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What Should I Do After a Car Accident in New Mexico?

State officials and traffic experts documented well over 450 road fatalities in New Mexico over the last year alone. This is a significant increase compared to the prior year’s total of 425 deaths throughout our state. Adding insult to injury, the leading causes of these fatal New Mexico accidents were speeding, aggressive or reckless driving, and driver distraction.

Thankfully, if you’ve sustained injuries in a vehicle accident caused by another motorist’s negligent actions, the other driver may be liable for your medical expenses and other damages.

First, however, knowing more about the steps you should take following a vehicle crash in New Mexico is vital. It goes without saying that vehicle collisions are terrifying and overwhelming for victims. Taking the right precautions and steps at the scene can ensure you have the best chance of securing the justice and accident settlement you deserve.

Data on Car Wrecks in New Mexico

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, in 2019 alone, there were over 33,000 fatal accidents in the United States, nearly 370 of which happened in New Mexico.

The most frequent causes of these New Mexico vehicle accidents are:

  • Excessive speed
  • Inattentive and distracted driving
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel
  • Overtaking or passing other cars illegally
  • Driving in inclement weather or other hazardous conditions
  • Reckless driving and ignoring basic traffic laws

Should You Move Your Car After a Crash?

Yes, it’s important for those involved in a car accident to transfer their vehicles to a secure location. Following a minor collision, all drivers are advised to pull over before exiting their vehicle. Not only does this help avoid traffic jams, but it also keeps you safe from being struck by other oncoming vehicles.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident in New Mexico?

Still, there are almost always exceptions to any rule. In more serious car accidents, when victims are badly hurt, airbags have deployed, or the involved vehicles are totaled, you must first slowly exit your vehicle.

If you and the other parties can safely move your cars, then you can proceed. But if any of the cars emit smoke, strange odors, or fluids, get away from the area and maintain a safe distance from the crash site.

Seeking Medical Care After a Crash

Arguably the most essential step, seeking medical care after a vehicle accident, is paramount. The after-crash adrenaline may hide seemingly minor injuries and body aches for several hours or even days, so car accident injuries often go unreported.

Even if you feel all right, you should seek medical assistance promptly after a vehicle accident for your physical health and, ultimately, for your financial well-being, especially if you choose to file a claim in the future.

Regardless of your injuries, get a precautionary check-up from your doctor on the same day of the accident or the next day, if possible.

Finally, if a police officer, another passenger or driver, bystander, or insurance adjuster asks about potential injuries you’ve sustained, don’t respond until you’ve sought treatment and received a medical professional’s opinion.

Filing a Police Report After a New Mexico Accident

Next, make sure that you call 911, especially if you or another party involved in the crash has sustained injuries. People often avoid contacting the police, particularly if they believe they might be ticketed or blamed for a crash.

Filing a police report after a wreck in New Mexico is essential for documentation of the crash’s circumstances. In fact, state law stipulates that the involved parties are required to contact authorities following a serious car accident in New Mexico as quickly as they can.

What’s more, if you intend to file a personal injury claim, you’ll need this type of documentation to support your case. You can also use a police report to your benefit when communicating and negotiating with insurers.

Once officers arrive at the scene of your crash, don’t acknowledge fault or disclose injuries. Exchange information and contact details, but keep communication simple and straightforward without making emotionally-charged statements or attempting to influence police.

Exchanging Contact Information After a Crash

As the officer works on their police report, take the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the accident site. These photos should show your car, all of the other vehicles involved, vehicle and related property damage (such as a bent guardrail or street sign), and all injuries. Furthermore, ensure you exchange insurance and contact details with any other drivers involved in the collision.

If the collision happened on a high-traffic roadway or street with bystanders in the area, seek out those possible witnesses and exchange information with them as well.

Consult an Attorney After a New Mexico Accident

Call a car accident attorney as soon as you’ve taken care of the above steps. A personal injury attorney will assist you in building your case, gathering evidence, and presenting your claim to bolster your chances of claiming your full, fair compensation for any accident-related expenses.

Insurance firms often exploit unrepresented drivers by pressuring them to assume fault or responsibility for a crash. If they do offer a settlement, it’s typically well below the recompense victims need to cover their damages. However, a qualified New Mexico accident attorney can assist you in protecting your legal rights.

In the meantime, remember not to discuss any injuries or accident fault with police officers or insurance adjusters until you’ve retained legal assistance. An auto accident attorney can act as your point person with third parties and guide you through the claim process so that you do not inadvertently admit fault, miss deadlines, or forget any necessary documentation you need.

Call a Car Accident Lawyer in Albuquerque

No matter the circumstances surrounding each specific crash, auto accidents are catastrophic, and it’s common for victims to shoulder the brunt of the aftereffects. For this reason and more, if you’ve suffered injuries from a negligent driver in New Mexico, you should promptly contact an experienced attorney to protect your legal rights.

If a reckless motorist has injured you or a loved one, please get in touch with Will Ferguson & Associates for a free initial consultation. Contact our Albuquerque car accident attorneys at (505) 243-5566 to learn more about your eligibility for compensation.

If we determine that you and your family have a viable claim for recompense, we will handle all aspects of your case. Do not delay reaching out for the seasoned legal guidance you deserve from our experienced, compassionate accident attorneys. Call us now for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss the circumstances surrounding your New Mexico auto accident today.

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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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