance company, avoid the temptation of settling to get your money more quickly.

Don't Delay Filing a Personal Injury Claim

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in New Mexico is three years, whereas the statute for property damage and other civil claims is four years.

Tragically, in cases of wrongful death, there is often just one year from the time of a tragic accident for the victim's estate and family to file a lawsuit because of the time it takes to gather evidence and prepare a claim after a victim's death.

It will be too late to pursue your claim if you wait until after the statute of limitations has expired. Hiring a lawyer specializing in personal injury helps you avoid delays by keeping your case on track.

Do Consult a Personal Injury Attorney After an Accident

Likewise, you should never try to traverse the complexities of filing a personal injury claim in New Mexico alone. A skilled injury accident lawyer will give you the best chance of securing the compensation you need to cover your damages.

Personal injury claims in New Mexico are complicated and should not be handled without legal representation. The best approach to guarantee your claim is handled appropriately and you get the money you need to recover from an accident as quickly as possible is to hire a seasoned personal injury attorney.

Call a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

Our clients come first at Will Ferguson & Associates. Since 1983, we've been here to support people like you who have suffered from personal injuries or disabilities. Furthermore, we operate on a contingency basis in personal injury matters, so there are no fees unless we get compensation for you.

Call the New Mexico personal injury lawyers at Will Ferguson & Associates at (505) 243-5566 if you've been injured and want to know whether you're entitled to compensation.

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    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

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